How Green Is Disney? All the Ways Disney Resorts Are Eco-Friendly

One look at how Disney keeps its parks clean probably won’t convince you of Mickey’s eco-friendly efforts — which leaves us wondering: Just how green is Disney? As it turns out, Disney takes the environment seriously and works to improve Disneyland and Disney World’s (along with other parks) impact.

Discover all the ways Disney strives for green — including it’s newest initiative — ahead.

Castle as Disneyland

Disneyland is more eco-friendly than you think. | Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

Waste reduction

One trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World is enough to leave you wondering just how bad the parks are for the environment. Luckily, that same thought has crossed the minds of Disney cast members, too. To reduce its waste, Disney focuses its attention on recycling efforts. According to The Walt Disney Company, “over the last ten years, the Disneyland Resort has doubled the amount of waste diverted from landfills, and is working toward the long-term goal of achieving Zero Waste.” Could you imagine a Zero Waste Disneyland?

Compost

In addition to recycling, some Disney locations — like Circle D Corral, a working ranch at Disneyland — compost to reduce waste. According to Disney, Circle D Corral “composts all animal waste, hand towels, laundry lint and coffee grounds from Disneyland Resort restaurants.” It’s also received a gold-level Zero Waste certification by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council. That means 99 percent of Circle D Corral’s waste is recycled or composted. Disney uses these efforts as an example for other resorts and parks.

Electricity

It should come as no surprise that Disney uses a lot — and we mean a lot — of power. That said, the park recognizes that and is making progress on environmental efforts with eco-friendly lasers and energy-saving lights. Case in point: At Walt Disney World, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth uses eco-friendly lasers that amount to the energy equivalent of one hair dryer. According to Disney, it saves about “64,000 watts of power with each show.”

Recycled energy

On top of using eco-friendly laser and light bulbs, Disney also recycles its power in some parks. At Shanghai Disney Resort, a specially designed resourceful energy technology is used to turn wasted energy into usable energy. This recycled energy is responsible for heating and cooling the resort. Using this type of technology not only improves overall energy efficiency, but it also allows for the theme park to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent, too.

Food waste

Disneyland Paris takes food waste seriously and even has a unique program in place to reduce the problem. Both the park’s employee cafeterias and resort restaurants use the program. Once disposed of, leftovers go through biomethanation and used in organic soil.

Water conservation

France’s Disneyland has water conservation under control, too. In addition to its food waste collection program, the park has a wastewater treatment plant. According to 2014 reports, the park was able to save 53 million gallons of water in one year.

Plastic straw ban

Disney’s latest eco-friendly mission is to get rid of plastic straws and stirrers at all parks and resorts by mid-2019. According to its website, this plastic straw ban would help reduce “more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually.” The parks also plan to reduce the number of plastic bags in park stores, take a closer look at reusable in-room amenities, and get rid of polystyrene cups at all parks and resorts.

“Eliminating plastic straws and other plastic items are meaningful steps in our long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship,” Bob Chapek, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products said in a statement. “These new global efforts help reduce our environmental footprint, and advance our long-term sustainability goals,” he added.

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