Pole to Pole inspiration from Riga Zoo #PoletoPole #Pulltheplug

As a committed campaign participant Riga Zoo started to replace their light bulbs with more environmental friendly LED lights, the replacement and installation work was completed two months ago.


In addition to this Riga Zoo also adjusted the time when lights were on, the time of sunset was taken into account and as such lights were swicthed off when there was still plenty of daylight in the zoo. Comparing to January 2013, Riga Zoo managed to reduce their electricity consumption by 8%.

Last month, as a part of the Tropical Month 2014, creative ‘do-it-yourself’ workshops were organised at the zoo. The basic idea was to show people how to live a green life and how to use resources sustainably. Creating useful things by reusing PET bottles fascinated not only the zoo workers but also the visitors:


  • ‘Winter treat for birds’ – Bird feeders were made during the workshop and placed around the zoo. Soon after, they were frequently visited by tits, nuthatches and sparrows, thus, delivering an educational and inspiring message to passersby.
  • ‘Tadpole kindergarden’ – After listening to a short lecture and watching an educational video on the specifics of breeding endangered amphibian species in the zoo, the visitors made containers for poison dart frog tadpoles from plastic bottles. When making tadpole containers, people asked many questions about the amphibian lifestyle, tadpole development, the threats amphibians face in the wild and the role of zoos in breeding the endangered species.
  • ‘Bottle window farm’ – you can create containers out of PET bottles and use it to grow grow salad, rucola and parsley. Among the particpants a discussion started about healthy lifestyle and the importance of healthy food for both animals and people.

Riga Zoo also collaborated with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Miljo Papers on spreading the ideas of the Pole to Pole Campaign:

  • Zoo visitors were invited by the WWF to participate in the educational workshop ‘Living a Climate Friendly Lifestyle’ by estimating the impact of their lifestyle on the environment. In Latvia, a person creates on average 5.14 tonnes of CO2 per year, which almost doubles the GHG emission limit of 3 tonnes of CO2e per year per person. By participating in the workshop visitors were made aware of their carbon footprint and what they can do to lower it.


  • Miljō Papers organized the educational workshop ‘Paper from Paper’. In the workshop, paper was made from advertising leaflets and magazines found in letter boxes. Riga Zoo will use this paper to make reminder signs ‘Be a Friend – Pull the Plug!’ that are going to be placed around the zoo to encourage both zoo personnel and visitors to save energy.