Como’s “Party for the Planet” Goes Digital

Visit Como Friends on Facebook for Family Activities, Energy Conservation Tips and Fun Ways to Celebrate Earth Day This Week

Wednesday, April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a global event that shaped many of this generation’s most successful conservation efforts, from both the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, to protections for the earth’s most endangered species.

It’s a party Como Park Zoo and Conservatory would never miss, so while we’re social distancing, we’re doing it digitally.

In fact, this year’s “Party for the Planet,” sponsored by Xcel Energy, is a five-day social media event highlighting both Earth Day on April 22 and Arbor Day on April 24. Starting Wednesday at 10 a.m., Como Friends’ Facebook page will showcase a daily post featuring quick and curiosity-inspiring animal and plant talks from Como’s zookeepers and horticulturists, family learning and activity ideas from Como’s education specialists, and doable home conservation tips from Xcel Energy, long-time supporters of Como’s conservation-themed weekends.

“While we’re social-distancing and spending more time in our homes, now is a good time to take stock of your family’s energy use and look for simple ways to conserve energy” says John Marshall, Director of Community Relations for Xcel Energy. “Even through the challenges we all face today, it’s important to keep our commitments to a healthy environment. That’s why we’re happy to participate once again, in Como Park Zoo and Conservatory’s Party for the Planet. After nearly three decades in partnership, we are proud of the differences we can help our communities and customers make for the earth. Together our actions can reduce energy use and help the environment, too. It’s such an important message that we’re moving the Party online this season so everyone can participate and have some fun.”

Here’s a look at each day’s highlights, all of which include related energy-saving tips from the experts at Xcel Energy:

Wednesday, April 22, EARTH DAY
Tune in to Como Friends’ Facebook page to learn more about Como Zoo’s polar bears and their connection to Earth Day’s Climate Action theme for 2020. You’ll also find out how fur and blubber function as insulation in the arctic.

Thursday, April 23
Looking for more than 100 ways to conserve energy and help the planet? Visit the Como Friends’ Facebook Page for a special link to 101 tips from Xcel Energy.

Friday, April 24, ARBOR DAY
How do trees cut down on CO2? Find out more from a Como horticulturist coming to you from the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’s tree-lined North Garden. You’ll even learn how to turn recycled plastic into the perfect plant starter pot.

Saturday, April 25
Some of our smallest creatures are the first indicators of changes in the ecosystem. Discover the importance of Como’s leaf-cutter ants with a zookeeper conservation talk from the Tropical Encounters habitat, and learn how to make your own mason bee house for other beneficial bugs.

Sunday, April 26
See how Como’s gardens grow with sunlight, energy-efficient sodium lights and other greenhouse tips with a horticulturist from the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. Then try a solar-power experiment at home with ice cubes and colored paper.

Did You Know?

Planting trees is a powerful way to protect the planet and make your home more efficient. Here are some Arbor Day conservation tips from Xcel Energy:

Plant trees: Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of the cooling energy a typical household uses. Research shows that summer daytime air temperatures can be 3 to 6-degrees Fahrenheit cooler in tree-shaded neighborhoods than in areas without trees.

Save in the shade: Position trees and shrubs to shade your air conditioner unit, helping it run up to 10 percent more efficiently. Just be sure branches and leaves don’t restrict airflow.

Plant a windbreak: Windbreaks with evergreens, if correctly placed, can reduce annual home heating costs by 10- to 15 percent.

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