Guest Blogger Carolyn Jess Talks Recycling Cell Phones

We have invited Carolyn Jess back to help us out as guest blogger in 2014 with a focus on native wildlife. Jess is a 13 year old student who has agreed to be our special guest blogger about wildlife conservation. We first met Carolyn in October 2011 when she came out to the Zoo to meet our special guest Jack Hannah. If you would like to contact Carolyn or have comments, you may send them to conservation@houstonzoo.org.

For the second year, my school is participating in the Action For Apes cell phone recycling challenge.  Schools and businesses are invited to take action and enter this competition.  The goal of the program is to recycle as many old cell phones as you can.  The top prize is a really cool painting done by the chimps here at the Houston Zoo.  Rasco Middle School, where I went to school last year, won the painting and it is still hanging up in the hallway.  That is great for Rasco, but now I need a chimp painting for the hallway at Lake Jackson Intermediate.  I am hoping my school will step up and accept this challenge.
action for apes

Whether my school wins or loses, the real winners are the chimps and apes that live in the African Congo.   That is where the mineral coltan is mined.  Coltan is the material in electronics that holds electric charges.  The coltan is really being mined hard on the boundary of the Kahuzi  Biega National Park.  There, the gorilla population has been cut in half due to the mining of coltan.  The forest there that was once lush and green is being torn down and dug up.  The amount of coltan that is being exported every year is increasing largely.

Coltan is mined kind of like gold was mined back in the 1800s.  Large holes are dug, layers of dirt are put into screens, and then water is added to wash away the small pieces.  What’s left are the chunks of coltan.

We can help though.  If we reduce the need for coltan by recycling our old phones and electronics, we reduce the amount of mining that needs to be done.  You can help reduce the need for mining coltan by joining the Action for Apes challenge.  Encourage your school or business to take part.  You can also take your old phones to the Houston Zoo to recycle.  (Or you can give them to me!) Even if my school does not win the painting, we have won part of this battle for the Congo by teaching people about this problem.  Be a hero and recycle your electronics today.



6 thoughts on “Guest Blogger Carolyn Jess Talks Recycling Cell Phones

  1. Carolyn, You are such a great mover and shaker! You do a wonderful job of inspiring others to do righteous things without laying on the guilt. Keep up the great work!
    Mrs. Brown

  2. Hi Carolyn –
    I was not aware that the making of cell phones was doing so much damage to our forests! I am very bothered by this and will definitely be recycling my old cell phones from now on. Your blog and this information has definitely impacted me and I am sure it will many others as well. I am going to tweet your blog link out so others will know about this and hopefully more people will start recycling phones. Of course, I would also love to see that picture at LJI! You are making a big difference so keep it up!!
    Dr. H

  3. I am so proud of our Chimp painting hanging in the halls of Rasco Middle School and really hope you can get one for LJI. Not just for how it looks, but for what it stands for…actions to protect and care for our planet. Keep it up! I am proud of YOU!

  4. This is really an interesting article. I had no idea this was happening. I’m afraid that many people are not aware of this. I think if more people were aware of what is happening to make electronics, then more people would start recycling their old electronics. I like how you spread the word through schools and your blog. You are doing an awesome job! Keep up the good work!!

  5. Carolyn,
    You have inspired me to take action! You are such a wonderful role model and I applaud you for bringing this issue to so many people’s attention. Keep it up!
    Stephanie Jansky

  6. What an interesting article. You are doing an amazing job informing us on these important issues. Keep up the great work!

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Baby Giraffe at the Zoo!
We are proud to announce the birth of a female Masai giraffe! After a 3-hour-long labor, both first-time mom Asali and the yet-to-be-named calf are doing well and are currently bonding behind the scenes with keeper and veterinary teams watching over the pair.

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Julian FennessyCongrats from all of us at Giraffe Conservation Foundation!

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Rachel Allene Adeline HodgeOh my gosh, this face 💕

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Charlotte Sullivan DickermanPlease protect her, our Dallas zoo baby giraffe has died from injury to herself recently

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Thelma LloydHouston Zoo is well planned lovely and spacious Jayne took me there last year to see two new arrivals a baby elephant and a cute giraffe who we fed with large lettuce leaves !!

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Bernard MarinoI was at the zoo this past Monday & the giraffe housing was very nice. Gigi would be A great name for her.

9 hours ago   ·  6
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Cathy Rapski DuganCongratulations to everyone at the Houston Zoo on the birth of this beautiful little girl. Can't wait to see her on the cams in the yard.

8 hours ago   ·  4
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Charlie DickeyWhen giraffe babies are born they drop 6 ft to the ground. What a giant first step that is. Welcome to the world tall baby

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Alyson QuintanaSo cute!!!! Mama had it easy with a 3 hour labor lol

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Samantha RodriguezLeila Orta new baby giraffe we need another trip to the zoo to go see!!!

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Geraldine CarranzaMario Cabrera baby we have to go the zoo now! I want to see this cute baby giraffe!

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Lili SchulzDavid, a new baby giraffe! I think they should name her Daisy (as in Duck)! 😂 And she's welcome to roam the streets of The Heights!

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Sandi McConnell KerthSo pretty. I need to visit the zoo soon! Houston Zoo is great!!

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Casey McaninchThat's amazing love this cute baby and the zoo

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Maria SzczepaniakKatie, another baby animal born at the zoo!

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Yesenia CampaBabe we need to go see the baby and take the girls Angel Ponce

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Hanna Uhrova-WardCongratulations to the new mommy! Beautiful baby, for sure!

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Karen Purse PattersonWhat a beautiful animal. Congrats mom and the zoo.

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Abbey LewellynAw I will have to take my daughter to see it! She loves animals and baby animals especially! Congrats to mom and zoo staff!

12 hours ago
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Deborah Pennington GriffithCongrats!! She is beautiful. so glad to have seen the very beginnings of the labor in the yard. A new baby is awesome and they are both well cared for by all their keepers. Cannot wait to come see daughter in Houston and visit the new baby girl.

9 hours ago
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Jessica SueBaby giraffe!!!!!! Time to go to ze zoooooo!! Sam Schultz

12 hours ago   ·  1

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Katherine LevittBryony would be a lovely name for her. She had such a sweet face and gorgeous brown eyes x

11 hours ago
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Angela Brown CollinsThat's a nice labor and delivery!! I'm jealous of momma giraffe! Can't wait to feed her someday.

12 hours ago   ·  1
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Kelly McGeeBaby Giraffes are the cutest!

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Sara BalkanliLisa mommyyyyy a baby giraffe!!! :D <3

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Melissa Soileau HodlikMy twin grandbabies love the Zoo, but the Giraffes are their most favorite animal by far! Feeding them is so special for the two of them, their Mom and me!

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UPDATE 9/2/15: VIP Tickets are now sold out!

Tickets for Feast with the Beasts Presented by Revention go on sale at midnight! During our pre-sale from 9/2-9/16, you can save $10 off general admission by using the code FEASTPS.

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Sheryl MillsAre VIP already sold out or is the link not working?

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Jeana SublettVIP link is not working --- cetainly all tickets can;t be gone.

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Nancy RiveraAlma Auth

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Jordan N Sarah HalasI'm a zoo member and I never received an email about this. Not happy!

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Jeff CeynarI am glad I got mine before being sold out.

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Hank GriffithGot my 2 VIP tickets at 5:30a this morning.

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In honor of the Chinese animal zodiac, we’re celebrating the Year of the Goat and featuring a goat in our Children's Zoo each month. This month, our keepers write about male goat, Jack, and how guests often mistake him for being pregnant.

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2 days ago

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Holly StephensJack is my and my 3 year olds favorite goat. He's so sweet!

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Liz MorenoHouston Zoo please post a different goat each day. Thanks.

23 hours ago
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Dorothy FabriguzePretty little guy, I am a Capicorn so the goat is my sign animal.

8 hours ago
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Lori CainJack always comes and tells me hello when I am in the yard. Such a sweet guy!

3 hours ago
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Wilfredo J PenateI know that goat!

1 day ago
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Vicente Gonzalez

2 days ago   ·  2
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Ashli HernandezIt's okay. People sometimes mistake me for being pregnant too. We're working on it! 😉

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Mary FingerI love goats! <3

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Briana MonakinoWas just there a few days ago and snapped a pic of this little cutie ♡

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Keri Hanna DeanMy girls LOVE Jack!

22 hours ago
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Isaac MartinezLeann its jack!!!

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Christina Fezatte-ThibodauxPoor Jack. He's just a tad bit chubby. Poor guy being mistaken for being pregnant. :)

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