Happy Earth Day dear readers!
As I sat down to write my post for this week I realized that I would be posting on Earth Day 2015. Even though I wouldn’t consider myself an avid celebrator of the holiday, I wanted to write something that could fit with the general theme and spirit of Earth Day. Of course, my mind immediately turned to talking about Animal Kingdom, but I was worried that I would not be the only Disney Blogger to turn to this Earth-friendly park for inspiration. While preparing a lesson for my first graders on the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) it hit me! ~ I should post about some great Disney purchases/souvenirs that can be reused or used in multiple ways!
So many of us go to the parks with the intent of spending at least a little money on a special something for ourselves, our families, or other loved ones. I have found that visiting the parks has led me to spend outrageous amounts of money on souvenirs that I love at Disney and that go untouched at home. Many of these have ended up in the trash or in a box marked for donations, so I have made a conscious effort to reuse/repurpose old purchases or buy things that I can use for something else at home.
• Mickey/Minnie Ears & Hats: Admit it – you find Mickey Ears positively charming and adorable on people of all ages in the parks, but you would seriously question the sanity of an adult who wears them outside of Disney property. I agree, though I sometimes wish I could make those adorable little pieces an everyday fashion statement. I always find myself yearning for a new pair of ears when I go to the parks and let me tell you, these babies ain’t cheap! Enter, my new way to save money – packing my ears for trips. I don’t know why this never occurred to me before (maybe I am just slow), but I really don’t need to find new ears for every trip that I go on. I have two pairs that currently fit me (my favorite being my adorable Minnie Mouse ears) and both pairs permanently reside in my suitcase. If you are a frequent Disney visitor, I find it much more justifiable to spend money on a cute pair that I really want knowing that I will wear them over and over again. My Minnie Mouse ears have already been worn for 2 trips to the park and will get some good use again in October!
• Other Clothing Purchases: Just like the ears, you can pack and reuse pretty much any clothing, jewelry, etc. that you purchase at the park. As a general rule, I try to stay away from anything that is dated by the year unless I am totally in love with the design and know I can get a ton of use out of it. By packing and wearing park purchases I find that I save myself a lot of money because I realize just how much stuff I already own! Another option with t-shirts is to frame them – something especially wonderful for those shirts that you love but have grown out of. I currently have several cute, Disney shirts that I am planning to frame and hang in the near future. These can become cute, cheap pieces of artwork for any Disney fan! If you are interested in framing you can find a great tutorial here: http://sometimes-homemade.com/how-to-frame-t-shirts/
On another note, I would also suggest checking out your local Hot Topic and Disney Bound for some outfit inspiration. Both of these put more Disney into my wardrobe and are often things that I would wear on a more regular basis outside of the parks.
• Pressed Pennies: I used to have a jar of pressed pennies that I had done in the parks and recently dumped a bunch of them, only keeping a few that I just couldn’t seem to part with. I have been sitting around and wondering what to do with these things that just sit in a drawer when I came across a tutorial for making pressed pennies into charm bracelets! Now, I probably would only wear my bracelet with certain outfits or on certain occasions, but this is certainly more practical than buying an expensive book to store them in and placing them on a shelf or in a drawer to be forgotten. If you would like to see the tutorial to make this cute little accessory you feel free to check it out here: http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/blog/2011/8/pressed-penny-bracelet
• Disney Maps and Autograph Books: It wasn’t until I was writing this post that I realized I have many Disney Maps lying around along with an autograph book that has been sitting on my shelf since I was 8 years old. I decided to go to my trusty, inspirational craft guru (*cough* Pinterest *cough*) to see what I might be able to find. Well, I hadn’t expected it, but someone had created a pin all about different ways to repurpose old maps (http://www.brit.co/diy-maps/?utm_campaign=pinbutton_hover). I am so excited about trying some of these out and am really thinking I might turn my Disney land maps into some adorable coasters for my coffee table! Many of these same crafts could work for those autograph pages!
I find myself wishing that I were more on the ball with actually completing some of the crafts that I have mentioned instead of just letting them stack up on my desk at home. However, I know that I have a lot of fun things to make once school gets out for the summer! I will be sure to post again with some of the cool Disneyfied crafts that I have made using the wonderful inspiration that I have found online! Have any of you ever repurposed/reused Disney purchases? How did they turn out? I would love to hear your ideas!
With that, I would like to leave you with a few facts about how Disney Parks help to care for our environment and celebrate Earth Day:
• Disney train engines (even the originals that Disney drove himself) have been switched over and remodeled so they can run on 100 percent biodiesel. They have also started/worked on other energy-saving practices such as installing LED lights instead of neon bulbs and more.
• After starting the reusable mug program Disney found they were able to save half a million dollars and drastically reduce the amount of waste created at the parks.
• Disney has set aside about 1/3 of the 40 square miles at Disney World Resort for wildlife conservation.
• The majority of Disney Resorts’ water needs are met with “reclaimed water” this means that the water is filtered and then reused throughout the parks.
Have a magical Earth Day everyone!
– Melissa H.