The winning class for the 2011 Disney’s Planet Challenge goes to…. the Year 6 class of Cayman Prep & High School in the Cayman Islands! The young environmental champions were honored aboard the Disney Magic cruise ship in Grand Cayman last week for their class project focused on protecting the threatened swallowtail butterfly, an endemic species found only in the Cayman Islands. Disney Captain John Barwis and Captain Mickey Mouse held an official ceremony for the students and their teacher, Andy Jones, onboard the ship to recognize their outstanding environmental achievements.
As part of their class project, the students raised funds and awareness of the native swallowtail butterfly and its habitat, in addition to planting lime trees, which provide food and shelter for the butterfly. They also distributed and planted lime seeds across their community in an effort to grow even more trees, which will provide the butterflies with a safe habitat for years to come.
Disney’s Planet Challenge is a yearly program aimed at inspiring students to be good stewards of the environment and empowering them to make a difference. Sponsored through a relationship with Disney Cruise Line and the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Department of Education and Department of the Environment, the community outreach and educational program is just one of the ways that Disney Cruise Line continues to inspire positive action and minimize its environmental impact both aboard and ashore.
In the spirit of Earth Month, we wanted to share a few environmental initiatives and facts that you might not know about Disney Cruise Line. Our focus remains on utilizing new technologies, increasing fuel efficiency and minimizing waste. Did you know?
- Environmental officers are aboard all Disney ships and are ranked amongst the most senior leaders aboard the fleet. They’re responsible for fuel efficiency, minimizing waste and promoting conservation of water, ecosystems and energy.
- All Disney ships have a 100 percent non-toxic hull coating which reduces surface resistance in open water.
- Disney Cruise Line eliminates more than 1,200 tons of metal, plastic and paper from traditional waste streams and recycles it each year.
- The Disney Wonder recently “plugged-in” at the Port of Los Angeles, utilizing this new technology for shore power and reducing air emissions while in port.
- The Disney Dream features technology to determine accurate energy management which maximizes the heating, ventilation and cooling systems based on real-time requirements. As part of this system, guest staterooms self-adjust when unoccupied and return to the desired temperature upon a guests’ return.
- Cast and crew members have donated more than 4,500 hours in the port communities Disney calls home, including giving back to local nonprofits, hosting annual walks to raise funds and awareness for conservation programs and leading shore cleanups, that to date have removed 31,000 pounds of trash and debris from beaches and fragile waterways.