The Walt Disney Company is a big corporation. They have a lot of waste. They make a lot of products. They ship these products all over the global, as do they travel all over the globe. To quantify the carbon footprint of the entire Disney Corporation would be a foolish waste of time and other resources. Whether it is a direct effect of this massive pollution, or a logical continuation of Disney’s respectful relationship with nature; they are taking a stand.
The battlegrounds are tropical forests. According to Toby Janson-Smith, the senior director of forest carbon markets at Conservation International, they play a large role in climate change. Disney has allocated seven million dollars to reforestation projects in Peru and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Take that McDonald’s. The goal of the reforestation projects is to reduce emissions costs from deforestation.
Toby hopes that Disney’s contribution will be a catalyst for attention and future donations. For this, he seems to be a smart man who understands the importance of cultural trends in our transition to environmental cleanliness and sustainability. When a company as large as influential as Disney is concerned with an issue, we had better be concerned also. In some aspects, its a little pathetic and dissapointing. Why does being green and sustainable have to be a trend? Why can’t we just do it ourselves? It seems as if there are very few people progressive and caring enough to actually go out and save the world. I think the problem has to do with sight. If I, or anyone for that matter, walks around outside in the our neighborhood, there’s a large chance that it won’t seem like the world is in danger. The sun is shining and the birds are whistling while a gentle breeze keeps us cool.
But it all comes down to where we draw the line. If we walk in a field and we see trash or dying plants, is that a problem. Or what if we walk for miles and miles and see nothing but concrete and buildlings. Maybe we’re so pessimistic that those problems that are close to home are a given and we have learned to just deal with them. In that case, it is even more important to look on the larger scale and follow in Disney’s footsteps and save the rainforests. In fact, why not break off from that path and on our own everyone find one thing that needs help. The problem can’t be so big that things will remain hidden. Once the trend-following mindset is abandoned, so will be the giagantic carbon footprint.
Conservation International is the wonderful group doing the wonderful work.
A little closer to home, Disney is also donating two million dollars to a reforestation project in the Mississippi River Dealta, with the Nature Conservancy.