Have you decided on your New Year’s resolution yet? Consider taking inspiration from these incredible cast members who have shown outstanding commitment to creating a more sustainable future.
At Walt Disney World Resort, caring for the environment is infused in everything we do. Each year, we recognize teams who go above and beyond to make big impacts with the Environmentality Champion of the Year Award. I’m pleased to announce our latest recipients!
Cast members supporting runDisney have always done their part to reduce waste during race weekends by encouraging guests, volunteers and vendors to recycle bottles and cans, soft plastics, cardboard and clothing. Beginning in 2018, they increased their efforts in a big way through the launch of runDisney’s first food scrap collection program. They helped divert more than 6,300 pounds of banana peels from the landfill in just two race seasons. That’s the weight of 18 Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride vehicles! The banana peels collected were converted into renewable energy. The program will continue during the 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, when banana peels will be composted once again.
Cast members at Disney’s Contemporary Resort became top recyclers by sharing information with their peers and making recycling as easy as possible. By keeping a close eye on collection bins, they ensure recyclables are not sent to the landfill and are extra careful to keep food waste, mixed recycling and soft plastic bins separated so there’s no cross-contamination. They also identified areas around the resort that lacked recycling bins and added more where they were needed.
Additionally, Chef Mickey’s Culinary team went above and beyond by reducing 19,000 pounds of food waste at the restaurant where they used special technology designed to track and reduce food waste. They shared their findings with other food & beverage locations at Walt Disney World. One member of the team, Chef Anthony, also helped eliminate the use of ice for buffet cooling by introducing reusable frozen plates. This single step saves 500 pounds of ice a day and 22,750 gallons of water a year!
By 2030, The Walt Disney Company is committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions which has the Facilities Asset Management (FAM) Design team on their toes. This year, they reduced greenhouse gas emissions and conserved water at Walt Disney World and beyond. Some of the team’s major wins include improving the efficiency of air conditioning systems, designing more efficient water heating systems and ensuring water features operate properly to conserve as much water as possible. These efforts helped Walt Disney World Resort reduce emissions by 35 percent.
Other teams have benefited from their work, too. By sharing their best practices, FAM Design helped Disneyland review new equipment to conserve water and reduce emissions. They also provide guidance to help make sustainable design choices as we dream up future offerings.
To keep up with the latest cast member environmentality stories, check out Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment Facebook and follow Dr. Mark on Instagram.