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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