A couple of months back we were amongst the first to experience the new Eco Explorers Sustainability Trail in Dublin Zoo. The Sustainability Trail has little stations around the Zoo, teaching young and old about the importance of living sustainably while the SSE Airtricity Eco Explorers interactive app makes it a little more fun and can be used on any tablet or smartphone.
You simply follow the app’s instructions (but for the best experience change your phone’s location settings to ‘GPS only’) and each time you reach an Eco Station mapped across the zoo you will receive a task. When children complete it they earn a little Explorers badge on the app.
We managed to earn six badges (out of eight) throughout our day first time doing the Eco Explorers Trail at Dublin Zoo, and each one educated our little Eco Explorer and ourselves mind you. At the water filling station, for example, it thought our kid that t-shirts can be made from recycled plastics and that a water bottle can take between 500 and 1000 years to decompose. And did you know there are 700 million store-bought bottles of water are sold in Ireland every year? We didn’t. Shocking, and then during our second visit we learned the 175 picnic benches across Dublin Zoo are made from recycled milk bottles – saving 350,000 plastic bottles going to landfill. It’s a real eye opener and a great example of how recycling plastic really does help protect the planet.
The app also gives you little activities to do at home too – at one particular station we were tasked with trying to reduce the plastic we use. So not only is the app educating you, it’s giving you activities to bring home and make real changes.
The Eco Explorers app thought the Big Kid about composting, appreciating her surroundings, wasting water, recycling, palm oil and funnily about CLOSING THE DOORS BEHIND HER WHEN SHE’S AT HOME to keep the heat in to save energy and money. She also questioned why we use cloth nappies during our first time doing the trail and she actually understood why it isn’t just about saving money. You see, disposable nappies take roughly 500 years to decompose and with three in nappies, we’d be dumping 20+ nappies a day and that doesn’t sit right with me.
Overall I think the Eco Explorers app is brilliant as is the trail. It’s exciting, almost like a little treasure hunt. It’s educational and best of all it’s FREE to use and download. If you’re heading to Dublin Zoo it’s well worth looking into.
We were invited to Dublin Zoo to be among the first to experience the new Eco Explorers Sustainability Trail and the Eco Explorer interactive app and I took part in a sponsored social media campaign with SSE Airtricity but I was not obliged to write this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.