Planning on going to Hong Kong Disneyland for some Christmas Mickey Magic but already feeling eco-anxious about the single use plastic MADNESS you imagine witnessing in the amusement park?
So was I! But it IS possible. So here goes, my tips for reducing YOUR negative impact during your next super fun family visit to Disneyland which, let’s face it, no parent can escape!
1. Bring your reusables
Like with any other festival, park or afternoon out: you are allowed to bring/provide your own containers when purchasing food and drinks at the Park.
If you plan on snacking inside the park, know that snacking carts only offer mini packaged portions of sauces and spice so avoid those if possible. nd make sure to stay away from those single-use eating plastic gloves as the best way to fight germs and dirty hands is by washing them.
Reusables Check List:
- Coffee cups
- Plates and/or food containers
- Fabric napkins and/or tissues
- Forks and spoons
2. Don’t forget your water bottle
There are many water fountains around the Park to fill it up!
3. Replace single use wipes and hand sanitisers
The Park has many toilets with running water and soap. If you carry fabric tissues and water, you’ll never run out of wet wipes! Just wash them with a little soap afterwards and store them in a dedicated waterproof container in your bag.
DIY Wet Wipes:
If you want to take it a step further, prepare your own wet wipes at home by filling a container with 50% Aloe Vera gel, 50% water (or any natural floral water) and some fabric tissues. Just pop one out whenever needed. This preparation does not keep for more than a week.
4. Save $$$ and trash by bringing your own food and drink
You don’t need to buy individually packaged snacks or beverages; the Park’s rules and regulations allow to bring outside food and beverages.
5. Choose to be plant-based for an even more magical day
The second biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth is to orient your diet towards a plant-based one. It’ll reduce not only greenhouse gases, but global acidification, land use, water use and many other issues we are causing with our increasing meat consumption. According to PETA, you could save nearly 200 animals per year just by going vegan.
Disneyland Parks & Resorts USA are working on offering more plant-based options in 2020, which is great news. More locally, I was happily surprised to be able to order a Beyond Meat burgers, drink an Oat Latte Macchiato and read about a plant-based dumplings at Disneyland Hong Kong!
6. If you are staying in one of the Park’s hotels, bring your toiletries
Even though these items are not really associated with luxury anymore, most hotels around the world still offer single-use amenities to their guests instead of refillable bottles and toiletries upon demand. It’s easy to avoid them by packing reusable options in advance (also safer and usually less toxic!)
7. Tell your kids they can say “No, Thanks”
I guess it is part of the “magic” for kids to be offered free stickers at every corner but after just two hours at the Park, even our kids were jaded.
In everyday life, flyers and marketing collateral are handed to us and many of us we take them automatically and without thinking. It’s a good idea to teach your kids to politely refuse free things if they feel they will be of no use to them.
8. Think (about packaging) before you buy
The way food and goods are packaged should play a role in your shopping decision- if something is covered in single-use plastic and excess packaging, don’t buy it. And don’t forget to bring your shopping bag!
Did You Know?
- Plastic-coated paper packaging is impossible to recycle.
- You can’t recycle anything with food residue like paper napkins or paper plates.
- PVC (Type 3 Plastic) mostly used to package toys is not recyclable in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Disneyland does not mention any ecological or green initiatives on their website. While I did notice some sorting bins with a recycling logo around the Park, there was no additional information or explanation of where the waste was going. In the Hotels you can find little plastic pouches to take home the hand soap, in addition to the usual advice to reuse towels and linens, but on the whole, there’s huge room for improvement sustainability-wise.
Every day we teach our kids by example how to live a respectful lifestyle. We did have a wonderful time at the Park, and it was not totally zero-waste nor vegan, but we did our best with what we could on this first visit.
It was important for me to refuse single-use items and avoid over consumption even at Disney, to show my little ones that nothing is impossible and a low-waste mindset is not a part-time one.
Lead image courtesy of Klook.