One of my favorite Disney blogs, Grumpy’s Hollow, recently ran a post discussing your “theme park footprint” – how much physical space you take up when touring the parks, and how to both move around quickly and be aware of your impact on those around you.
Grumpwurst also referenced a concept many of us have started to hear more often these days: Our ecological footprints. How heavily are we treading upon the earth? What impact do our choices have on the global environment? And while he doesn’t address it in his article, it did give me pause to consider mine, and what actions I can take to be mindful of my use of natural resources, even while touring the parks.
Now, for the moment at least I’m not interested in the question of what Disney can and should do . . . certainly more capable minds than mine are discussing that important topic, as a quick Google will surely show you. But rather, what actions can I take as an individual consumer? And, as is often the case in these matters, the eco-friendly choices are budget-friendly as well. Remember, the watchwords are Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle.
A little problem though: I’ve also started carrying those little packets of single-serve ice tea mix, which make the Florida water more palatable. But those things are an eco-nightmare, given the proportion of packaging to product. Can’t some company come up with a multi-serving refillable dispenser?
But when I do stay on site, I have plenty of options to use Disney Transit, cutting both my expenses and my contribution to carbon emissions. I can take Magical Express to my resort, and use Disney Transit as much as possible. Now, this commitment was sorely tested by my not-too-stellar experience with Disney Transit at Saratoga Springs last August. . . but I’d do it again, just not at that resort.
The Boston-area thrift shops I frequent always have plenty of Disney souvenirs among their stock, generally in great condition. This should tell you something. So, before you buy, ask yourself whether those Eeyore sweatpants are going to be just as appealing when you get home, or whether you’ve had one Mickey Bar too many. (And hey, if you’re jonesing for a pair of Eeyore sweatpants, you might just wanna stop by that local thrift shop anyway. Thrift shop clothing is by definition being re-used, so it’s relatively guilt free, and easy on the wallet.)
Do these small choices make much of a difference? Maybe, maybe not. But when faced with the choice of doing nothing, and doing something that might help, I hope I usually choose the latter.