As I vacation on my trips to Walt Disney World, I notice how much paper is given to me. First, upon check in at any of the Walt Disney Resorts, I am given a HUGE packet of various brochures detailing the park hours, park maps, resort map, resort activities and on and on. Going to the resorts so often, I usually ask that they just keep them for the next guest as I really will not be browsing all of the documents. I always feel a bit ungrateful when I ask that they just keep their packet they were presenting me, but, at home, I make attempts to recycle and do not want to be wasteful while on vacation.
So, on my last vacation I began to review the various ways that Disney tries to reduce waste both in the parks and at the resorts. Here is what I found:
1. Disney requests that all guests use their towels again. The guests basically agree by simply rehanging their towels. This simple act reduces the amount of water, detergent, and man hours used to provide clean towels to guests on a daily basis.
2. Disney includes a “green” trash can in all resort rooms. I noticed on this trip that the cans no longer have the arrow recycle symbol on them, and are now just green. These cans are for items that are recyclable.
3. Disney has signs on the doors to the exterior requesting that guests turn off their lights to reduce the amount of electricity used.
4. Included all over the parks and resorts are recycle bins for bottles, etc.
In researching this idea further, I found that Disney recycles 18,000 tons of materials each year. They have also set up a program entitled Disney Harvest whereby they donate approximately 50,000 POUNDS of prepared yet unserved edible food each MONTH! The company also recycles approximately 5 million plastic guest key cards per year. (I have never seen where they would take those in for recycling. Have you?) And finally, they have changed their lights to compact fluorescent bulbs as well as switching to low flow shower heads and toilets.
I hope you will consider recycling whether on vacation or at home!