From Zoo to You

Annually, we invite the local community and surrounding areas to join us in celebrating Earth Day at Lee Richardson Zoo! The event normally attracts nearly 1,000 guests, including students from not only Garden City, but many schools from other districts. The day is full of earth-friendly fun as community exhibitors share how their organization helps keep our Earth healthy as take-home crafts, games, keeper chats, and more.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration which took place in 1970. While our guests and students are staying safe at home, we will continue to invite everyone to celebrate our planet by joining us for Earth Day fun online! Throughout the week, we’ll be posting a variety of content featuring volunteers and zoo staff performing earth-friendly activities that most anyone can do at home such as birding, recycling, and more.

Our Facebook followers can become “Conservation Heroes” by donating to the Snow Leopard Trust fundraiser we’ve started on our page. Last year’s Earth Day students donated $120 to the conservation organization Frog Watch.  Our goal is to double this amount for snow leopards this year.

In honor of the 50th anniversary, here are 50 ways to help our planet that most anyone can do:

- Walk or bike instead of driving.

- Recycle plastic.

- Water your lawn at a cooler time of day.

- Wait to do laundry until you have a full load.

- Recycle newspapers.

- Carpool.

- Use reusable water bottles.

- Shower instead of taking a bath.

- Plant a tree.

- Buy second hand or gently used items instead of buying new.

- Buy local.

- Turn off the lights when you leave a room.

- Recycle your old cell phones.

- Use reusable shopping bags.

- Skip the plastic straw.

- Don’t litter.

- Opt for online bill paying instead of paper.

- Use rechargeable batteries.

- Recycle glass.

- Choose digital bank statements instead of paper.

- Donate your used items instead of throwing them out.

- Use paper matches instead of lighters.

- Recycle aluminum.

- Take shorter showers.

- Maintain your vehicle regularly.

- Plant native flowers in your garden to support pollinators and use less water.

- Use reusable coffee mugs.

- Save energy by being wise with your thermostat adjustment.

- Use cruise control to save gas.

- Turn the tap off while you brush your teeth.

- Use less packaging by eating at home instead of fast food.

- Print on both sides of the paper.

- Email instead of paper notes.

- Eat vegetarian once a week.

- Turn your computer off when you’re finished.

- Switch to energy efficient light bulbs.

- Use a clothesline to hang dry clothes.

- Re-use gift wrap, bags, and bows, or make your own.

- Skip the plastic coffee stirrers.

- Compost at home.

- Grow your own food in a garden.

- Avoid individually wrapped packaged items.

- Invest in energy saving curtains.

- Check for leaks in your plumbing.

- Unplug electronics while not using.

- Fill dish washing machines full before use.

- Choose items such as paper, that are made from recycled material.

- Avoid Styrofoam.

- Spend time out in nature.

- Share your earth-friendly actions with others.

While our world may look a bit different right now, it’s still important that we help our planet by choosing earth-friendly options, after all, we only get one. For more information on our digital Earth Day offerings please email us at or call 620-276-1250. Happy Earth Day!

Emily Sexson is a conservation education manager at Lee Richardson Zoo.