Payload Blog

Prioritizing the Planet | The Visitor Complex’s GreenPath

Our environmental team at Kennedy Space Center often receives many questions about what we are doing to protect our environment. With thousands of guests per day, small initiatives can make a big impact! NASA’s Kennedy Space Center resides on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, 140,000 acres of protected land. Operated by Delaware North Companies, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex works with NASA to protect and respect our home planet. Delaware North’s “GreenPath” program helps reduce our human footprint on our beautiful surroundings.

Butterfly release at the butterfly garden near Nature and Technology

Reduce Single-Use Plastics

If you want a straw or lid, just ask! The straws are bio-based, not paper, so they will last all day but still are biodegradable. Similarly, food plates, bowls and trays in our cafes are made from recycled pulp and the cutlery and to-go lids are bio-based as well. The bags provided in our retail shops for your NASA gear are made of bio-based plastic and soy ink, so they are biodegradable. You can also purchase a recycled bag from our retail shops that are made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles.

Protect Wildlife

The Apollo/Saturn V Center has LED lighting. All outdoor lighting is LED and meets the Fish and Wildlife sea turtle compliant requirements. As another way to protect the wildlife, we highly encourage guests to refrain from feeding the wildlife they encounter at the visitor complex and we have safe deflectors to discourage birds from joining guests around the cafes.


Plastic bottles, cardboard, aluminum cans and non-food contaminated paper is collected and recycled in the single stream containers. We also recycle shredded paper, toner cartridges, batteries, lamps, metal, wood, concrete and tires.

Moon Tree Garden at Apollo/Saturn V Center

Other ways Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex works to protect the planet:

  • Orbit Cafe has a food digester that reduces the material to a soil-type waste. It reduces the waste to 1/10th of the original amount, putting less in the landfills.
  • Used cooking oil from our fryers is collected and recycled.
  • Plastic bread tabs collected from the kitchens and employees are donated to Danielle Cares for Chairs. We also recycle plastic Astronaut Training Experience® badges that are no longer needed.
  • Our parking lots have Tesla vehicle chargers. Charge your car in Lot 4 on a first come, first served basis!
  • Electric low speed vehicles are used around the park as an alternative to driving gasoline vehicles. Additionally, the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour buses are being replaced with new, clean diesel buses.
  • The artificial turf found in the Atlantis North Lawn launch viewing area and Moon Tree Garden is made from bio-based material.
  • There are five solar trees “planted” throughout the complex thanks to a partnership with Florida Power & Light. The energy generated is put back into the visitor complex’s electrical grid.
  • All returned SmartGuide headphones are recycled.

Do not feed the wildlife sign

How You Can Help:

With all of these efforts in place, the visitor complex relies on our guests to be successful! Below are just some of the ways you can help us minimize the impact we have on our environment:

  • When disposing of your leftover food, plates and cutlery in our cafes, please place your waste in the appropriate trash bins.
  • Always recycle your plastic bottles in our recycle pins around the park. You can also recycle your used visitor complex map as you exit the park. You can also save a map and download our app!
  • Never feed the wildlife! Help us protect the animals and help prevent them from becoming aggressive.
  • Bring your own water bottle. We have numerous refill stations throughout the complex. You can also purchase a souvenir cup to refill all day.
  • Purchase a recycled bag from retail to use even after you leave the visitor complex.
  • Consider using your own headphones for our SmartGuides.