New trend in theme parks: going green?
The proliferation of theme parks all across the US may have lead to another trend: "green theme parks."
Some observers say Legoland California's SEA LIFE opening in Carlsbad, Calif., next week is America's first green theme park.
"Everything about SEA LIFE, from the types of fish on display to the way in which it recycles waste, exudes social responsibility," writes travel commentator Chris Elliott.
He even found himself standing next to a bin for recycling park tickets.
"I'm a regular at all of Orlando's theme parks, and I've never seen a recycling bin of any kind, let alone for tickets," he said.
The Legoland company last year formed "Green Wave Committee" to create a cleaner, more eco-friendly park. The result: over a year, Legoland saved 212 tons of materials from going into landfills.
Legoland already recycled water, used environmentally-friendly pest control and had transitioned to sustainable packaging for food items made in the park.
The Green Wave also aggressively encouraged park guests and employees to recycle (departments within Legoland competed to see who could recycle the most cans). The park also teamed up with San Diego Habitat for Humanity and its Cans for Habitat program to raise funds to help build an 11-unit condominium complex in Carlsbad.
That has apparently not detracted from the new park's attractions.
All of its freshwater fish living in the aquarium can be found in California lakes and streams, and its cold-water marine animals are all native to the California coastline.