Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Green Confession: I Love Disneyland

The eco part of me is ashamed to admit that I love Disneyland.

There are so many aspects about a trip to Disneyland that are hard on the Earth. It certainly doesn't fit the picture for a crunchy vacation.

First of all, there is the getting there part. Regardless of the method we chose to get there, we are belching out carbon dioxide.

Recycling is ridiculous. When we saw signs encouraging us to recycle they only referred to cans and plastic bottles. No recycling for the plastic cutlery, plastic cups and juice boxes everywhere. I certainly didn't expect composting sites for the organic matter people were tossing into the garbage bins. Never mind how easy it would be to have paper and cardboard product recycling.

Speaking of water bottles, we brought our own stainless steel bottles with the intention of filling them at water fountains. I am ashamed to admit that we ended up buying bottled water because we couldn't stand the taste of the tap water. We are very spoiled with the quality of our drinking water here in British Columbia.
Unless we had a meal in a sit-down restaurant, everything was served on styrofoam or in non-recycleable plastic cups. We purchased a few "souvenir" containers so that we weren't throwing them away, but they are plastic, which I am trying to reduce in our home.

I can't even imagine the energy it takes to power the resort and park.  I love the evening light shows and fireworks. Disney really knows how to put on a parade.
We were excited to see Carsland this time, which 
was under construction last time we visited.

I am a sucker for Disney merchandise which is everywhere and at every turn. We walked off favourite rides, like Star Tours, right smack into a gift shop. So much for reducing my consumerist urges

If truth be told I wanted my photo with the 
characters more than my girls did.

Don't forget the gender-typing with frilly princesses for girls and jedi fights and cars for boys (although my girls love it all).
This is from our trip two years ago when the older 
girls were still into princesses. They have passed the 
torch to my three year old who loved meeting 
the princesses in the new Fantasy Faire.

I can't believe how I have been branded by Disneyland. I went several times growing up and I have such happy memories and emotions associated with Disneyland. Two years ago we went with my parents and when we arrived at the front gates my mother and I actually got misty eyed remembering all our good times. For someone who is trying to reduce brand purchases (more expensive than making from scratch, additional packaging, additives, chemicals, etc) this is rather embarrassing.

Imagine my horror when my husband pointed out this sign to me:
I suppose this is a good thing, being forced into labelling toxic materials. Can you imagine if this was done everywhere? Then again, would people care? I'm not sure it would change the public's buying patterns because all their favourite products and brands would be included. Sorry for being so cynical. 

Despite all this, I had a fantastic time and we hope to return in a few years, because I find each age gets something different out of the park. I guess everyone has their weaknesses and Disneyland is one of mine.

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