Our Commitment to Sustainability
“At WNPA, our commitment to sustainable business practices directly supports the preservation of our national parks for future generations. As a National Park Service educational partner, the conservation of our environment and natural resources is an imperative of our mission to bring the parks to the people and the people to the parks. Fundamental to our business practices and core values, we hold ourselves accountable to the natural and cultural resources that are central to our national story and to the upcoming stewards of the land, who deserve the opportunity to find themselves in a national park.”—Marie Buck, WNPA president and CEO
WNPA provides support to more than 70 parks, as they protect and preserve our nation’s greatest resources for generations to come. As we grow new Park Protectors and future stewards through education and interpretation, we also commit ourselves to supporting conservation efforts through our products and practices. Every choice we make to minimize waste, energy use, and chemicals can have a positive impact on our environment. As a National Park Service education partner since 1938, we have worked to connect new generations to parks in meaningful ways, all with one simple goal: create advocates who want to preserve and protect these special places for everyone, for all time. Now more than ever, WNPA’s products, programs, and policies stem from the values of sustainability and accountability.
Products and Innovation
Our earth-friendly products help to reduce plastic pollution, water waste, and our carbon footprint, while also celebrating the beauty and serenity that parks bring to people.
WNPA supports and promotes sustainable practices and eco-friendly materials that will have lasting impacts on the future of our national parks. WNPA partners with vendors who have embraced sustainability as a core value -- from energy-saving solar systems to revolutionary recycling processes, WNPA and our partners are doing our part to ensure that the lands and life on Earth can thrive in the future.
REPREVE fabric is made with high-quality recycled yarn made from recycled plastic bottles. This sustainable technique begins with the collection of post-consumer plastic bottles, which are washed and chopped into flake, melted and formed into resin, and then made into a wonderfully soft and strong recycled yarn. REPREVE envisions a waste-free world and drives innovation that challenges current methods of sustainability to be more transparent and empowering.
Solar power has grown by an average of 33 percent each year for the past decade, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association -- still, there is much work yet to do if we are to reach clean energy goals that will make a meaningful change for the future. WNPA is proud to partner with Deneen Pottery, where beautiful mugs are each hand thrown in a solar-powered facility. Their mugs reflect Deneen’s commitment to the future of parks.
Single-use plastic bottles wreak havoc on our environment, contaminating our oceans and poisoning our marine ecosystems. While a reusable stainless-steel bottle can reduce plastic waste, there continues to be a demand for single-use plastic water bottles. By 2050, without a change, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by weight. Open Water, a climate neutral–certified company, is working for that change. By packaging water in infinitely recycled all-aluminum bottles and cans, Open Water lessens the demand for plastic, while not limiting vital access to water. And they are 100 percent carbon neutral. An alarming 91 percent of plastic never makes it to a recycling bin, and it will never go away. Plastic pieces will eventually make their way up the food chain and onto our plates. Open Water is an Earth-friendly alternative -- featured in several park stores, though not available online.
More Earth-Friendly Gifts to Support the Parks and Protect the Environment
Colorful and unique insulated stainless-steel water bottles reduce the production of plastic and offer an opportunity to show our love for parks. While these long-lasting containers take more energy to produce, they are 100% recyclable and, if placed in a landfill, won’t contaminate the ground and water with toxic chemicals.
Our Eco Pal plush toys are responsibly made, using 100% recycled plush material and absolutely no plastic in their construction, filling, or packing materials. They are also cuddly and adorable, with no plastic add-ons that might pollute the environment or pose a danger to a young child.
WNPA tote bags are crafted from recycled materials. While they are sturdy and might be reused hundreds of times, they are also fully recyclable when the time comes to retire them. An affordable alternative to the pile of plastic grocery bags that accumulate at home, these totes can help reduce the amount plastic pollution that damages our national parks, oceans, and ecosystems.
Sustainable Packaging Practices
At WNPA, we recognize that even small innovation can make big impacts. To reduce waste and carbon emissions, we ship orders in a variety of package types, including reused cardboard boxes. Instead of throwing out internal packaging materials from our boxed shipments, we reuse these to ship customer orders. We also reuse any plastic filler we might receive internally, honoring our commitment to purchase only fully biodegradable packing peanuts. If you ever receive an order from us in an Amazon box, now you know why!
While not every package type is reused or recyclable, we do our best to balance other factors that impact the environment -- like package weight! We work to minimize weight, which means less energy is needed to transport the item.
We have also reduced our plastic waste by reducing the plastic in our product packaging and tagging practices. Every small change can make a big difference.