Friday, January 6, 2012

Eco-Friendly Disney Style - Part 1

Well, the trip is long over, but the memories are still good ones.  We spent a week at Disney World in Florida, with my parents, my brother and his fiancee.  It was certainly a lesson in togetherness, understanding, and patience.  It was also a lesson in how well-entrenched my family really is in the whole "eco-thing".

The realization starts almost as soon as we start planning our trip.  There was paper.  Lots and lots of paper.  Brochures, calendars, emails, tickets.  It is unbelievable in this age of technology, how much paper a trip actually uses in its planning stages.

Sure, we communicated back and forth by email.  Yes, we had electronic tickets.  But, DD1 and DD2 both needed their passports renewed before our trip.  Check off TWO three page print outs that were mailed, plus photocopies of relevant documents (in case they got lost in the mail), and you have quite a bit of paper.  Not to mention an envelope, courier bag and paper receipt.

Then there were the trip planners my mom created for the kids.  Their very own calendars to write down what they wanted to do.  Of course, they couldn't share the computer.  So, I printed three copies of everything for them to look at.

Print off our ticket reservations, address of our rental house, and copies of a map to get to it, and you have more paper.   Not very eco-friendly.  Lots of dead trees, and not much to show for it.  Even the kids were commenting on the amount of printer paper we were going through.  Sure we had a Garmin and our Blackberry devices.  But being uncertain about how all this technology would translate south of the border, I erred on the side of caution and obtain hard copies.

At least, I thought, I'll be able to recycle all of  the paper in Florida.   How wrong I was......


  1. I understand your last comment about recycling! I used to volunteer with a Robotics program, and our team handed out small office recycling boxes to the other teams at competitions. Many of the American teams looked at us like we had two heads when we explained what we were trying to do.

  2. I have a friend who recently relocated to Florida from Seattle who had mentioned that things are quite different down there-recycling (or lack up) being one of them. I read on another person's blog that while in Hawaii, such a beautiful state, that they saw Styrofoam being used *everywhere*.
    Let's all keep up the good fight!

  3. I am really surprised by the fact that Florida doesn't recycle. While Port Elizabeth doesn't do green bins that I've found, there are plenty of opportunities to recycle everything from paper and plastic to CF light bulbs and printer cartridges. Actually I was pleasantly surprised at how current the places that I've been to in South Africa have been regarding environmental stewardship. The school's that I know of have recycling programs and the national curriculum (Grade 4 at least) talks about water conservation and environmentally friendly farming practices.

  4. Well, as you'll see from the next few blogs posts, it wasn't all that bad. Just things you take for granted back home, that are suddenly no longer readily available.