Action 256: Take your family to the zoo

london zoo entranceDate: 13 September
Action: 256
Cost of taking action: £/$/€ VARIES


Zoos are increasingly educational centres for conservation and far less controversial than a few years ago

Todays action is another fun one for the family – plan a day out at the zoo, including children.

In the UK (where is based) and many other countries, zoos are important educational hubs, sites for scientific research, and centres for conservation work. However, we do know that in some countries there are zoos that are still run as exploitative shows, although pressure is being brought to bear for this to end. So choose the zoo or wildlife park that you support carefully.

By taking a trip to a respected zoo, you will be:

  • contributing to the support of very important conservation work
  • educating your family, especially children, about our ecosystems
  • inspiring the next generation of environmental activists and scientists

What to do

Start by checking out the options near to you or within easy travel distance, ideally by rail. Train is better in terms of carbon emissions and kids love train travel, it adds to their day out.

Most zoos will give you an option to pre-book tickets online, which can help you avoid the queues.

The major zoos all have excellent websites – for example London Zoo.

Try and plan things so you have a whole day on site, there is often loads to see and learn, although you will also need to budget for eating on site (or take a picnic).

Zoos are stimulating, wonderful places for children to learn.

Why is this listed here as an environmentally friendly action?

If we are to care for our planet, and if we expect our children to do the same, we all need to understand it.

Learning about our different eco-systems and environments is really important. Zoos with scientific interest and conservation programmes are brilliant places for children to learn, either explicitly, or just by absorbing what is happening around them.

Not only can we all learn something, we can use these experiences to inspire and stimulate the environmentalists, biologists, and ecologists of the future.

We need to inspire and inform the decision-makers of the future too – our future global leaders and influencers. Imagine if every politician making decisions about our lives had an understanding of the fragility of our planet. Things could be very different.

In addition to this most important point, by buying tickets to a major conservation zoo your money will also be directly supporting work to protect our threatened species and improve our understanding of the world.

Take action

When considering your next family day out, please take the opportunity to learn, and to educate and inspire your children or other youngsters. Visit a respected zoo or wildlife park – ideally one with a conservation programme you can learn about and support.