As this year winds down, many of us at National Aquarium are looking forward into the new year and thinking about the many ways we can make our lives and the lives of our families and communities healthier and happier!
Here are some of the resolutions we're starting 2014 off with:
- Ditch the bottled water: According to the International Bottled Water Association, more than 9.67 billion gallons of bottled water were sold in the United States in 2012. Unnecessary resources are consumed in the packaging, shipping, and disposal of this commodity. In early 2014, the Aquarium will be installing water fountains throughout our buildings that are designed to fill reusable water bottles. Concurrently, we will be eliminating the sale of bottled water on our campus. The next time you visit the Aquarium, bring your own water bottle and check it out!
- Eat local: We all know that buying food produced and harvested locally helps support our communities and significantly decreases the resources required to put food on our table. To help further support this effort, we are working with our catering partners to increase the amount of locally sourced options available in our cafes and through our catered events. In 2014, we will also be promoting local seafood through our sustainable seafood dinner series, Fresh Thoughts! There are many local produce and seafood options available in the area. Take a look and make a commitment to serve local food at your table in 2014.
- Recycle water: As an Aquarium, we obviously care deeply about water (quantity and quality). We understand the connection between healthy water and healthy communities and we take our commitment to clean water very seriously – both inside our building and out. Internally we are developing new processes to clean our exhibit water – allowing us to recycle greater amounts of water throughout our buildings. By doing our part to clean the water before it filters to the harbor, we are helping to improve the water quality for the human and animal communities that depend on it.
- Plant a tree (or a wetland, or a sand dune): For more than a decade, the National Aquarium has helped restore more than 190 acres of native habitat in the region. More than 13,000 volunteers have joined us in providing habitat for local or migrating aquatic, terrestrial and avian species. Together we have planted more than 1.7 million native trees, grasses and shrubs. In 2014, we are committed to significantly adding to that number. Join us. Invite your friends and family to volunteer at one of our events and together we can make a difference.
We know there is more to be done, but by committing to these steps in 2014, we hope to build on our commitment to improving the health of our blue planet. Care to join us?