Conserve Natural Resources

Blue Wave LED

Working to Save
Irreplaceable
Essentials

Let face it, we're an aquarium. It takes a large amount of water and energy to sustain our animals and to heat and cool our buildings. Everything we can do to reduce our consumption of natural resources is important and can eventually add up to big savings.

Water

Of all natural resources, water is the most essential. But available supply is diminishing rapidly as human populations swell and inefficiently drain precious aquifers.

What we do at the Aquarium:

The old seal pool was a major attraction to Baltimore Inner Harbor visitors and the sight of the famous "swim" by then Mayor William Donald Schaefer on our opening day in 1981. When the seal pool was covered over to make room for the expansion in 2005, it was decided to use the space to collect rainwater from our roof to water the native plants on our Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Waterfront Plaza. The cistern was successfully connected to the park's sprinkler system. We estimate conservatively that we would use 40,000 gallons of collected water each season. Unless we have a severe drought, we will not have to use domestic water to irrigate the plaza area at all!

What you can do:

Install water-saving showerheads. You can save anywhere from 10–50 gallons of water for every 10 minutes spent in the shower. For every 1,000 of us who install faucet aerators and high-efficiency showerheads, we can save nearly 8 million gallons of water!

Use a rain barrel to collect water from your roof when it rains, and then use it to water your plants.

Lights

What we do at the Aquarium:

In 2011, we replaced the old halogen lamps in our famous bubble tubes with LED lamps that will reduce our energy consumption by 80–90%!

In 2010, we replaced the neon in the Aquarium's iconic blue wave on the side of the building with LED, which decreased energy consumption by 70%.

In areas that aren't used often, the Aquarium has installed motion sensors that turn off lights automatically when they're not needed.

Energy-thirsty incandescent bulbs in the Aquarium's office areas were replaced by energy-stingy compact fluorescent lighting.

The Aquarium participates in Earth Hour, an annual event that calls people and organizations to turn off their lights for an hour to call attention to world climate change.

What you can do:

Reducing your electricity usage benefits both the environment and your wallet. Save electricity by turning off lights when you leave a room and unplug appliances when not in use. Replace light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs; this easy switch will save you money and protect the environment.

Energy

What we do at the Aquarium:

Power-generating water valves are installed in Aquarium restrooms, which create and store power to operate these automatic valves, eliminating the need for batteries.

Water pumps that push the 2.2 million gallons of water through our exhibits have been installed with variable frequency drives to better regulate power supplied to the motors, potentially decreasing energy consumption by 50%.

What you can do:

Heating and cooling represents the biggest chunk of our home energy consumption. Just by turning the thermostat down a few degrees in the winter and up a few degrees in the summer, you can prevent the emission of nearly 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

Many energy companies are now offering a rate cut if you enroll in their energy-saving programs. Check with your energy provider to see if they offer this. Saving energy saves money!

Fossil Fuels

What we do at the Aquarium:

The Aquarium rewards staff members who embody its conservation ethos and conserve natural resources by walking, biking, carpooling, or taking mass transit to work.

When Zipcar, the national car-sharing program, arrived in Baltimore in 2011, fleet managers saw an opportunity. Zipcar is now used as an alternative transportation option to our vehicle fleet for professional trips. Car-sharing programs have a huge impact—by keeping fewer cars on the road, pollution and oil use is reduced.

What you can do:

Walk, carpool, or use public transportation. Sharing a ride just once or twice a month can have a tremendous impact. If every family in the United States uses one less gallon of gas per week, greenhouse gases will be reduced by 1 million tons.

Buy a fuel-efficient car. The average American driver will expend 5,600 less pounds of carbon monoxide gases per year by driving a car that gets at least 32 miles to the gallon.

National Aquarium members get $30 in driving credit when they join Zipcar!

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