Legacy visit ZSL London Zoo to learn about the impact of planting trees

Legacy visit ZSL London Zoo to learn about the impact of planting trees

Here at Legacy we have been looking into ways we can be more sustainable and fashion-forward as a company. Our main goal this year is to make sure we reduce our carbon emissions.

So, to find out more, Legacy took a trip to London Zoo. ZSL is an International conversation charity working to create a world where wildlife thrives. As well as endangered species breeding work, ZSL London Zoo also carry out extensive conservation field programmes so we took a trip to meet the team to see how our recent sustainable range and projects we have planned for the future will benefit the planet and help protect the amazing wildlife within it.

It was a beautiful day in London without a cloud in the sky. We arrived very early, before the zoo was open to the public and had a private tour from two of the zookeepers.

During our conversation we discussed the devastating affect carbon emissions are having not only on the planet but the animals too. 24% of carbon dioxide comes from agriculture, deforestation and fires, 21% is from industry such as factories and 14% is from transport.

Deforestation is a major contributor to climate change, it produces more greenhouse gas emissions then all the cars, trucks, planes and ships in the world. Just by stopping deforestation we could reduce carbon emissions by up to 15%/. What’s more, planting trees to replace those that have been cut down is hugely beneficial. Just 100 square metres of replanted broadleaf forest in the UK can contribute to a reduction of around 5 towns of CO2e in the atmosphere.

Not only that, but the vegetation would also support a diverse and healthy range of wildlife. With this in mind, we joined the head keeper in the giraffe enclosure to meet Molly and Maggie.  Giraffe’s are one of the animals that will benefit from the One Tree Planted conservation project in Kenya. Today we were going to learn all about Giraffe nutrition, as we begun to prepare breakfast for Molly and Maggie, two of ZSL London Zoo's tallest residents!

With their long necks peering through the door, they watch us bunching leaves together and making their enrichment balls with a mix of dried leaves and hay. The two spends the majority of their time grazing and digesting their food similarly to cows – regurgitating and chewing. They only need to drink once every few days, getting much of their hydration from food...so it's no wonder they are pleased to see us gathering together their grub!

Once we’ve prepared the food, we head down the old 1930’s spiral staircase which leads to the kitchen beneath the zoo. Here we find all the menu's and extra food for Molly and Maggie. Everything is weighed and measured to keep them in tip-top shape. Did you know a giraffe can run up to 60km/hour in the wild?! 

With the giraffes now back inside the giraffe house, we took a bucket of kale and mint from the fridge and headed back upstairs. We all know giraffe’s are tall but were all stunned by the sheer size of them from up close.  Not only do they
 have incredibly long legs and necks but even their tongue is as long as your elbow to wrist! As we feed the giraffes, it's hard to believe that these gentle giants are in danger of being extinct due to poaching. This is why part of our partnership with One Tree Planted goes on education with the local community, helping them to conserve the natural habitat and protecting the mammals that live there.

We would like to thank everyone at ZSL London Zoo for the tour and for introducing us to Molly and Maggie. It’s so important to learn everything we can about playing our part in our planet’s future.

We look forward to sharing our progress with One Tree Planted and more about how we are reducing our carbon emissions.

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