Sustainable Practices

As part of our overall mission of conservation and education, the Texas State Aquarium formally launched its “Going Green” program in 2009. Our “Going Green” program is led by our operations team, but involves members from virtually every department within the organization.

Eco-Friendly Energy Initiatives

To reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our energy usage, the Aquarium continually makes use of the latest technology in energy reduction and efficiency. These energy initiatives not only allow us to operate with less impact on the environment, but show thousands of guests how they too can adopt eco-friendly energy practices.

  • Automatic light switches in a number of areas to eliminate lights being left on for extended periods of time.
  • Fluorescent light fixtures throughout the facility help conserve electricity, and a transition toward LED lighting will further reduce energy use.
  • Electric golf carts are used for parking and security operations.
  • Purchased and installed a solar array with a grant from Green Mountain Energy.
  • Electric hand dryers have been installed in a portion of our public restrooms.
  • Several of our larger landscaping beds have been converted to xeriscape beds, using drought-tolerant plant species and crushed granite material instead of plant-based mulch.
  • Automatic faucets have been installed in public restrooms to reduce water use.


Recycling is encouraged among both staff and guests with the placement of regular stations throughout the Aquarium and educational signage.

  • TSA staff has long recycled paper, cardboard, and plastic
  • Recycling containers are installed in public locations to encourage guests to recycle whenever possible.
  • Single-stream recycling makes recycling easier for guests


Single-use plastic is the largest contributor to ocean pollution, with the only solution being a sharp reduction in the use of this plastic. The Aquarium is leading by example by eliminating nearly all single-use plastic from its on-site operations.

  • Offer reusable trays rather than non-reusable plastic bags for meals in the food court.
  • Provide restaurant and café guests with biodegradable paper straws, which are also not harmful to our animal collection or local wildlife.
  • Offer only BPA-free biodegradable Boxed Water, eliminating plastic water bottles
  • Removed single-use plastic bags from our Gift Shop
  • Phasing out all lower-grade plastic toys from our Gift Shop.