Digital cards are the newest way to connect to your Zoo! Access your membership details at the touch of your fingertips and always stay up-to-date with Zoo information. This newest benefit will give members and donors a unique opportunity to experience all the Zoo has to offer and get exclusive member updates straight to your phone.
Digital cards have been something that Zoo Society has been interested in for a while now, but it wasn’t until recently that its full benefits really came to light.
If the COVID19 Pandemic has taught us anything, it was that virtual communication and digital access is key to keeping everyone moving forward. Digital cards offer a way for members and donors to access their membership and donor admission information right at the touch of a screen. This allows members and donors to bring up their card, have it scanned by staff and enter the Zoo gate without having to touch cards.
Reducing the number of touch points between staff and Zoo visitors helps reduce the chance of transmission of viruses and bacteria. Having one less point of contact adds up to a safer Zoo and a safer you!
Digital cards also offer the user a way to keep track of the basic Zoo Membership information with just a tap of a finger. On the back of each card is information on how to use the card, quick links to the Zoo Society website for even more information, and contact information if you have specific questions about memberships or the Zoo.
Having the digital card in your phone wallet allows for the digital card system to alert you to special member benefits without having to search for them. The digital card system will bring up your card automatically as you approach the Zoo gate, remind you that you have a 10% discount at the Zoo gift shop when you enter, and even offer some great member only deals throughout the year!
Did you know that every year, Cleveland Zoological Society sends out more than 74,000 plastic cards? That’s over 781 pounds of plastic. With each set of cards, a third sheet of an 8.5” by 11” paper and a standard envelope is sent as well, totaling over 502 pounds of paper. Though we use recycled plastic, and the cards can be recycled again, it’s better to keep the plastic from being entered into the cycle in the first place. Creating any kind of petroleum-based plastic produces greenhouse gases, which are major contributors to climate change. Climate change and habitat loss are the top reasons for species decline worldwide. By eliminating the use of plastic, we can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases created.
Paper production also produces greenhouse gases. Trees act as carbon sinks, meaning trees absorb more carbon dioxide than it produces through a process called photosynthesis. This is important because it helps regulate how much carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere. If large amounts of trees are removed due to logging, and no other carbon sink is there to take its place, then more carbon dioxide will be released into the atmosphere. On average, only 53% of paper gets recycled, so the more trees we leave in place, the better it is for our climate.
Cleveland Zoological Society and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo strive to be leaders in sustainability. Reducing our carbon footprint by eliminating excess plastic and paper where we can is a step towards being even more sustainable.
Printing and mailing over 74,000 cards is expensive, there is no way around it. From the cards themselves, to the envelopes, sheets of paper, and increasing postage, printing cards is a costly endeavor. The COVID19 pandemic dealt a huge blow to the finances of all businesses, organizations, and institutions that rely on patron visitation to sustain their operations. The Zoo and Zoo Society are no exception.
The Zoo Society has made a commitment to helping the Zoo provide the best care possible to all the animals that call it home. This means that the more dollars we can save on operating processes, such as card printing, the more dollars we can direct to help the Zoo, the animals, and the staff.
Moving to digital cards allows us to greatly reduce the amount of physical cards, paper products and postage and remain fiscally responsible to the Zoo, ourselves, and our members and donors.
We know that Digital Cards might not be everyone’s cup of tea. We will still be able to provide a physical card to those that request it. However, we will be instituting a fee for cards to offset the costs that are incurred to print those cards. If you would prefer to use a physical card, you can contact us at 216-635-3329 or Info@ClevelandZooSociety.org.