Tuesday, May 28th, 6 a.m., I boarded the airplane bound for sunny Orlando, Fl.
By 12 p.m., I was standing in the middle of Main Street U.S.A., facing a gorgeous view of the bright blue castle I've seen in countless movies for the entirety of my life.
According to MagicGuides.com, 52 million people visit Walt Disney World parks annually, with almost half of that number being attendance to the Magic Kingdom park, respectively.
As I walked through the intense crowds of people from around the globe, I saw an increasing amount of dark blue plastic bags with Cinderella's castle printed on them -- gift shop bags.
With the current dwindling state of the environment, I immediately became distressed thinking about how many of these massive plastic bags would wind up in the oceans or littering the streets and forests until they somewhat decompose over the course of the next 100 years.
Rest assured, a white band lining the top of the bag stated that the sea of plastic bags I saw before my eyes were entirely recyclable, and made 100% from recycled plastic.
Kudos to Disney World, this is a big step towards reaching full environmental sustainability to have a corporation like Disney to widely practice conservation in its' parks that millions of people visit yearly.
The most vital step that Disney took towards sustainability was the complete ban of plastic straws -- the only plastic straws that were dispensed at any park or resort were from Starbucks.
As for the Disney resorts, parks and restaurants, paper straws or no straw at all was given to the customer. This step is vital in the process of environmental sustainability because if plastic straws were distributed, hundreds upon thousands would wind up littering the country due to the mass amount of people visiting the parks.
The resort I stayed at, The Art of Animation Resort, offered refillable plastic mugs for you to keep when you purchase food from the cafeteria. You could refill it for the entirety of your trip free of charge -- aside from this being a huge money saver, this step eliminated the use of hundreds plastic or paper cups that couldn't be recycled.
In Disney Stores around the globe, plastic bags have been banned entirely, and reusable bags are encouraged and available for purchase at the locations, but plastic bags will not be in use.
When they are in use, like at Disney Parks, they are made 100% recyclable. Here, Disney has taken the high road in eliminating their use of plastic bags for eco-friendly ones.
Above all, the most eye-opening part of my visit was when I journeyed through the Savannah on the Safari ride in the Animal Kingdom.
As we passed every animal, our tour guide told us which animals were endangered -- but her insightful notes didn't stop there.
If we passed an endangered animal, our tour guide informed the bus full of people from all around the world why that animal was endangered -- whether it be habitat loss or it was hunted for the minerals found inside their tusks or horns.
She told us ways that we can fight habitat loss, and how we can recycle and upcycle our used or obsolete products to help fight animal extinction, such as recycling old cell phones to help save African wildlife.
Walt Disney World should be commended for their fantastic efforts towards environmental sustainability, a large corporation like Disney becoming self-aware and taking the initiative to help save the planet and educate its mass amount of visitors about how they can help save the environment is nothing short of admirable.
All corporations - no matter how big or small - should follow in Disney's footsteps and take the initiative to practice environmental sustainability to regulate the planet while we still can.