Detroit Zoo installs energy efficient 'smart flower'

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The Detroit Zoo is putting the pedal to the metal in its ongoing efforts to be environmentally sustainable with the installation of the smart  flower.

It's an all-in-one, ground-mounted solar panel that can generate 40 percent more energy than a traditional solar power system, enough to power the Wildlife Carosel next to it as well as other areas of the zoo.

Officials say it not only generates energy for the zoo, but visitors tend to stop and ask what it is -- opening the door for an educational conversation about sustainable energy.

The zoo also doesn't sell water bottles, but provides filtered water stations for free. Along with the smart flower, the Detroit Zoo has also partnered with the Smart Bus. 

If you can prove that you took the Smart Bus to the zoo, you'll get $2 off your admission fee, a wristband for a free drink, and a free ride back on the Smart Bus.

Officials say ideally, each one of those busses would keep 60 cars off the road, which would be a huge impact in terms of sustainability.