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Cast Members Get Creative to Reduce Waste at Walt Disney World Resort

Dr. Mark Penning

by , Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

As we enter into May, I hope you’ll join me in carrying the Earth Month spirit into this month and well beyond. At Disney, we believe caring for the environment is something we all can, and should, do every day. I’m so impressed by the work I’m seeing across our resort to reduce waste and by creative ways teams are coming together to create these positive changes. Today, I’d like to highlight a few of these efforts that are truly inspiring and making a meaningful difference.

Costumes Rooted in Conservation

Are you familiar with upcycling? It’s a novel way to take trash and transform it into something even better than it was before. 

For example, the aprons in these photos are all made from fabric created from recycled plastic water bottles. In fact, each apron is keeping 50 bottles out of the landfill!

When Food and Beverage partners were recently looking for new costume designs for quick service restaurant cast members in resorts, Costuming cast members Christine, Michelle, Annamarie and Sandy infused some conservation-based creativity into a head-to-toe eco-friendly costume refresh with fun characters and Disney icons infused into the design.

“So much is happening with fabric technology, which includes lightweight performance fabric created with recycled fiber” Costume Development and Implementation Manager Michelle said. “We’ve found that sweet spot to get functional and durable, vibrant fabrics with fun designs cast and guests will love.”

While Christine and Michelle have been working in Costuming for years, they both love learning and trying new things every day, which is something they really love about their roles.

“It was so exciting when we were testing the recycled goods, finding out how many water bottles went into making each one of these aprons,” Costume Designer Christine said. “There’s such a great drive from the Company to look for places where we can be more efficient and be better global citizens. And being able to use recycled fabrics, I think the cast are going to be proud of that. Knowing that their costumes are making a difference.”

Creative Composting

Recently, cast members at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park were invited to flex their green creativity against teams of fellow cast members to design one-of-a-kind compost buckets as part of their Earth Month celebration.

The teams received buckets repurposed from food and beverage locations at the park and turned them into beautiful and clever compost containers to help reduce food waste. And those who weren’t submitting their own creation were invited to join in the fun by voting on their favorite bucket through donations to the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF). 

Responsible printing behind the scenes

There’s more work happening behind the scenes in offices across property. Teams have reduced individual printers by about 40 percent and are transitioning to more energy-efficient devices. This encourages cast members to only print what they truly need and reduces paper and toner waste. 

These are just a few examples of the work our teams are doing across Walt Disney World to reduce waste. Learn more about what we’re doing throughout the company to conserve resources by visiting https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/environmental-sustainability/.

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