Adelaide Zoo

140 ways to give back to nature

As a conservation charity celebrating its 140th year we want to make sure we celebrate our longevity by giving back to nature.

That’s why we’ve come up with 140 planet-loving things all the family can do over the year.

We’d love to know how you go with this list –  tag us in your social posts @AdelaideZoo on Facebook or @zoossa on Instagram using the  #140thingsAZ and we’ll share the best ones!

Download the checklist



40 ways to reduce, reuse and recycle

1. Reduce your consumption of single-use plastics
2. Go with one less takeaway coffee today and provide financial assistance to a conservation program
3. Make a sub-irrigated planter out of a used 2L soft drink container
4. Make a pair of binoculars from toilet rolls and spy something through them
5. Recycle 140 cans and bottles
6. Recycle your old mobile phone and accessories and hand them in at Adelaide Zoo
7. Upcycle plastic bags to make a bag/a rug/a coin purse
8. Donate to a charity (could be clothes, time or money)
9. Make recycled paper
10. Bring a mug to the office instead of using single use cups
11. Buy less

12. Buy local and/or grow some of your own food
13. Donate leftover paint to a local community project
14. Drink tap or filtered water, not bottled
15. Grow plants to give to friends instead of cutting flowers
16. Install solar
17. Insulate your home
18. Join a library instead of buying books
19. Leave flowers, even ‘weeds’, for pollinators
20. Love your leftovers
21. Make a compost heap to reduce waste
22. Never use single-use plastics
23. Only flush toilets if really needed; “If it’s yellow it’s mellow, if it’s brown flush it down!”
24. Pick up litter
25. Recycle your car oil
26. Plant a tree, plant dozens
27. Plant herbs and veggies

28. Reduce, reuse recycle. And as much of the first as possible
29. Remove a noxious weed
30. Wrap gifts in fabric and tie with ribbon or use old paper bags
31. Pick up 4 pieces of rubbish off the ground
32. Turn a used milk carton/bottle into a planter
33. Make your own wind chime using recycled materials
34. Install double or triple glazing
35. Use a washing line; tumble dryers suck up electricity
36. Use compact fluro or LED light bulbs
37. Use curtains to keep in more heat in winter and keep the house cooler in the summer
38. Use energy-efficient appliances
39. Cut up the plastic rings from packs of beer or better yet, don’t buy beer that uses them
40. Use food containers that can be reused

64 ways to protect, play and appreciate nature

1. Putting a bowl of water out in your yard for native wildlife
2. Put a stick or rock in your bowl of water to allow insects an escape route
3. Plant native plants and create mini-ecosystems in your back yard
4. Keep your cat inside. Cats (whether they are domesticated or feral) are responsible for 2 billion native animal deaths a year.
5. Build your own insect hotel
6. Look at the clouds and create a story about the shapes you see
7. Hug a tree
8. Read a book outdoors
9. Construct a collage with leaves from the ground
10. Listen and identify four different bird songs
11. Draw 4 animals in the dirt/sand with a stick
12. Go for a hike
13. Build a sandcastle
14. Make a bird feeder
15. Make some seed bombs
16. Paint a picture with mud
17. Plant a tree
18. Make your own solar oven
19. Cook a meal outside
20. Spend 40 minutes in nature and keep a nature journal for one week
21. Create a nature scavenger hunt for a family member or friend

22. Go on a feather hunt
23. Decorate a footpath with chalk
24. Make your own rain gauge
25. Build a pile of leaves and jump in them
26. Make a paper aeroplane and see how far you can fly it
27. Roast a marshmallow on an open fire
28. Go on a night walk with a torch and see how many animals/insects you can see
29. Make and fly a kite
30. Spend a night under the starts or in a tent
31. Create a habitat for a lizard in your garden or local park
32. Be kind to animals
33. Build a cubby
34. Catch a crab and release it again
35. Catch some tadpoles, watch them and then put them back
36. Climb a tree
37. Dam a stream
38. Do a beach clean-up
39. Explore the coast
40. Explore the stars with some binoculars
41. Learn about the First Peoples of Australia astronomy
42. Feed your garden; coffee grounds and eggshells are great for composting

43. Go camping outdoors
44. Go into the bush and record all the different animal sounds you hear
45. Go snorkelling
46. Hike to a waterfall
47. Install an arid friendly garden
48. Kayak, paddle board or body surf
49. Leave flowers, even ‘weeds’, for pollinators
50. Make a compost heap to reduce waste
51. Make a mud pie
52. Make an ant farm
53. Make something from sticks
54. Roll down a hill
55. Skim a stone
56. Spot a fish
57. Turn off your device and go for a walk with a friend
58. Walk barefoot on the beach
59. Walk or ride, don’t drive.
60. Watch a bug and think about life from its perspective
61. Watch a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis
62. Watch the sun rise
63. Watch the sun set
64. When in nature: take nothing and leave nothing behind

36 ways to do good & feel good

1. Spend 4 hours volunteering
2. Learn the Kaurna names for four animals
3. Read a story to someone older or younger
4. Visit Adelaide Zoo!
5. Avoid air travel when possible
6. Become more scientifically literate
7. Buy chocolates that are not individually wrapped
8. Don’t buy animal-based products (e.g., turtle shell, dried seahorses, shells, etc)
9. Cook for friends
10. Buy from companies with eco-friendly policies
11. Car pool
12. Don’t release pets into the wild

13. Don’t use insecticide
14. Don’t fertilise your garden
15. Drive respectfully to avoid road kill
16. Eat less meat
17. Grow plants to give to friends instead of cutting flowers
18. Have your cat desexed
19. Improve the ambience and dine by candlelight
20. Report animal cruelty
21. Report on poaching or any illegal animal trade
22. Slow down. Driving slowly uses less fuel
23. Support local conservation initiatives
24. Take a brisk shower

25. Take your out-of-date pills to a chemist to be destroyed; don’t flush them down the toilet
26. Tell your friends to live green
27. Turn down your central heating by a degree
28. Turn off all energy vampires (i.e., electronic good on ‘standby’)
29. Use a manual lawn mower
30. Use a nappy washing service
31. Use a smaller plate
32. Use fair trade products
33. Use low-phosphate washing-up liquid
34. Use public transport
35. Shop for products that contain Certified Sustainable Palm Oil
36. Don’t leave your car running unnecessarily