Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Set free your Enviromentality

Urrgghhh .... here in Australia, we've just had a change of federal government, and with flip on a whole bunch of policies, including their environmental posture.

We're getting coal mines onshore from the Great Barrier Reef;  abolishing the carbon tax; and just today I read a story about a Council who were proposing building a highway through the middle of the a koala high traffic zone.


but our blog is not about bemoaning or activitism for Australia's environmental causes.

It is with much pleasure I remember that I can go on holiday and all around me eco - tourism activities are underway - in more ways than you'll ever be aware.

Disney, as the huge gorilla in the playground, recognise their responsibilities for social citizenship and leading the way. You'll be amazed at the lengths they go to be as enviro friendly as possible.

Physical America — the land itself — should be as dear to us all as our political heritage and our treasured way of life. Its preservation and the wise conservation of its renewable resources concerns every man, woman and child whose possession it is.
- Walt Disney

There are a vast array of green activities undertaken at WDW, some obvious, and some that you'll never know are going on.

Disney tell stories of annually:
  • recycling enough paper to make a trail from Anaheim to WDW and back again, twice
  • recycling 18 million plastic bottles - turning them into "red carpets"
  • 200,000 + LED lights on Cinderella's castle, which are so energy efficient, each night only takes the same amount of electricity as 3 loads of washing in a dryer.
Uncle Walt had a soft spot for the big cats, and launched a slew of keen conservation programs.  I am not going to cover their conservation or community contribution activities today - that's a whole separate post.

This first video covers a whole range of activities - it is set in Disneyland, and all these things happen in WDW too.

I love how they use the french fry oil!! Although it still not enough to make me willing to eat Disney fries - blerghhhhh.

What is getting the big "thumbs up" from me is that our resort - Boardwalk Inn and Villas - has just had it's decade long "Green Lodgings" designation renewed from the Florida Dept of Environmental Protection.  You saw a lot of the ways they run the resorts in the videos - sorting your recycling, using recycled and biodegradable materials, water and electricity management.  (The Marriott also has this certification)

The ESPY's is a show produced by the Disney sports arm - ESPN, who have a HUGE Wide World of Sports at the WDW Resort (Where too much sport is barely enough!). Funnily enough, I've never visited....... hmmm ....I wonder why? Let's just go to the video - and see more eco stuffs at WDW

Don't scratch yourself on that recycled toilet paper.

Actually, in a slightly weird story, there are a slew of Disney fans who are unhappy about the new unbleached, uncoloured recycled napkins. Turns out they were collecting the old printed ones and are sad that not every single thing in their Disney holiday has been Disneyfied.

Say 'goodbye' to the precious printed napkin    (source: disneyblog)
But from where did the idea spring for all the scratchy recycled paper? From their expansive 5 year Paper Sourcing and Use Policy. This policy not just covers the paper they use, it also includes actions for supporting sustainable fibre sources, responsible forest management, moving from timber fibres to grass and bamboo, and minimising consumption of such products.

In 2012, Disney announced 50% achievement of its goal for zero net direct greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing electricity consumption by 10%. Just in October WDW was awarded Sustainable Florida's Best Practice Award for turning out the lights when they left the room.

Unlike the new Australian government about to dump our Carbon Tax, Disney have their own internal "carbon price" imposed on each of their divisions for their direct emissions footprint. The higher the footprint, the more that Division pays. They also support forestry carbon projects around the world, in deforested areas; and are corporate signatories to the Rio + 20 Conference Valuing Natural Capital

source: Valuing Natural Capital

And to close, my favourite eco-fact: Overhead winch motors used to raise and lower scenery for the Disney shows generate electricity during the lowering process which is fed back into the power grid. How cool is that?

So - I'm relaxed on a Disney holiday - knowing that I don't have to buy into the rampant consumerism, and have an enjoyable eco-holiday!

So have I convinced you yet? What do you do to support sustainability principles?

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