One of the reasons I love to vacation at Walt Disney World is the pristine quality of Disney property. It takes a lot to keep the resort area looking so clean – and the beautiful atmosphere is what visitors have come to expect. I encourage everyone who loves their Walt Disney World vacations to bring that iconic pristine quality home. Together our conservation habits can change the world.
To celebrate Earth Day here are five Disney conservation habits you can make your own:
1. Put Litter In Its Place
The reality is that unlike a Walt Disney World visit, most people do litter at home. Litter isn’t just unsightly, it has a devastating impact on marine life worldwide. Litter everywhere ends up in sewer systems, waterways and in the stomachs of marine animals. In the words of Gill from Finding Nemo – all drains lead to the ocean.
The overwhelming amount of litter in the ocean today is in part due to the sheer quantity of disposable products worldwide. Plastic bags, plastic caps, balloons, fishing line and plastic drinking straws have the biggest environmental repercussions. All are easily mistaken for jelly fish or sea grasses by marine animals – and all are fatal when ingested. Literally millions of sea turtles, birds and marine mammals are impacted this way every year.
If you live in a waterfront city your responsibility to the ocean is greater – but no matter where you live in the world you have an impact on the marine environment. Bring that pristine Disney Parks quality to your everyday life and watch the benefits unfold. Always put litter in its proper place. Encourage your children. Pass it on!
2. Make The Switch
In 2013, a five year goal was met by the Walt Disney World Resort to reduce energy consumption by ten percent. In addition to behind the scenes initiatives, 700,000 Cast Members were encouraged to ‘Make The Switch’ by simply turning off light switches when not in use. The result? Enough energy saved to power Space Mountain for thirty five years.
Imagine what can be accomplished worldwide if every Disney family would adopt this simple change and ‘Make The Switch’.
3. Reuse And Recycle
As part of their Green Lodging designation the Walt Disney World Resort has made important changes to reduce waste by printing in-room guest information on recycled paper and recycling all room key cards. Merchandise locations have also switched to recycled shopping bags and recycled packaging materials.
In partnership with the not-for-profit corporation Clean The World, Cast Members at the Walt Disney World Resort have helped recycle more than 128,000 pounds of gently used hygiene products – sanitized and reprocessed into 393,000 soap bars that were distributed to families in need.
Why not introduce this Disney example to your household? Reusing and recycling at home are small changes that will make a big difference.
4. Ethical Consumerism
The Disney Parks partnership with Starbucks was great news for coffee lovers – but even better news for the rainforests. Through their buying power Starbucks is helping to grow the market for Fair Trade Certified Coffee in the United States. Sourcing organic and fair-trade coffee empowers small-scale farmers and protects the Rainforests from the destructive process of plantation-style growing.
As consumers we vote for change through our purchasing power. Look for fair-trade, organic and shade-grown certification on your coffee. With every cup you’ll help to preserve the rainforests and support small-scale farmers and their communities – and the taste is incomparable. Look for fair-trade organic certification on chocolate, too. It’s environmentally sound and incredibly delicious. You won’t believe the difference!
5. Support Worldwide Conservation
In 1995 Joe Rohde, Executive Designer and Vice President, Creative, for The Walt Disney Company – and lead designer for Disney’s Animal Kingdom – helped spearhead the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. Since it’s inception the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has directed more than twenty million dollars to conservation efforts worldwide, helping 315+ nonprofit organizations in 112 countries. Emergency funds are also set aside annually by the DWCF to respond to communities and wildlife in crisis, faced with disasters and oil spills.
As a guest of Disney Parks you can support the DWCF by making a donation at designated merchandise locations found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot, at several Disney Resorts and aboard the Disney Cruise Line. If you’re not visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, donations can be made directly to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund – and the Walt Disney Company will match every contribution.
Many Disney Parks visitors have contributed to the DWCF without even realizing it! All coins collected from park fountains and select pressed penny machines support DWCF funded projects worldwide. So on your next Walt Disney World visit, go on and make a wish!