Western ToadBeing Green

The New Happy Hollow combines innovative green architecture with whimsical fun, and has been awarded LEED® gold under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.

Download Your Own Self Guided Green Tour Map Here


Green Components Include:

  • Seven green (growing) roofs with native plant species to provide habitat for wildlife
  • Radiant flooring for cooling and heating of buildings - no HVAC in buildings, with the exception of the restaurant and part of the medical building.
  • Hay Bale Construction in Education Center
  • Recycled water used for non-potable functions throughout facility
  • Porous asphalt paving
  • Sustainable storm water management - designed to keep all rainfall on site
  • Clerestory windows in all buildings for lighting and heating & cooling
  • Sustainable materials throughout the project
  • Recycled base rock throughout the project
  • Recycled glass in the entry plaza
  • Low VOC paints
  • The use of FSC certified wood framing and recycled plastic lumber

Pallid BatGreen Terms to Know


LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.


The U.S. Green Building Council, founded in 1993, is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built and operated. The USGBC developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) rating system.


Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Green Building

Also known as green construction or sustainable building, is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle.


A natural resource that can replenish itself over time.


The act of processing used or abandoned materials for use in creating new products.


Property or goods saved from damage or destruction and reused.


Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit organization that sets certain high standards to ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible and socially beneficial manner.


Going Green at Home

Change the Bulb!

Compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, are an energy-efficient lighting alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. CFLs use just one-quarter the energy of incandescent bulbs, so they last longer and require less electricity. 

Water, Water, Everywhere Yet Not Enough to Drink?

Some simple tips to help save this precious resource:

  • Don’t leave the water running
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks
  • Equip faucets with aerators
  • Wash only full laundry loads 
  • Install low-flow shower heads
  • Reduce the volume of your toilet flush by putting a brick in your toilet’s water tank or purchasing a low flush toilet

Choices at the Dinner Table

You can make a difference in the life of the oceans by making wise choices at your dinner table. Seafood Watch is a Monterey Bay Aquarium program designed to raise consumer awareness about the importance of buying seafood from sustainable sources. Based on research, they recommend which seafood to buy or avoid, helping consumers to become advocates for environmentally-friendly seafood. Go to the Happy Hollow website under Conservation to download your updated Seafood Watch pocket card or call (408)794-6404 to have cards mailed to you. 

PeccaryBuilding Something?

Home construction materials and building techniques have changed in the past several decades to become more energy efficient. Many new innovations are less harmful to our environment as well. Examples include: recycled plastic lumber, salvaged or refurbished wood, low or no VOC paints, rainwater collection  units, and solar panels.   

Another Path

Light rail, buses, trains, biking, walking, commuter clubs and carpooling: the Bay Area is full of alternative ways to get to your destination. Alternative transportation helps prevent air pollution and helps reduce energy usage. To get to Happy Hollow without your car, go to our website under “Plan Your Visit” for bus and light rail routes that get you to the gates. 

Your Pocketbook has Power!

Your actions can have a far-reaching effect across the globe. By purchasing  shade-grown coffee you help migratory birds and protect rainforest habitat for wildlife. Read labels and try to avoid products containing  palm oil. To meet the demand for palm oil, rainforests, where orangutans, elephants, and sun bears live, are destroyed. 

Look for Green Leaf signs throughout Happy Hollow for green tips for you and your family.

 Association of Zoos and Aquariums Happy Hollow FoundationSpecies Survival Plan