Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day 2008!

NewsPlusNotes has gone green in honor of Earth Day 2008. Why would an amusement industry news + notes blog go green? I'm glad you asked!

There's plenty that both the amusement industry and its patrons can do to help our earth. Here's some amusement park related ideas to try during your visits this year:

• Visiting a park you are familiar with? Take a pass on that park map pamphlet your next trip - they just lay around later anyway, right? The U.S. alone cuts down millions of trees each year just for paper - why add to that?

• Skip that bottle of water or soda! Many parks will provide free H2O if you ask in a paper cup, which won't lay in a landfill for all of eternity.

• Are you going to buy a t-shirt or a teddy bear when you leave? Say no thanks to that plastic bag the cashier will whip out, instead carry your items and save the bag: they take over 100 years to break down!

• Carpool on your way! If you're going with friends, don't take two or more cars, meet up before hand and go in a few vehicles as possible. Not only will you help the earth, you'll also save on parking fees!

• Want to remember your trip with photos? If using a disposable camera ... make sure you have it developed at a retailer that promises to recycle your camera. Sadly, a surprisingly large percent of disposable cameras end up at the dump. Better yet, go digital and share your photos online, save the developing fee and use no paper!

Those are just some things we all can do; but we won't forget about the amusement park operators - they can play a role too. Actually, some have already taken the initiative toward more environmentally friendly practices.

Disney started a while ago, and has even purposely modified some attractions to make them more 'green.' And we can't forget Animal Kingdom, which has been very enviro-friendly since the start. Speaking of, happy 10th anniversary to one of my favorite parks, Animal Kingdom!

Universal Theme Parks have made big steps, too, they have their current "Green Is Universal" program running, and the parks are specifically participating as well, they're making much progress with bio-fuels in park vehicles - Universal Studios Hollywood is even having their Eco-Fair again this year with plenty of green ideas to be shared.

If they big guys can do it, other parks can, too! Especially corporate ones with the financial backing.

Happy Earth Day!