Monday, July 2, 2012

5 Ways to Green Your Disney World Trip

For those thinking about vacations…

5 Ways to Green Your Disney World Trip

Read these tips for planning an eco-friendly Disney vacation.

By Sara NovakColumbia, SC, USA | Wed May 13  2009

Are you tired of your kids incessantly begging you for a Disney vacation? For many children, a trip to Disney World or Disney Land is a right of passage. I definitely have some fond memories of the Magic Kingdom. So if you have a trip to visit Mickey and Minnie in the works, here are my tips for making it a little more eco-friendly.
  1. Take the train to Orlando.Trains can move more people while emitting less carbon than any other form of transportation. So while it's likely not the simplest way to get a gaggle of kids from A to B, it is often way less expensive. If you're coming from a distance you can easily get a "roomette" on the train with beds for the night. Also, all meals are included when you get a room on the train. Amtrak has stations located in both Orlando and Kissimmee.
  2. Pick a green hotel close to the park.The Green Hotels Association lists a number of eco-friendly hotels, motels, and resorts near Disney. The Hilton at Disney World has instituted a recycling program that includes paper, plastics, and aluminum. They also use water efficient devices, including low-flow bathroom fixtures, energy-efficient lighting, and Energy Star equipment. Stay in the park to take advantage of Disney's excellent public transportation system, which includes the Magic Express bus service, and eliminate the need for a rental car. The Walt Disney World Resort even relies on 1,500 alternative-fuel vehicles, including electric golf carts, hybrid trucks, Segways, and the electric monorails.
  3. Bring your own green snacks.
    While this works for almost any trip, it's especially true of a place like Disney World where food can be pricey. If you're paying for the whole family, food costs can really kill your budget. Think about bringing organic rolled oats or oatmeal to which you can just add hot water. Also consider bringing some organic trail mix, nuts, and granola for snacks.
  4. Check out Disney's exceptional green attractions.
    Zero-emission electrical vehicles are prevalent both within Disney's Magic Kingdom Park and within Disney's Epcot Center. Also check out the Animal Kingdom, which, at over 500 acres, is the largest of Disney's parks. It emphasizes environmentalism and conservation. Also plan on visiting the Kilimanjaro Safari to view antelopes and zebras, as well as a host of other species. Kilimanjaro Safari vehicles use propane, which emits less greenhouse gases, instead of gas or diesel. Also check out the Mahrajah Jungle Trek and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail to see Asian and African animals like gorillas, meerkats, hippos, giant bats, and tapirs. Rafiki's Planet Watch is awesome for teaching the kids about conservation.
  5. Buy green Disney gear.
    These new, greener merchandise collection items are made out of recycled materials, organic cotton, and earth-friendly inks. T-shirts are one of Walt Disney World's biggest sellers. Other items include purses made from re-purposed candy wrappers, plush Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse toys made out of organic cotton, and jewelry made from coconut and bamboo.

Gene Dempsey, City Forester
Environmental Services
Office - (954) 828-7704 Fax - (954) 828-7897

Think before you print!