November 19th, 2012

My Adventure at the Disney Store

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Groovy Green Livin Disney Store

Heading to the Disney Store on a Saturday afternoon with your 10 year old sounds perfect doesn’t it? This past Saturday that’s exactly where I went, only I wasn’t there to shop. I was there for another reason-to deliver my petition asking Disney to stop selling “toxic lunch boxes” and other school supplies containing vinyl plastic and chemicals known as phthalates, which have reportedly been linked to serious health problems including asthma, ADHD, and diabetes.

Disney has yet to respond to this campaign so we decided to deliver thousands of signatures from fellow parents to the Disney store.  My petition has over 59,000 signatures and combined with signatures obtained by MomsRising.org the total number of signatures is over 65,000! I wrote about why I was feeling a little uncomfortable about the delivery of the petition. Now I know I wasn’t too far off.

Thank you to all of you who have been checking in to see how the delivery of the petition went on Saturday. Saturday was designated as a day of action in New York City (Penelope the creator of  the fabulous film Toxic Baby and Mike from CHEJ took the lead in NYC) and  Boston. Before, during and after the event I threw out a few updates on Twitter and Facebook about my adventure, but I thought my experience warranted a post of its very own.

Saturday was a gorgeous day in Boston. After soccer and karate with my kids I was set to head to the Square One Mall in Saugus, Massachusetts (the closest Disney Store to the city). I was armed with a heavy 25 lb box filled with signatures to be passed along to Disney.

Groovy Green Livin box of petition

I had never been to this mall-it was about a 35 to 40 minute drive. I managed to rope my 10 year old son into going with me. He was  the designated photographer.

Siri got me to the Disney Store. We were even a bit early. After we parked I lugged the cumbersome box filled with all of the printed signatures into the mall.

We waited across from the Disney Store for Darylle from The Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow. Once Darylle arrived my son, the photographer, took a few photos.

Groovy Green Livin with Darylle

Then it was time to head in.

We asked for the store manager and began to explain why we were there. That’s where the conversation came to an abrupt halt. The store manager wasn’t interested in what we had to say. It was clear that Disney had given their employees strict instructions not to accept letters or petitions and not to entertain any discussion. The manager kept repeating over and over that she had to speak with corporate and they don’t work on weekends.  As the short conversation continued the store employees began to gather around us in a circle. A sign that it was time to go. I promised my husband that I wouldn’t get arrested by mall security.

My son was carrying the camera and I had asked him to snap a few photos as we delivered the petition. That didn’t go over well with the Disney staff. The manager yelled at him to stop taking photos in the store.

You might think after reading this that this visit to the Disney Store didn’t go well. To the contrary. In my opinion our Disney Store trip went very well. All of the Disney employees took notice. The people crowding the store on this busy Saturday took notice. And the manager took notice and was clearly flustered by our unexpected visit. She took our business cards cards and I would bet she called her corporate office for help.

That’s what we wanted. We wanted Disney to take notice.

Let’s continue to join our collective voices to continue to  tell Disney to be a leader for children’s health and stop using dangerous phthalates in their products NOW. 

This holiday season I will continue dreaming along with many other parents for a toxic free Disney. I hope you’ll join me.

Do you agree with how the Disney Store handled our visit?

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30 Responses to “My Adventure at the Disney Store”

  1. You should be really proud of yourself, Lori. What a great example to set for your son, too. I hope between your actions in Boston and the other in NY, corporate Disney finally issues some sort of response. Until it really hits them in the bottom line, though, I don’t know if they’ll bother. I definitely won’t be shopping at Disney this year.

  2. You know I am 15 minutes form the Mouse here in Orlando and I am able to help in any way!!
    Shane@EnviroBooty recently posted..Feel Good Friday [Linky]: The Sweetest Boys in AmericaMy Profile

  3. First P&G and now Disney – both companies would love to have 65,000 happy customers, but neither are willing to have a two-way conversation. A) What are they afraid of? B) This is why the free market doesn’t work and the EPA etc. must step in.

  4. Way to bring attention to the issue Lori! Let’s hope some Disney execs are notified!
    Micaela @MindfulMomma recently posted..Easy Eco-Tip: Turn Tea Bag Wrappers into Note PaperMy Profile

  5. Hi way to go Kudos to you, thanks for making me aware.

  6. Wow … well, I believe you did a lot of good. Not only were the employees of the store introduced to your concerns, so were any customers in the store. I am so disappointed in Disney and their lack of concern. They could have chosen the “high ground” and been corporate leaders … instead, they show their love of the dollar and their total disregard for the health of children everywhere. I wonder what Walt would say about how his company has turned out. I’ve been passing this around everywhere, using Disney’s twitter ID and FB ID … maybe someone up there in the hierarchy will get the message.
    Small Footprints recently posted..Meet & Greet Monday (#MtaGt)My Profile

  7. What a brave 10-year-old learning some important life lessons from his super-mom!
    Anne recently posted..Nurturing: Join WVE’s Body and Soul Talk Tonight!My Profile

  8. Hi Anne, He really was brave. The experience led to lots of questions and a new video game!

  9. Thanks so much for your support. I’m not done with Disney yet. They still have a chance to be leaders and show that they care. Thanks so much for sharing the message-that’s how we are all going to continue to apply the pressure.

  10. Hi Janna! So nice to hear from you. Glad this made you aware. Now we need Disney to make some changes so our kids aren’t poisoned!

  11. Hi Micaela, Thanks so much for your continued support. You know how much I appreciate it!

  12. You’re right Mary. There hasn’t been any conversation at all, which is so disappointing. 65,000 people are upset-it’s not just me! That would get my attention.

  13. Thanks so much Isabelle. I really appreciate all of your support. I truly believe together we can make a difference.

  14. First off, Bravo for taking such action. Not many have the balls to do what you did. Second, im glad you put the store, its employees and shoppers on notice. Ofcourse they weren’t going to say “thanks for bringing these by, Lori” but you made a dent, great job.
    Tiffany C recently posted..Eco-Friendly Cardboard PalsMy Profile

  15. I figured that is how they would react. What a great thing you did for us parents. I applaud you for your efforts and I think it definitely will get the people at Disney talking. Well done!!

  16. Hooray for you, Lori. A good story and no doubt one that made an impression on Disney.
    Kim Daly recently posted..Holiday Preperations and Homemade Cranberry SauceMy Profile

  17. AMAZING!!!!!! SO proud!
    Good Girl Gone Green recently posted..Plastic Pollution. An Interactive Plastic Bag Ban MapMy Profile

  18. You are awesome, Lori. There’s no doubt now that Disney is aware of the petition–I just hope they take action!
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies recently posted..40 Vegetarian Main Dishes for ThanksgivingMy Profile

  19. Thanks so much Tiffany. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your adorable family!

  20. Hi Jennifer, You’re right-no real surprise by their reaction. Thanks for your support. Much appreciated.

  21. Thanks so much Kim. Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. Thanks Stephanie. That means a lot!!

  23. Thanks Kiersten. I really appreciate your support :) Happy Turkey Day my friend!

  24. Way to go Lori!

  25. I hope they choose to be a leader too, Lori. I appreciate that they have made some of their clothes with organic cotton, so hopefully they can take another good green step.

  26. You go girl! Very gutsy — that would be WAY outside my comfort zone as well.
    Betsy (Eco-novice) recently posted..New Favorite: Rainbow Stacking ToyMy Profile

  27. Thanks Betsy-it was way outside of my comfort zone too. I’m not great with head to head confrontation. Unfortunately the Disney Store wasn’t willing to discuss.

  28. [...] of our children. This woman deserves kudos from parents everywhere for her heroic efforts as she continues to work on Disney through the end of 2012.  If you admire her as I do, you can follow her on her blog Groovy Green [...]

  29. I may have missed an update on this. Has Disney finally responded to you on this and is a conversation happening?

  30. Hi Anne, I haven’t heard anything from Disney at this point.

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I like to make noise and stir the pot especially when an issue hits home and effects the health of our families. Join me as I make some noise and share along the way tips for living a green and healthy life. Read more.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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