I admit it—“Eco travel” and “theme parks” might not seem a natural match. But for this eco-obsessed traveler, digging deeper into Universal Orlando Resort’s commitment to environment stewardship and practices was a refreshing surprise.
The first pleasant surprise? Learning how much is going on behind-the-scenes, completely out of sight of guests, as part of Universal’s Green is Universal program.
All those resort water taxis and shuttle buses that bring you from adventure to adventure? They run on biodiesel fuel.
The cleaning products that keep your room and resort sparkling? They’re eco-friendly.
That gorgeous landscaping that provides the perfect backdrop for your photos? It’s shaped using environmentally sound horticulture practices.
And those lightbulbs that allow you to party in the park after dark? They were switched to LED models, saving 2.3 million kwh annually.
Those are just a few brief examples of all the ways Universal Orlando Resort is looking out for, well, the universe. But they can’t do it all alone! The responsibility also lies with each of us as guests to contribute to a greener planet. The good news? It’s easy, fun and rewarding to do.
Read on for tips on how to be a green Universal guest.
- When staying at one of Universal Orlando’s hotels, reuse your towels and ask not to have your sheets changed. As part of the Florida Green Lodging Program, the hotels are already on a delayed replacement program where towels will only be laundered if left on the floor and sheets will only be changed every third day if not otherwise specified.
- Consider forgoing hotel toiletries so they might be saved for another guest, cutting down on small-scale, single use packaging. If you’re worried about flying with liquids, look into solid shampoos and conditioners – which are both eco-friendly and loved by travelers! If you’d rather not leave them behind, consider donating hotel toiletries to a local woman’s shelter in your area.
- Bring your own bottle. It’s both a money and resource saver. Believe it or not, your own personal reusable water bottles are welcomed at Universal Orlando Resort. Forgo single-use bottled water and fill up at the park’s many water fountains instead, freeing up that beverage budget for more Butterbeer.
- Order wisely. With so many delicious restaurants throughout Universal Orlando, it can be easy to get over excited and over order. Avoid food waste by thinking carefully about how hungry you really are, and remember that portions tend to be generous. Still couldn’t clear your plate? Let yourself be excused from the table – Universal donates excess food to the Second Harvest Foodbank in Orlando.
- Skip the straw. According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States. Yikes! Politely request “no straw, please” when ordering drinks, and bring your own steel or bamboo version if you can’t live without one. They are fabulous conversation starters!
- Watch your carbon footprint. Not only is staying on-site at Universal Orlando just plain fun, it’s also environmentally sound as you’ll cut down on carbon emissions by using group transportation like water taxis and resort shuttles. Of course, you had to get to Orlando somehow – consider offsetting your flight, drive or train ride with a carbon offset program.
- Use the blue bins! Universal makes this one easy. There are more than 2,500 recycling bins throughout Universal. There are even three recycled material processing areas on-site.
- Pack a bag – or send your purchases to your room. It’s inevitable that you’ll end up finding at least one souvenir you can’t live without. But a little planning ahead will mean you can live without that single use plastic bag. Recycle an old tote bag from home as your tucked-away shopping tote, or even better – if you’re staying at one of the hotels, simply have your purchases sent straight to your room. Ask a Team Member in any of the park gift shops for assistance.
Most importantly, when you visit Universal Orlando Resort, let employees know that you appreciate their efforts to be green!
Together, we can all make living green universal. Have more ideas? Share them in the comments below!