Blog: Carlita the Croc

Souvenirs for a Cause at Brookfield Zoo

Souvenirs: Who doesn’t love that little memento to commemorate a special day, visit, or occasion? Some souvenirs are iconic – think Mold-A-Rama, mouse ears, or the ever-popular shot glass. Some souvenirs do more than represent a memory of a good time. Some souvenirs, like many at Brookfield Zoo, can make the world a better place.

The wonderful staff who research and purchase the items that are sold in Brookfield Zoo’s gift shops are always on the lookout for gifts that do double duty. That is, gifts that are kind to the environment or companies that give back to conservation. These souvenirs can be found throughout all our gift shops and I’m going to tell you about some of them right now.

candels at Brookfield Zoo

Swan Creek Candles are American-made in the magical land of Ohio, which means a lower carbon footprint when shipping to us in Chicagoland. They are made from soybean wax, which is sustainable and renewable without chemicals or additives. The only improvement I would make is expanding the variety of scents to include ones such as “eau de fish” or “water-soaked foliage.”

The pictured mugs are from a company called Tree-Free Greetings. Their production is 100% solar powered (yay clean energy!) and the greeting cards they also make are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper made mostly of reclaimed wheat straw.

Organic grizzly blend coffee at Brookfield Zoo

You like coffee? You like grizzly bears? If you said yes to both, then pick up a bag of Organic Grizzly Blend on your next trip to the zoo. The makers of this coffee, Montana Coffee Traders, have committed to donating a percentage of each pound of coffee sold directly to Vital Ground Foundation, whose mission “is to protect and restore North America’s grizzly bear populations for future generations by conserving wildlife habitat and by supporting programs that reduce conflicts between bears and humans.” Well that’s awfully nice of them!

Ramatex backpack at Brookfield Zoo

If you follow my blog and twitter account (@CandidCroc), you know I got a thing for water conservation and waste/plastic reduction. Therefore, if I wore clothing I’d be all over these products from Ramatex. They are garments and other products made from 100% recycled fibers. If you know anything about the textile industry, you know that it is a pretty water-intensive process, so recycling fibers is a great thing. I’m a committed nudist, but you humans should invest in this conservation product.

ef-ivory at Brookfield Zoo

For all your creativity and innovation, I sometimes wonder why humans still use products that are harmful to themselves or others. Case in point: ivory. There are other materials out there that resemble the texture and color of ivory, such as the Tagua Nut. So ef*ivory (elephant friendly) has created beautiful jewelry made from this renewable resource. The hope is that products made from the Tagua Nut will lessen the need for elephant ivory.  Pretty clever, ya’ll.

The next time you’re at Brookfield Zoo and on the lookout for a great souvenir, look for one of the items above. You can rest assured that your thoughtful, conservation-friendly gift will fill you and others with the warm-fuzzies!

Posted: 3/6/2018 11:32:02 AM by Steve Pine

Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.


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