Our Green(ish) Trip to Disneyland – Part 3

Grapevines in the Golden Vine Winery inside California Adventure

This is the final posting about our trip to Disneyland, and our attempts to travel and live green while on the road. As I mentioned in Part 1, my definition of living sustainably is being a good steward of our finances. Since we had five days total for our California trip including travel time, we decided to purchase three-day Park Hopper passes for Disneyland and California Adventure and spend the majority of our time at the parks. This turned out to be the perfect decision for us, and I was happy that we didn’t try to squeeze in trips to Universal Studios and other attractions on this trip; we’ll save those adventures for our next visit to Southern California. 

On the day we arrived, we settled into our hotel, bought groceries and got acquainted with the area. Then we had three relaxed days to explore both parks, with no pressure to arrive early or stay late. Most days we walked back to our hotel later in the afternoon and went for a swim. 

My sister turned me on to the wonderful site MouseSavers, which is chock-full of insider information about the parks, hotels, discounts and deals. I purchased our 

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Our Green(ish) Trip to Disneyland – Part 2

Fresh fruit for sale on Main Street in Disneyland

Last week I wrote about the travel and planning aspects of our recent trip to Disneyland, and this week I’ll share some of our efforts to live green on the road–as well as our trade-offs, mistakes and dilemmas.

Before we left the urban homestead, I turned all of the thermostats down to 62 degrees. We use programmable thermostats in our house, so after I set the temperature I pressed “hold” to lock it in until we returned. I left one small light on that is fitted with a CFL. A neighbor watched our house while we were gone and he also turned a different light on every night. I hate wasting the electricity, but like most people we have to balance our environmental concerns with security considerations when we travel.

If you’ve been trying to eliminate toxins and chemicals from your life, living in a hotel for a few days can sometimes be challenging. My advice is to

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Our Green(ish) Trip to Disneyland – Part 1

Hyacinths in full bloom surround Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in Disneyland

We left our urban homestead last week, lured by the magic of Disneyland.  Throughout the planning stages of our trip, I tried to make as many eco-friendly choices as possible — balanced against practical and financial considerations. In this posting I’ll share the travel decisions we faced and the choices we made. In Part 2, I’ll share some of the personal aspects about our own efforts to be eco-conscious travelers, and in Part 3 I’ll report on our experiences within the Disneyland and California Adventure parks.  

My definition of sustainable living includes trying to be a good steward of our finances, so during the planning stages I tried to maximize our value on this trip. For the air travel from Denver to Anaheim, I purchased one United ticket for $241 and redeemed one free MileagePlus ticket. For the first time, I also purchased carbon offsets for the energy we used flying from Denver to Anaheim. I’d always wanted to do this, but I frankly felt a little overwhelmed by all of the choices — there are literally hundreds of carbon offset organizations and I’d read rumblings that they weren’t all completely legit.  After researching a number of options I ended up purchasing an offset from the highly-regarded organization TerraPass, enough to cover both our air travel and car emissions during the trip.  (To offset an air travel trip, go to the air travel page and enter the airport codes for your departure and destination cities. TerraPass automatically calculates the carbon emissions. In our case, two direct roundtrip flights from Denver to Anaheim equaled 1,689 miles or  1,148 lbs. CO2. We purchased offsets for 2,000 lbs.  of CO2 and the cost was a surpisingly affordable $11.90.)

Next, I searched for a green hotel.

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