Welcome to the Emerald City. Our award-winning sustainability efforts are a testament to Seattle's national green leadership.



As a zoo, we have a special responsibility to continually improve our environmental stewardship. The zoo’s Sustainability Plan provides a roadmap for environmental stewardship that decreases our resource use even as zoo attendance grows. Our success in increasing green infrastructure is thanks to our public partners, the Seattle Park District investment, and the caring, environmentally savvy behavior of our staff, volunteers and guests.


Zoo Doo® Compost

Woodland Park Zoo began this composting program in 1985 as a resource conservation program and as a way for the zoo to save money on disposal fees. Now the program composts some 780 tons of animal waste per year from our herbivorous animals that would be otherwise dumped into the landfill at an annual expense of more than $110,000. Zoo Doo recycles manure and bedding materials from the zoo’s non-primate herbivores and turns it into approximately 1,000 cubic yards of the most exotic compost in the Northwest.

Woodland Park Zoo Doo is available at the ZooStore year round and available in bulk during twice annual Fecal Fests.

See how Zoo Doo is made

Green Team

The Green Team is a multi-disciplinary group of zoo employees who pursue, promote and encourage sustainable daily practices at Woodland Park Zoo.

Carbon Emissions

The zoo has joined with other Seattle area employers in pledging to reduce emissions to meet or beat the reduction targets of the Kyoto Protocol.



The zoo is one of the first organizations to join the new EnviroStars, an expanded program that brings together green business initiatives from around the region under one umbrella. As an EnviroStars Champion, the zoo is recognized for taking sustainable actions through saving energy and water, reducing waste and pollution, choosing safer products and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.



In 2014, Woodland Park Zoo, the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) and Seattle City Light partnered with Community Solar on Phinney Ridge, to bring to life a community solar project. The project produces approximately 75,000 kWh of energy from solar panels installed on building roofs at the zoo and PNA, making it the largest community solar project in Washington state. City Light customers participated in the program by purchasing energy from the solar-modules and receiving annual credits for the amount of energy generated by their units. 

Solar at the Zoo

As part of the Community Solar project, new solar panels were installed on the roofs of the zoo’s Rain Forest Food Pavilion and the Commissary building, with installed capacity of 16kW and 44kW of solar power, respectively.


Solar energy isn’t new for the zoo—in 2011, solar panels were installed on our Historic Carousel, providing enough renewable energy to power the carousel all year long. That’s 100,000 rides worth of power! Even our parking meters feature small solar panels.

This community project marked an exciting next step towards the zoo’s sustainability goal to reduce carbon use by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. Together with our community, this project brings us closer to meeting our ambitious yet attainable, mission-driven goal for a more sustainable future.

To learn more about the project, browse the following FAQs or visit Seattle City Light’s Community Solar webpage.