Archive: Detroit Zoo Falls Head Over Heels for Zero Waste

February 3, 2015


To show our planet a little love, the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) will make Love Gone Wild its first-ever zero-waste event. The annual 21-and-older Valentine’s Day affair – which offers a candid, intimate and entertaining look at how the Detroit Zoo’s animal residents do the “wild thing” – will be held Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, 6:30 to 10 p.m., in the Detroit Zoo’s Ford Education Center.

The goal of the zero-waste philosophy is to prevent trash from going to landfills and to recycle and reuse as many products as possible.

“We are strategically selecting the types of products we’re using and assessing our needs for this event,” said Beth Wallace, DZS manager of sustainability. “We will cater the menu to be composting-friendly and aim to only prepare the amount of food we think our guests will consume.”

In order to achieve zero waste at Love Gone Wild, the DZS has purposefully selected the menu items that will be offered to guests for the strolling supper. The menu, which features items such as brie tartlets and porcini truffle ravioli, will be served on china to prevent waste generated by disposable dishware.

“Because this is our first zero-waste event, we will not only evaluate our success but also determine where improvements can be made,” Wallace said.

The DZS also plans to incorporate zero-waste elements into this year’s Sunset at the Zoo fundraising gala on June 12, with the goal of eventually making that event zero waste as well.

Becoming entirely zero-waste zoo-wide by 2020 is a goal of the DZS’s Greenprint, a strategic plan to refine and improve daily practices and facilities, develop new policies and programs and improve green literacy in the community. In recognition of these continuous efforts in sustainability, the DZS was honored with the Green Award in 2014 by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Love Gone Wild, which offers a champagne welcome, strolling supper and two drink tickets, costs $75 per person for DZS members and $85 per person for non-members. Tickets are available at Window One at the front of the Zoo and online at