Disney Sells Toxic ‘Think Green’ Wallets – Greenwashing 101

 

Kermit the Frog "Think Green" Wallets in Disneyland

Kermit the Frog "Think Green" Wallets in Disneyland

For the past couple of years, the Happiest Place on Earth has made an effort to become greener. From the trains running 100 percent on biodiesel (source: Environmental Leader) to the sale of organic cotton T-shirts and recycling bins scattered throughout the park, many could say Disneyland was on the path to become a leader in sustainable efforts on a massive scale…but it seems they forgot that the devil is in the details.

On a trip to Disneyland earlier this year, I made my way to the “green goods” section in the main Adventureland store. I already owned two of Disney’s 100 percent organic cotton t-shirts and wanted to see if I could add to my collection. Amid the items I already owned was a large basket filled with appealingly bright Kermit the Frog wallets that appeared to be made of hemp and had a cheeky “Think Green” emblazoned heart on the front. Immediately, I wanted one! But when I picked up the wallet, I was greeted with a surprise warning.

A tag discreetly tucked into the product flap read: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. This product is not intended for children.

I was seriously disturbed. One: The product was placed at a level that could be grabbed by any young child. And we all know they love to stick their hands in their mouths, along with most anything else they can hold on to. (2) The wallet was certainly made to appeal to the female demographic visiting Disneyland. Why would they knowingly try to sell us a product that clearly “causes birth defects or other reproductive harm?” But what made me scream “Greenwashers!” most vehemently in my head was (3) the fact that the wallet was supposed to symbolize being green, but it was anything but. Instead, it was made of NO sustainable materials and could leech chemicals known to cause cancer and a host of other problems. 

100% Organic Cotton Disney Tote

100% Organic Cotton Disney Tote

So, Disney, heed your own saying – “Small Change, Big Difference” – and start applying it to the little things you churn out. Because we all know that, up close, the bigger picture only looks good if all the smaller details have been carefully executed.

Comments

  1. You’re right – it’s so important to “walk the walk” and not just talk! I think the “green” process is a growing process, so kudos to Disney for taking some positive steps, and hopefully, they will learn as they continue with their sustainability commitment.

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  1. […] just because something has environmental messaging plastered all over it (see my article on Disneyland’s Kermit the Frog wallets) doesn’t mean there is anything actually green about the […]

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