Carolyn Jess Talks Earth Day & Arbor Day

We have invited Carolyn Jess back to help us out as guest blogger in 2013 with a focus on native wildlife. Jess is a 12 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

Happy Earth and Arbor Day!  As you think of ideas to help our environment and conserve resources, here is another way to help that you may not have thought of:  Action for Apes Challenge.  Several Houston Area schools and organizations are taking part in this great service learning program by encouraging their friends and family to recycle used cell phones.  It’s important to recycle your used cell phones because they contain a mineral called coltan.  Coltan is destructively mined in the African Congo where the chimpanzees and gorilla habitats are.  If we can recycle used cell phones, cameras, and laptop computers, less of the mineral is needed from this important wildlife area.  More coltan recycled means less mining of coltan in the Congo.

You can also help by keeping your cell phone for as long as possible or even buying a refurbished phone.  If you would like to recycle your old cell phones, the Houston Zoo or area schools competing in the challenge will take them.  The school that has the most cell phones collected wins a great prize!  It is a hand painted picture by the Houston Zoo’s chimps.  Really though, everyone comes out a winner.  When we can make people aware of the need to recycle, the real challenge has been met.  You can make a difference to the chimps and gorillas in the Congo.  Recycle your old phones today.

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