Scales and Tales

Reptile Gardens' Green Team - Recycle and Reuse

Here at Reptile Gardens, we learn a lot from our animal friends. For instance, did you know that many snake species lie absolutely motionless for long periods of time after a big meal? In large pythons it can be weeks! The snakes take a siesta, because energy is precious to cold-blooded animals, and they can conserve this energy by eliminating all unnecessary movement. We've taken this lesson to heart, and have organized a "Green Team" to identify ways to eliminate waste, and conserve resources around the Gardens.

Our Green Team, led by Assistant Manger Clint Hubbeling, has come up with a number of great ideas to conserve, such as: Reusing office paper by printing on both sides of the paper.

This simple idea has saved countless reams of paper. Embracing digital technology by converting our travel brochures and park information sheets to a digital .PDF document, we can respond to information requests much faster, and with zero paper usage. Implementing a recycling program for Guest and staff areas. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, and establishing a collection point for recycling old bulbs. We have converted to rechargeable batteries where possible, and recycle all used batteries. These simple changes are easy to start, and add up to real results over time.

Three times weekly we haul cardboard, metal, and plastic to the recycling station rather than put it in our dumpsters. This has cut number of times a week we need our 2 dumpsters emptied from 7 to 3. That is 8 fewer dumpster loads of material going into the landfill each week.

This summer, we started replacing all our paper towel dispensers with state of the art electric hand dryers. These dyers deliver a powerful jet of warmed air that quickly dries one's hands in as little as 10-15 seconds. While hand dryers may not seem too thrilling, consider the savings. No trees are required to be cut down, no milling or processing, no paper bleach, and no more shipping; these dryers are truly an effective and hygienic alternative to paper towels. Power usage is more than offset by the savings in paper products.

The Clint has also been busy identifying Green-seal certified cleaning products to replace some non-environmentally conscious products in use at Reptile Gardens. Our Guests will be pleased to learn that all foaming hand soap in the bathrooms is Green-seal certified, as is our floor cleaner. This means that the entire life cycle of these products has been evaluated, and proven to be environmentally conscious at every stage, from production to final disposal.

Our oldest resident, a giant tortoise named Methuselah, is even getting into the green-swing of things. Methuselah and his giant buddies prevent several hundred pounds of food waste from entering the landfill each year by gobbling up unsalable produce from local grocery stores. These fruits and vegetables are blemished and unsellable to humans, but make a nutritious addition to the tortoises diet. Methane gas, produced by the decay of organic material in a landfill, such as food waste, is a greenhouse gas that our tortoises prevent from entering the atmosphere, simply by eating lunch.

One thing is certain, Reptile Gardens is committed a greener future. We're always on the lookout for ways to improve our sustainability efforts and there are several exciting projects on the horizon. In the future, we hope to add a solar array to our roof to generate electricity, and convert our crocodilian pond heaters to solar hot water. As our Green Team has proven, even the smallest of changes toward conservation can make a big impact. You can start a Green Team of your own, by looking around your home, and making the small changes that lead to a big impact.

Written by: Ary DonOtter




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Sky Dome

Step inside the Sky Dome to experience a warm tropical climate while exploring our indoor jungle filled with exotic and unique flora and fauna. 

Rattlesnake Gulch

Try your hand at gemstone sluicing or go on a 3D safari. Our very own old west ghost town as numerous photo opportunities and activities to keep the kids entertained.

Cheyenne's Habitat

Cheyenne the bald eagle has been a permanent resident of Reptile Gardens for 11 years with permission of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Maniac's habitat

Maniac is our resident giant saltwater crocodile. At over 16 feet long and1,350pounds, he is one of the largest giant crocodiles in the western hemisphere. If you don't see him at his enclosure inside the SkyDome, make sure to check outside!

Prairie Dog Town

Get down to eye-level with these fuzzy little animals and see firsthand what life is like in a typical prairie dog town!

Methuselah's Playground

Methuselah was a giant Galapagos Tortoise weighing in at over 600 pounds, and a long time resident of Reptile Gardens. His memory lives on at this playground featuring a bronze statue of Methuselah himself. 

Snake Show stage

Get up-close-and-personal with our snake ambassadors in this family-friendly snake handling show.

Gator Show stage

Dozens of Alligators, Crocodiles, and Caimans and one keeper...what could go wrong? Separate fact from fiction in this educational, family-friendly show and get a chance to pet Fluffy, our baby gator!

Bird Show stage

Interact with birds from around the world at the Bird Show, where they love to show off their beauty and intelligence. 

Gift Shop

Carrying a wide variety of Reptile Gardens souvenirs as well as educational books for every age and a variety of stunning rocks, minerals, and fossils from all over the world.

Green Parrot Cafe

Hungry? Refuel with buffalo burgers, The Maniac burger, Black Mamba Shakes, Indian Tacos, and more!

Giant Tortoise

Don't miss this photo opportunity! Get up-close and personal with these friendly giants who love to have their neck scratched and are great with kids. 

Tortuga Falls

Take a stroll through this meditative garden, gaze into our turtle and koi pond, listen to the waterfalls, and don't miss Darwin the Kookaburra! 

Walking Garden

We're about more than just Reptiles! Our outdoor gardens are beauty to be seen as they change throughout the season and year after year. 

Living Wall

This vertical garden is a wall of color that grows and changes through the Summer season creating striking patterns and unique portraits as it grows. 

Pet A Python

Don't miss your chance to Pet a Python!  Our snake handlers ar here to talk about any questions or myths you've heard about snakes. Don't forget your camera! Our pythons are very photogenic and love to photos with you!