How To Promote Ethical Consumerism At Your Zoo
Ethical consumerism is all about making ethical decisions by prioritizing goods and services that are ethically made, sourced, and distributed. It’s a way for consumers to vote with their dollars. When consumers engage in ethical consumerism, it forces companies to reconsider their business practices.
Corporate social responsibility, from an organization’s standpoint, often looks like paying a fair living wage to their workers, abiding by environmental and internationally regulated guidelines, and being complicit in child labor or other unfair labor practices overseas.
For zoos, this has more to do with how to handle and care for animals as well as the primary initiatives that zoos are on board with.
Below we’ll look at everything you need to know about how to promote ethical consumerism at your zoo.
How to practice ethical consumerism
Practicing ethical consumerism is all about establishing values and making sure your buying habits are in line with those values. Here are a few things that customers tend to prioritize as ethical consumers:
- Environmental sustainability – Consumers want products that have less plastic, leave a smaller carbon footprint, and that fit into the sustainability cycle in a meaningful and impactful way.
- Fairtrade – Fairtrade aims to ensure better prices, working conditions, sustainability, and equitability to local businesses and farmers, particularly among developing countries.
- Rainforest Alliance Certifications – The Rainforest Alliance works toward making businesses more responsible and accountable in their effects on the rainforest. The alliance works to the betterment of farmers and forest communities.
- Buying locally – Choosing family businesses and local businesses is one way consumers vote against some of the monopolization taking place with larger companies and tech giants.
- Dietary sustainability – People care not only about where their food comes from, but how it’s processed and the resources required to produce, manufacture, and distribute those foods.
Below we’ll look at how zoos can integrate some of these values into their organization’s structure.
How zoos can promote using values
There are several ways that zoos can promote ethical consumerism standards with their business and managing decisions.
When zoos buy and sell fair trade products, for example, they’re making a statement about the values they share when it comes to supporting farmers, local workers, and equitable wages and working conditions.
On top of ensuring that the products they sell promote fair trade values, zoos can also do better to guarantee that their animals are cared for properly. The five freedoms of animal welfare are defined as:
- Freedom from hunger or thirst
- This freedom means that animals have clean drinking water at all times and an appropriate diet relative to an animal’s species
- Freedom from discomfort
- This essentially is about climate and living conditions. Are animals properly sheltered from rain, snow, or other weather conditions? Are they kept in the right climate for their species?
- Freedom from pain, injury, or disease
- All animals should be provided proper medical care. Zoo animals are often acquired from wildlife rehabilitation centers, and some of them will come with injuries or ailments that zoos should be ready to care for.
- Freedom to express normal behavior
- Despite being held in zoo enclosures, zoo animals should be in environments that allow them to express their normal behavior. This means enclosures that simulate the physical and psychological that an animal is native to.
- Freedom from fear or distress
- Zoos need to be careful in not mentally disturbing their animals. Solitary animals should not be left in overcrowded enclosures, and, similarly, socially active species should not be isolated. If possible, the layout of the zoo should also help to ensure that predators aren’t immediately within the vicinity of their prey.
Common initiatives zoos use to promote ethical consumerism
Zoo animals come from all over the world, and zoos are often involved with global initiatives that affect the habitats from which their animals come from.
Some common zoo initiates that zoos support to prompt ethical consumerism include:
- Global warming
- Reducing pollution and carbon footprint
- Preventing animal cruelty
- Supporting local farmers in developing countries
- Local initiatives within their city
By taking the time to get involved with global and local initiatives, you’re sending a direct message to your visitors about the kind of zoo you’re running and the values that you believe in.
ACME has everything you need
When you share common values with visitors who care about ethical consumerism, you can expect to grow your visitors and members. This is when having a robust ticketing system, like ACME, can help you manage your tickets, members, and donations.
ACME’s advanced, cloud-based technology makes it easy to track and trace your visitors’ activity, giving you all the information you need to reach more guests and appeal to their interest.
Try the demo today to see how ACME can help.