All the fun with a lot less plastic: the Seattle Aquarium gift shop

Here at the Seattle Aquarium, we’re committed to sustainability—which means adopting green practices in our facility, sharing what we’re doing with our visitors, and promoting sustainable choices in the community at large.

Since “walking the talk” on sustainability is so important to us, we’re extra grateful that our commitment is shared by the Event Network, the company we partner with to run our gift shop.

You may be surprised to learn that the helpful folks staffing the Aquarium gift shop aren’t actually employed* by the Seattle Aquarium—which is a great compliment to Event Network for providing what is truly a seamless experience, and a range of products that are reflective of the Aquarium’s mission: Inspiring Conservation of our Marine Environment.

Event Network goes above and beyond to ensure that shoppers can feel good about the environmental impact of the items they buy to commemorate their Aquarium visits. Everyone can shop happily knowing their purchases support our mission!

Display at gift shop with reusable water bottles
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One way that Event Network has been demonstrating their commitment to sustainability in the Aquarium gift shop is around the issue of single-use plastics. It’s no secret that plastic pollution in the ocean is a big issue. Over 90 percent of plastic waste never gets recycled, and this plastic accounts for 92 percent of all marine debris!

Event Network aims to reduce plastic pollution in a variety of ways. For instance, they choose to work with vendors who use little or no plastic in their packaging—and were recently able to reduce plastic packaging for all toys by 80 percent, saving the equivalent of 7,500 plastic bottles!

Plus, instead of single-use bottles that could end up as marine debris, our gift shop sells water in sustainable cardboard cartons, as well as a variety of reusable metal bottles. Also available are products made entirely from recycled materials and t-shirts made partially from recycled plastic bottles!

And, when it’s time to carry all those amazing, environmentally friendly purchases home, the gift shop has shoppers covered with reusable bags that are as cute as they are sustainable.

Our hope is that our commitment to sustainability will be an inspiration to everyone who visits the Aquarium. We’re proud of the important efforts made in our gift shop and their plan to reduce environmental impact even further—with a goal of being 100 percent single-use-plastic-free by 2021!

Make sure to stop by the gift shop on your next visit to the Aquarium to check out their growing assortment of products that contribute to our shared sustainability commitment.

*Fun fact: many gift shop staff members are Seattle Aquarium volunteers!

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