From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Dr. Mark Penning
As Earth Month comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at how Disney Parks, Experiences and Products celebrated the magic of nature and reminded us of ways that we can work together to protect the planet. However, these environmental initiatives are not just done during Earth Month – this is what Disney does every single day to take care of the world around us.
Walt Disney World Resort shared exciting updates from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including the naming of their latest additions, a porcupette named Shelley and a Hartmann’s zebra foal, Asha. Disney Conservation Manager, Dr. Zak Gezon, also shared with guests how to make their very own pollinator garden from the comfort of home.
Walt Disney World Resort has taken continuous steps to reduce our environmental footprint – including, two solar arrays that provide enough clean energy to power two theme parks. Additionally, Walt Disney World horticulturists use innovative growing techniques to help feed a growing planet. Did you know that both Sunshine Seasons and the Garden Grill Restaurant serve fresh produce and seafood grown at The Land Pavilion in EPCOT?
At Disneyland Resort, teams protect the magic of nature through promoting practices that reduce our impact on the environment. Did you know that all five Disneyland Resort steam trains and the Mark Twain Riverboat use biodiesel made with used cooking oil from our kitchens? This process eliminates ~200,000 gallons of petroleum diesel use per year. Additionally, lighting has been upgraded throughout the Resort to energy-efficient LEDs. In fact, Sleeping Beauty Castle is illuminated year-round entirely by LEDs!
Disneyland Paris shared ways that we can work together to protect the magic of nature – from turning children’s coloring activities into cartoons, to sharing information on the incredible horticulture team and special broadcasts of nature-inspired shows.
As part of Disneyland Paris’s commitment to sustainable development, an innovative geothermal facility, located at Villages Nature Paris, uses naturally occurring underground heat and steam to help power the theme parks and resort areas. Additionally, Disneyland Paris is the only European theme park to have its own waste water treatment and recycling plant.
Meanwhile, at Shanghai Disney Resort, cast members engaged with a self-guided tour of its eco-friendly, Wishing Star Park, where the 106th species of bird was recently sighted. Additionally, the team shared facts about native Chinese species and conservation work done in partnership with Disney Conservation Fund. Did you know that Wishing Star Lake also has a powerful water treatment plant that recycles and purifies its water? In addition to ecological benefits, the lake water is also used to irrigate resort vegetation.
Fun fact: Hong Kong Disneyland Resort has on-site wood chippers that handle yard waste, including chippings and clippings from bushes and shrubs, turning plant materials into organic mulches. These wood chippers have allowed the Resort to reduce 830 tons of waste in 2019! Additionally, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort has an inventive food waste recycling program. Last year, the Resort sent 770 tons of food scraps to a government-owned anaerobic digestion facility, where food waste is converted into energy!
At Tokyo Disney Resort, we are committed to protecting nature and its resources for future generations, with one-sixth of our total theme park area set aside for greenery. Additionally, did you know that the Resort uses LEDs to illuminate “it’s a small world,” Cinderella’s Castle, Mount Prometheus, evening parade floats and much more? Tokyo Disney Resort also has a rigorous waste sorting process, in which cast members sort waste in accordance with detailed sorting criteria to recycle as much waste as possible.
Disney Cruise Line is also dedicated to minimizing our impact on the environment through increasing fuel efficiency, minimizing waste and promoting conservation worldwide. Disney Cruise Line has reduced the amount of single-use plastics found onboard, eliminating items such as plastic straws, travel-size bathroom amenity bottles, cutlery, stirrers, shopping bags and condiment packets. Additionally, the environmental programs of Disney Cruise Line have eliminated more than 6,400 tons of metals, glass, plastic and paper through recycling, and removed more than 31,000 pounds of debris from beaches and waterways.
Last week, we also shared the reintroduction of the retro Disney brand from 1984, Mickey & Co., this time featuring a new sustainable twist. The Mickey & Co. apparel line was created from up to 50% REPREVE® recycled fiber from plastic bottles, some of which were collected from Walt Disney World Resort and turned into REPREVE® recycled fiber!
This month, we took the time to understand the impact that nature has on the way we live our lives and how we can draw inspiration from the wonders of the world around us. We continue to remind ourselves why it is important to care for the planet, today and every day. Follow along on my Instagram, @DrMarkatDisney, as we continue strive to protect the magic of nature!