News : Green Tips: Granite State Zoo

Jun 17, 2013

 This week's Green Tips come from Granite State Zoo in Madbury.

1. Grow native. When planting a summer garden, try to use plant species that live naturally in New England. Native plants such as bergamot or evening primrose really stand out in a garden of wildflowers, and decorative grasses such as little bluestem make excellent border areas for landscaping.

2. Graze locally. At the Granite State Zoo, we add variety to our wildlife ambassadors' diets by growing some of our own produce (including delicious grasses for our tortoises), and by buying locally farmed products whenever we can. This helps to reduce how much energy we use for transporting the food to our animals.

3. Cool off in the shade. By closing the curtains on hot days, you can reduce how much heat gets trapped in your house from the sun. If you use curtains that allow some airflow, you can leave the windows open to still let in some of that summer breeze.

4. Don't let 'em bug you. As anyone living in Granite State knows, spring and summertime are rife with bugs. Instead of using harmful pesticides, build bat boxes. Putting bat boxes up around your outdoor spaces will encourage these wonderful (and harmless) animals to make a home in your back yard and a meal out of your mosquitoes.

5. Reach out to a reptile. Every year, reptiles and amphibians across New England embark on a perilous voyage to find food, mates, and places to safely lay their eggs. Please drive carefully, especially on roads near ponds and streams or right after a rainstorm. If you see a turtle, salamander or other cold-blooded friend trying to cross the road, and you can safely do so, give them a hand to the side they were headed toward to be sure they can get on with their important work in the wild.

For more information on Granite State Zoo, visit www.granitestatezoo.org. For more green tips, visit www.greenalliance.biz or Green Alliance blog at www.seacoastonline.com.