Sunday, April 21, 2013

Waste Not...

While I won't be in the parks on Earth Day, I will be there before the end of the month.  In honor of Earth Day, I've decided to not waste anything this trip.  Everything will be recycled, reused or refused...absolutely everything.  This task will be a lot easier this trip because I am traveling solo; would be dang near impossible with two small children.  Beside the standards I hope everyone follows, such as reusing towels, using the in-room and park recycle bins, turning off lights and adjusting temperature appropriately before leaving the room, here are a few ideas on how I plan to leave the smallest footprint of any human being ever while at Disney World.

  • Plane Tickets - Super easy...will use electronic ticketing on my phone.
  • Luggage Tags - Another easy one.  These always go in the scrapbook created for every trip, or recycled.
  • Drinks & Snacks on the plane - I'll pack my own snacks in reusable containers and fill filtered water bottles after I get past security. Prepackaged items given out on the plane will be refused.
  • Resort Information given at check-in - I'll kindly refuse these or recycle it.
  • Food - This will be tough, since any items that come in contact with food generally cannot be recycled (paper plates, cups, forks, etc).  Although Disney composts up to 80% of its waste, some of the paper plates used at Quick Service restaurants are coated and cannot be composted.  I'll also have to skip prepackaged snacks like Mickey Ice Cream Bars.  This means I'm restricted to Table Service restaurants, Quick Service spots with plates that can be composted, and snacks that could be eaten without coated packaging (pretzels, churros, turkey legs).  By far, this will be the hardest part of the challenge because I love to eat ALL Disney food!
This container can be composted
This container is composting here
Note: I am by no means an expert on composting, but my research shows that paper coated with plastic is not compostable.  Paper products coated in clay are compostable.  I do not know what Disney's food containers, plates, etc., are coated with.  Maybe I'll bring a few back home and run some tests to see how the containers do in a compost bin.
  • Drinks - Refillable resort mugs without straws and my trusty water bottle with attached filter and reusable ice cubes will keep me hydrated.  Maybe I'll pick up a couple of extra paper straws from Animal Kingdom for use during the rest of the trip.  Dios Mio! Does this mean I'll have to skip enjoying my precious Dole Whip float? 
  • Maps - I think I can walk through the parks with my eyes closed and get to where I want.  In the slim chance I need to see a map, I can use the Disney Parks app on my phone or ask a Cast Member for directions.
  • Purchases - Even though the bags are made of 100% recycled materials, I'll refuse them when I make purchases and just put items in my backpack.  Tags and receipts will be recycled.

Anyone else up to the challenge?  With a little planning, I think anyone could do it.  We'll see how this goes and try to replicate as much as I can when we head back with the kids this summer.  Did I forget anything?


  1. Great post!

    I don't know if I can add anything to that list. Do you charge your cell phone or anything overnight? any plans to get up and make sure you unplug once it's charged? What about appliances at home? unplugging them while you're away?

    1. Hi James! I always unplug the charger once my devices are charged. This time, I'll have to leave the appliances on at home, hubby & kids are staying behind and will need them. Thanks for the suggestions!