Honolulu Zoo goes green

Published: May. 27, 2009 at 10:41 PM HST|Updated: May. 28, 2009 at 1:29 PM HST
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Rus Murakami
Rus Murakami

By Kristine Uyeno - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The Honolulu Zoo is sending a strong message.

They're joining the fight, to help save the environment and they're doing it in places, you might not think of.

"Right now the plates are made of sugarcane and the the forks and cups are made out of corn starch," said Rus Murakami with the Service Systems Associates.

Unlike styrofoam, sugarcane biodegrades within three months and corn starch, within six months.

"We decided to go with bamboo versus wooden chopsticks because bamboo will continue to grow. They do not have to cut down the whole tree," said Murakami.

Even the napkins are recycled and a sign, helps to spread the word.

"I've noticed children come up and they can read the sign. The other day, the mom grabbed a whole bunch of napkins and the kid said 'mom, look,' " said Murakami.

On Earth Day, the zoo served flavored water instead of bottled drinks.

The gift shop also features recycled products. Some t-shirts are made of a 70% bamboo blend. How about "pooh paper" created from elephant dung and rice paddy? Or bracelets made out of shredded paper and old candy wrappers?

"It ties in with our mission for here at the Honolulu Zoo as far as being more sustainable. Trying to promote local products as well, so all our herbs here that we use in the kitchen are grown on the grounds," said Murakami.

Zoo officials are trying to do their part, to reduce their environmental footprint.