With summer nearly here, many families look forward to visiting amusement parks around the world. While these parks can create memories that last a lifetime, does that excuse these amusement parks from not being green?
In no uncertain terms, amusement parks are huge and they take up large chunks of land and use large amounts of electricity and water. This is something that just about everyone knows, and while these parks are trying to change, there are elements they can’t control.
Thus, to answer the question, no, there is no such thing as a completely green amusement park, but that may change.
Let’s take a look at the challenges these parks have to overcome.
Excessive Water Usage
There’s no denying that water rides are awesome, but they use a huge amount of water. Obviously, the number of water rides will differ greatly between some parks, as some parks exclusively focus on water attractions.
Now, you may think that once they fill the attraction with water, that’s it. However, that’s not the case. Water is lost through a variety of ways like evaporation and splashes. That water needs to be replenished on a daily basis.
Of course, this is just the normal water usage that guests think about.
Water is used for a lot of things outside of rides. Restaurants in the parks for cooking, there are dozens of restrooms to accommodate the thousands of guests, and these parks work very hard to keep the grass green.
And that’s a tall order when you look at the sheer size of these parks. The good news is that many amusement parks are looking into ways to lower water usage.
Theme parks are big, really big. They use a lot of land, which isn’t completely developed. No. Instead, the land is usually found in rural areas. The land needs to be cleared, then developed for the park and attractions to be built.
This means that all of the natural habitats that existed are wiped away. Now, many theme parks have been around for a long time, thus, this isn’t a recurring issue. However, make no mistake, new amusement parks are built quite regularly.
In fact, if you aren’t aware, there are a ton of new parks opening up just this year alone. And plenty of existing parks continue to grow in size as they add more and more attractions to keep guests interested.
Obviously, when you attract thousands of people to your park on a daily basis, there is going to be a lot of waste. The good news is that these parks actually do a pretty good job at keeping their parks clean. And that’s because guests don’t want to walk through garbage.
However, that’s not the issue here. Instead, the problem is where that waste ends up.
While a good portion of the waste is recyclable, that doesn’t mean it actually gets recycled. Especially by park guests that are in a rush to get to the next ride.
Instead, most of it ends up in a landfill.
These parks actually would need to have a garbage sorting facility to sort out what is recyclable and what isn’t. It’s also worth mentioning that sewage is a form of waste, and again, there’s a lot of that when you have thousands of guests.
I think most of us were expecting this one, but to be honest many parks are looking at more sustainable options. In fact, Disney is already powering a significant amount of its parks with solar energy.
However, electricity isn’t the only thing that needs energy. How about all of the cars and planes used to bring guests to the amusement park? Yeah, that’s a lot and not something that the parks themselves can actually control.
Yet, there’s no denying that those emissions only exist because the park does. Thus, there’s a lot of work before we ever see green amusement parks in our world.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.