Many cruise lines and cruise companies are going green. The name Disney has been a trusted household name for years, especially when it comes to television and theater entertainment or the well-known theme parks; and now Disney has made an addition to its repertoire with cruise liners. In the late 1990s, Disney set sail with two ships: Disney Wonder and Disney Magic. The division of the company that operates the cruise lines quickly found out the implications of carbon emissions that come with operating ships. In an effort to uphold the positive image of Disney and its responsibility to the environment, the cruise lines have vowed to go green. Learn even more by reading Disney’s newest Green Cruise ship Disney Fantasy.
Disney Wonder and Disney Magic can each hold approximately 2,700 passengers. Guests can choose from a number of cruise themes, including Bahamian, Caribbean, European, Alaska, and the California coast. The cruises are also available in various lengths of time; from 3 days to 14 days. So you can begin to imagine the amount of water, energy, and waste usage that could come from this many passengers, plus about 950 crew members, at sea for 14 days. To give you a more precise idea, energy use and carbon dioxide emissions were calculated to the equivalent of 270,000 tons of carbon in 2007.
These astounding numbers, made Disney realize they needed to make some changes to improve the footprint the cruise lines was leaving on the environment. Some of the immediate changes they made are as follows:
- Installed energy efficient lighting throughout the ships
- Reduced the weight on the ship to ease on the work of the engines
- Installed automatic air conditioning controls to make the system more energy efficient
These smaller changes resulted in the cruise lines having 5% energy savings. This was just the start of the company’s efforts. Bigger changes were made, and of course, had a bigger impact on reducing carbon emissions. Here are some of the bigger changes that have been made:
- The water used for the laundry facilities is generated from the air conditioning system. Some might think this doesn’t sound like it would generate very much water; however, it is estimated to produce 280 tons of water per day.
- Evaporators are powered by excess heat, which in turn takes 1,200 tons of seawater and turns it into potable water each day.
- Each ship is staffed with an environmental officer who monitors the green efforts, as well as teaches the staff and guests how they can best contribute.
- The ship hulls were covered with a non-toxic silicone coating to improve the glide through the water. This creates less drag and eases use of the engine.
- The cooking oil that is used aboard the ship is saved and taken to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, where it is used to power machinery. This results in a savings of about 8,000 gallons of fuel each year.
- Things like aluminum, cardboard, and other recyclables are saved in separate receptacles from standard garbage. This diverted approximately 405 tons of recyclables from going to the waste stream.
- Scrap metal, ceiling panels, plastic, and other miscellaneous materials are recycled through an organization called “Keep America Beautiful.”
- Other materials and furnishings that are no longer in use are donated to communities in need at the various ports the ships stop at.
So, you can see that Disney is putting their green foot forward. The company provides a variety of environmental and educational programs to the crew members, as well as guests. The crew also takes part in clean-up efforts and habitat restoration efforts around the world. Legoland California trip