Quick recap…a self imposed challenge on this last trip was zero waste, meaning, nothing I touched while on vacation would end up in a landfill. The first day was an epic failure. There was so much food that I wanted to try at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival and much of it was not served in compost friendly containers. That day I gave up on the challenge, hoping that Disney truly composts 80% of their waste as reported.
In case you’re wondering, zero waste even included to personal care items. Since we typically replace everyday items with homemade options, this wasn't difficult at all. Baking soda in place of toothpaste, homemade soap, and coconut oil or shea butter in bulk for moisturizer, were all in reusable containers. Nothing works better than Secret, so no natural alternatives for deodorant yet, and I still rely on Bausch & Lomb for contact lens solution. The larger the bottle, the easier it is to reuse. Remember, recycle, refuse or reuse = zero waste!
|Gen. Colin Powell at the BGCA National Conference|
This day, I found myself saving items that would be typically thrown away. Because I had no knowledge of the hotel’s recycling and composting procedures, I found myself clearing pockets of empty sugar packets, muffin wrappers, orange peels and apple cores when I got on Disney property, because I knew it would be composted. Gross, huh? I would do anything to not repeat the previous day’s defeat.
|Meerkat on sentry duty! Check out this and other great|
pics on my Facebook page.
After the conference activities, I headed over to Animal Kingdom. The last few trips, we’d opted to spend extra time at the Magic Kingdom and skipped Animal Kingdom, so it was great to be back under the shade of The Tree of Life. Due to the conservation efforts and policies in place to help protect the animals, zero waste was much easier here. Drinks are served without lids and the straws are paper. I was pretty disappointed that the Shrimp Po’ Boy was no longer on the menu at Restaurantosaurus, so I snacked most of the day instead of having an actual meal. There would be a huge welcome dinner that evening back at the hotel, so I wasn’t worried about being as hungry as I was the previous day.
The best snack of the day was the Cotton Top Tamarind Cupcake from Kusafiri Coffee and Bake shop. My favorite is the White Chocolate Elephant cupcake. Since there was only a five minute wait for Kilimanjaro Safaris, I postponed my cupcake. Afterwards, there were no more available. Being forced to try something new isn't so bad, especially when it’s a cupcake. I refused the plate it was served on, since it isn't compost friendly, which was probably a bad idea because I immediately dropped my cute little chocolate monkey. No worries, though. He's completely compost friendly. Luckily someone was nice enough to let me photograph their treat.
No souvenirs purchased this day. The items I wanted were unavailable. All drink and snack purchases were in compost friendly containers. Wait times were short, so Fast Passes were not needed, either.
|Danced off all my calories with Burudika|
Reflections for the day? It could be a bit of a stretch to say day two was zero waste since all of my large meals were eaten at the off-property conference hotel. Those could have easily been swapped for meals at Tusker House or Yak and Yeti, and the same would have been accomplished. There’s no waste involved in taking pictures, enjoying attractions, dancing with the band in the streets of Harambee and window shopping. Though it rained most of the day, I still had a fabulous time!
Day three was the Magic Kingdom. Zero waste nirvana achieved! Find out how next week.