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Looking to visit Butterfly Pavilion during the week? Come in after 1:00 p.m. for a quieter experience!

Sustainability at Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion is committed to leading natural resource conservation in Colorado and beyond. We aim to showcase a deliberate and thoughtful approach to utilizing energy and other natural resources and to share our methodologies and practices with the community. Our goal is to ignite a sense of stewardship at the local, national, and global levels

In 2020, Butterfly Pavilion attained Silver Level status in Colorado’s Environmental Leadership Program, which signifies that we go above and beyond to meet environmental regulations and cultivate sustainability in Colorado. Butterfly Pavilion also participates in the City of Westminster’s SAGE (Save. Act. Grow. Earn) sustainable business program that helps local businesses incorporate sustainability practices.

SAGE Business                         

In 2023, we maintained our Silver Level certification from the Colorado Green Business Network. This signifies that Butterfly Pavilion integrates sustainability into its organizational practices and policy decisions.

Colorado Green Business Network | Department of Public Health & Environment

How are we growing our commitment to the planet?

Administration 

  • Participating in community events such as Bike to Work Day and the Great Global Cleanup.
  • Setting targets and conducting regular sustainability audits to ensure that we are making progress in saving resources and minimizing waste.
  • Diverting over half of our waste to composting and recycling.
  • Being flexible about remote work and virtual meetings helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Virtual meeting options and the new telework policy reduces emissions from commuting and traveling. All departments track mileage for projects, programs, and operations.

Education 

  • Providing training sessions for education team members on sustainable initiatives and fostering ongoing discussions about sustainability through conversations, training sessions, and opportunities to participate in sustainable practices.
  • Incorporating sustainability-based initiatives such as Leave No Trace, an initiative to keep the outdoors trash free.
  • Promoting sustainability-based messaging in daily floor programming and exhibit components.

Horticulture 

  • Landscaping with native plants to save water and support biodiversity.
  • Re-using and upcycling items instead of throwing them away.
  • Following a formal management plan for each noxious weed species on the grounds.
  • Cultivating community partnerships resulting in more pollinator habitat in Colorado and beyond.

Operations 

  • Diverting over half of our waste to recycling and composting.
  • Increasing natural light throughout the facility not only reduces energy use from lighting but also enhances our employees’ work environment and overall staff health.

Retail 

  • Ensuring our vendors and partners are like-minded and have socially and environmentally sound practices.
  • Building strong relationships with local vendors to reduce impacts from transportation

Vendors we partner with to offer sustainable products:

    • Women of the Cloud Forest; Fair Trade, made by Women in Guatemala
    • Aurora and Wild Republic; plush made from 100% recycled content
    • dZi Handmade; Fair Trade
    • Pichincha; Fair Trade
    • WorldBuyers; Fair Trade and products made from recycled materials
  • Continuing our commitment to reducing packaging waste by using recycled/ recyclable materials such as EcoEnclose in online shops.

How the Little Things Impact Packaging – Hive Brands

Recycling and Composting at Butterfly Pavilion 

  • Knowing what items can be recycled or composted instead of landfilled can be an empowering and easy way to practice sustainability daily. However, rules about what goes where can vary dramatically from place to place, even within the same city. At Butterfly Pavilion, we provide waste bins to facilitate easy recycling for guests and staff. Here are some general guidelines to help you make informed recycling decisions at our zoo and home!
  • Recycling– paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass, electronics (require special recycling, there is a box for dead batteries in Admin East), some plastics
  • Composting – vegetation and food (no paper products for us, but they are commonly accepted in other situations)
  • Landfill – everything else!

*waste bins at Butterfly Pavilion are labeled to make this easy!

How you can support sustainability!

Help:

  • Pollinators and save water by reducing or replacing turf with native, pollinator-friendly plants. Learn more here: https://butterflies.org/pollinator-awareness-through-conservation-education/
  • Rainforest invertebrates by recycling aluminum. Mining the raw material, bauxite, destroys rainforests in Australia, Brazil, and other tropical countries.
  • Night-flying insects by following International Dark-Sky Association lighting practices https://darksky.org/; use outdoor light strategically for safety.
  • beneficial invertebrates around our house and yard by avoiding chemical pesticide use. Investigate other methods for pest control, such as sanitation, traps, and biological controls. Learn more here: (I’ll have a downloadable resource in the next couple of months that we can link to here.)
  • All our invertebrate friends by advocating for habitat conservation – habitat loss stands as the primary driver of declining biodiversity.
  • Learn how you can get involved in local habitat restoration projects here: https://butterflies.org/urban-prairies-project/

Sustainability Resources 

Colorado Green Business Network: https://co.app.greenbiztracker.org/  

DarkSky International: https://darksky.org/  

Eco-Cycle: https://ecocycle.org/ 

Eco-Cycle Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM): https://ecocycle.org/services-and-facilities/charm/  

Resource Central: https://resourcecentral.org/  

Westminster Sustainability Center: https://www.westminsterco.gov/sustainabilitycenter