“You’ve probably heard people talk about conservation. Well, conservation isn’t just the business of a few people. It’s a matter that concerns all of us. It’s a science whose principles are written in the oldest code in the world, the laws of nature. The natural resources of our vast continent are not inexhaustible. But if we will use our riches wisely, if we will protect our wildlife and preserve our lakes and streams, these things will last us for generations to come.” -Walt Disney
|Click the image to view “Behind the Waves” video.|
Conservation efforts are born of necessity on cruise ships, as both space and resources are limited. The Disney Cruise Line (DCL), however, not only takes required steps to assure environmental responsibility, but also paves the way with many innovative initiatives. On each of their ships you’ll even find a dedicated environmental officer who oversees all such systems.
Solid waste on each DCL ship is sorted for recycling as it is collected, producing approximately 405 tons of recyclable aluminum, glass, plastic, paper, or cardboard materials each
year. For a visual, that’s equivalent to 27 school buses or
12 humpback whales!
Water condensation is collected from the ships’ air conditioning units and used for cleaning and maintenance on the ship, saving up to 1/3 of their clean water needs.
Evaporators produce fresh water from ocean water through a desalination process, eliminating the need to transport potable water.
All DCL ships feature Advanced Wastewater Purification Systems (AWPS) to treat and purify onboard wastewater to levels far exceeding international shipping standards.
The ships engines not only propel the ship but also power electricity onboard. (Note: Electricity in staterooms on the new Disney Dream works only as long as a Guest Key Card is
inserted in a slot near the door. No lights can be
accidentally left on, so no electricity is accidentally wasted!)
Used cooking oil from the ships’ galleys is mixed with special fuel for maintenance vehicles and machinery on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
The hulls of all three DCL fleet members are coated with a completely non-toxic paint that reduces friction as the ships glide across the water. Requiring less power to move
the ship means running fewer engines.
Disney Cruise Line instills positive environmental stewardship in its Cast and Crew. It also seeks to inspire Guests and communities through “environmentality” programs on their ships, at their ports of call, and even in classrooms and other events.
Some ecological opportunities at Castaway Cay include:
Castaway Ray’s interaction with live stingrays. It’s not just for Guest amusement! The center fosters expecting rays and their cubs before releasing them to the natural waters.
Coral reef preservation and restoration. Researchers transplant healthy sea urchins, “like natural lawnmowers of algae,” to keep reefs clean and thriving.
Sea turtle hatchling observation and assistance. Loggerhead sea turtles are allowed to nest, hatch and return to the waters under the watchful eye of marine biologists.
Donations to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF). A portion of the proceeds from stingray adventures benefit the DWCF. Supported through Guest contributions
that are matched by The Walt Disney Company, to date the
organization has distributed more than $15 million in total
donations, supporting more than 850 wildlife projects in 110
countries worldwide. Read more at here.
Watching for endangered whales. Navigational crew onboard Disney ships spot and report endangered right whales that use the Florida coast as a nursery in the spring and summer.
Disney’s Planet Challenge (DPC) is a national, project-based, environmental competition for children in grades 3 through 8. Utilizing math, science, language arts and social studies, the program empowers kids to make a positive impact in their communities, and therefore on the earth, by developing their “Environmentality – thinking and acting environmentally at school, at home, and in the community.”
Registration is now open (click here) for the 2011-2012 competition, and there is no fee to enter. The program is divided into two skill levels: grades 3-5 and grades 6-8. One teacher registers his or her class (defined as an academic core class with a maximum of 40 students), who work together to complete the project by a designated deadline. GRAND prize includes a 2-night/3-day trip to Disneyland Resort for each student, their teacher, and each chaperone (one per 4 students), plus other gifts and awards.
If you do not feel comfortable or qualified to enter the contest, you can complete the challenge on your own.
Here you can get lots of Disney’s Planet Challenge Resources, including FREE downloadable lesson plans, tutorials, handbooks, and much, much more!