For nearly a century, Disney has found inspiration in the world around us and taken action to support a healthier planet for people and wildlife. We also strive to keep an environmentally friendly culture for all our cast members, and we created the Disney Environmental Hero award to recognize those who go the extra mile when it comes to sustainability.
As we dive into Earth Month, we’re shining the spotlight on five Environmental Heroes who are putting possibility into practice by doing their part to conserve natural resources, care for wildlife and their habitats, and reduce waste all year long.
Helping animal keepers repurpose discarded items like water jugs, cardboard tubes, yoga mats and fire hoses into exciting things that draw out an animal’s natural instincts helped Angela become an Environmental Hero. Instead of ending up in a landfill, these items became logs to scratch, balls to pounce on and puzzles to solve for the animals in our care.
For Leah, her lightbulb-moment for making an impact led to turning off the lights and conserving energy at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT. After noticing many lights, pop-quiz boards and video displays in the building stayed on overnight, she created beautiful lighting maps and led conversations with engineers to understand which lights should remain on overnight. With the right lights turned off, the animals get better sleep, and The Seas reduced the amount of electricity used.
Jim put possibility into practice during a merchandise event for cast members where he took recycling to the next level. With events like this, there’s bound to be a lot of cardboard boxes, plastic wrappers and Styrofoam, so Jim and his team introduced special recycling bins and diligently separated these materials throughout the event. These simple actions helped divert 105 bags of soft plastic, 49 bales of cardboard and a full semi-trailer of Styrofoam from the landfill.
Marcela and Vanessa proved one question can lead to big results: “Do you need a bag with that?” This small change in routine when helping guests at the register has kept hundreds of shopping bags from going to waste.
“Every person has a role in changing the world for the better,” Marcela, who also loves to introduce reusable bags to guests, says, “selling reusable bags is an easy way I have been able to do that.”
If these cast members have inspired you to create change, there are a few simple ways you can help build a brighter, more sustainable future. Next time you visit a Disney park, try recycling plastic bottles, declining a bag at a merchandise location or using a refillable water bottle… and you, too, may be recognized with an Environmental Hero award!