Planning a visit to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada? Trying to live more sustainably in 2020? Fostering a culture of sustainability is one of our goals here at the aquarium, so I thought I could offer some tips for making your own visit to the aquarium little more environmentally friendly and get the new year started off right.

guests touching stingray

Turn off the lights!

Having a more sustainable visit can start before you even leave your home. On your way out make sure that you’ve turned off the lights and any unnecessary electronics. How much energy you save will depend on the type of bulbs you use, but keeping lights off for the hours when they aren’t needed adds up and can save you kilowatt hours (and dollars!) over time1.

Save paper!

Purchasing your tickets online can be a great way to save paper! Online tickets do not need to be printed out and can be scanned right off your device. By choosing to purchase a timed ticket, you can even save money as well as paper! If you do buy a paper ticket don’t worry. We have containers located at our exits where used tickets and guidebooks can be recycled.

Reducing the Environmental Impact of Your Aquarium Visit

Leave the car behind!

Taking transit reduces the number of cars on the road, helping to cut back on emissions that are harmful to the environment and to the air quality of our city2. It also saves you the hassle of finding a place to park downtown. If you are planning on taking transit to the aquarium, there are a lot of options! We are located within walking distance of Union Station which is serviced by the TTC and by Go Transit, and can also be accessed by streetcar. For transit directions, including walking directions from Union Station, check out the parking and directions page on our website!

Bring reusable containers!

While single use containers are certainly convenient, they also have a big impact on the environment.

Sustainability Under the Sea: Tips for Reducing the Environmental Impact of Your Aquarium Visit

It is estimated that over 10 000 tonnes of plastic enter the Great Lakes every year3. With our aquarium located so close to the shore of Lake Ontario we want to be extra sure that we are minimizing our impact on Canada’s waterways.

Reusable water bottles and travel mugs can help cut down on waste from plastic bottles and coffee cups. Guests with a reusable mug can also get a 30% discount on coffee or tea purchases if you need to refuel during your visit.

Eat sustainably!

Feeling hungry? Our café is proud to offer Ocean Wise certified, sriracha cod fish tacos. Ocean Wise is an organization that tracks the sustainability of seafood products. An Ocean Wise certification means that the fish population is resistant to pressure from fishing and is caught using a method that limits damage to the ocean ecosystem. Some fishing methods can be harmful to marine animals like sharks, stingrays and sea turtles. By eating Ocean Wise certified products you are helped to protect some of the ocean’s vulnerable species. If you’d like to learn more, take a look at Ocean Wise’s website.

With these tips in mind I hope you’re inspired to make your upcoming trip more sustainable and I hope to see you soon!

Have any sustainability tips of your own? Leave a comment below!


Duncan is an Educator at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. He studied Earth Science and Education at the University of Western Ontario. He likes teaching people about the natural world and hanging out with fish. His favourite thing about working at the aquarium is the opportunity to talk to new people every day.

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