Sustainability is an important focus for all our operations and programs, both internally and externally. We work to ensure sustainability operationally, environmentally, and financially, and not at the expense of one community over the benefit of another. Continue reading to find out how we’re reducing our environmental footprint and what you can do to help.

Seattle Aquarium with rooftop solar panels
Reducing energy use

Since 2012, we’ve reduced our energy usage by 11% (as of December 2018). We’ve done this by installing solar panels, more efficient fans and LED lighting to decrease our electricity usage, and installing a solar hot water heater, efficient boilers and new furnaces to reduce our natural gas usage. We also provide our staff and volunteers with public transit passes to reduce the energy we use for transportation.

Freshwater stream
Decreasing freshwater usage

Since 2012, we’ve reduced our freshwater usage by 35% (as of December 2018). We’ve done this by using water-efficient appliances, replacing our air handlers with more efficient models and installing dual-flush toilets in most of our restrooms.

Compostable straws

We now divert 64% of our waste from the landfill by recycling and composting. We’ve done this by eliminating plastic bags and paper tickets; composting all our human and animal food waste; shifting to compostable utensils, straws, cups and lids; and eliminating single-use plastic containers almost entirely in our café.

Seattle Aquarium's cafe

We have partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program since 2006. Our concessions partner Sodexo and our life sciences team have been serving sustainable seafood to our guests and the animals in our care since 2007. We’ve also moved to serving only seafood listed as Seafood Watch “Best Choices” and are moving toward sourcing 80% of our produce locally.

Seattle Aquarium's gift store

We buy and use products made from 70–100% post-consumer recycled content, like paper towels, toilet paper and printer paper. In partnership with Event Network, our gift shop concession, we’ve sold reusable water bottles and bags for over a decade. Our gift shop also sells reusable steel straws, t-shirts and toys made from recycled plastic bottles, and many items in plastic-free packaging. By 2021, our gift shop aims to be 100% single-use-plastic free!

Teens clean plastic off the beach