As a comprehensive nature center, Schlitz Audubon strives to make its daily operations as nature-friendly as possible. This means working toward sustainability in all that we do. To accomplish this, we have a sustainability committee that explores the many pathways toward environmentally responsible practices.
Water Refilling Station
When you visit the Great Hall at the Center, you may notice a couple of features built right into the building. One recommendation that recently came from the sustainability committee is a water bottle refilling station. It allows visitors and staff to refill their reusable bottle with clean water. Our visitors were also interested in this project, and graciously donated to make it a reality. Installation took place in the summer of 2017. The station saves a lot of plastic from entering the waste stream, and potentially our waterways. Between the two water filling stations at the Center, we have saved approximately 20,000 water bottles from going to a landfill.
Our water filling station gets the most use during our busy summer season and offers us a great opportunity to teach campers about reducing plastic bottle waste.
Composting at the Center
If you’ve used the water refilling station next to the Great Hall, you may have seen our recycling and compost bins to the right of it near the video screen. Look at our new signage designed to educate people on how to use our composting station. It is good for both food waste as well as compostable paper products. Visitors can compost almost all of their food waste here, including cooked meat, dairy, grains, veggies, and fruit, as well as paper products. The only food that can’t be composted here is raw meat.
The center works with Compost Crusader to compost waste at this station and others; there are multiple bins, and employees have a compost bin in the breakroom as well. We even encourage our employees to bring their compostable products to work. We started working with Compost Crusader in June 2017, and have composted 15,775 pounds as of mid-March 2019.
Compostable Products, Birthday Parties, and Weddings
In addition to encouraging people to compost at the Center, our sustainability committee suggested we utilize compostable products at our complimentary coffee and tea station. So, we now offer compostable cups, lids, and stirrers. And if you’d like to host a greener birthday party, the Center offers compostable products included in the birthday party price. This includes plates, bowls, cups, forks, spoons, knives, and napkins.
Schlitz Audubon composts at weddings as well. Because of the size of these events, composting really helps our efforts toward environmental responsibility. Many of our wedding clientele appreciate our composting efforts. They feel good knowing they are helping us live out our mission, and the caterers love to see that all of the food waste is being turned into compost. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Finding ways to be sustainable is not easy. Schlitz Audubon is aiming to be as sustainable as we are able to. We hope you can take inspiration from our ideas and use them at home. Working together, we can make a difference!