One of the best things about the summer is being able to do things that you could never partake in the rest of the year. Taking a cruise to Alaska, hiking the deepest trails of Yosemite National Park or doing anything outdoors in Minnesota — these are all experiences that limit themselves to the warmer months.

That being said, the vast majority of people share the fond memories of escaping from the summer heat into a giant, refreshing pool. For many, that pool may happen to have manmade waves, a lazy river and countless snack shacks. When the standard community or above-ground swimming hole gets too mundane, that’s when boardshort- and bikini-clad citizens flock to the local water park.

Image courtesy of Wet 'n' Wild Water World
Thousands of people choose to frolic in these liquid forms of respite from May until September and since many portions of the United States are unbearable due to tortuous heat, such parks serve as a heavenly oasis. Water parks are great as is, but throw in some eco-friendly initiatives like one liquid theme park from Down Under, and earth-saving entertainment is a new summertime activity! Wet ’n’ Wild Water World of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, has taken the challenge of being a little more eco-friendly to heart — not what you’d expect from a business that makes its profits on excessive amounts of the earth’s greatest resource. But what the heck, we’ll give them an “A” for effort.  This feat becomes even more impressive when one learns from the debatably trustworthy Wikipedia that Wet ’n’ Wild is not only Australia’s largest water park, but also the third largest in the world. Now imagine if we could combine the tangible pleasures of splashing happily in the heart of summer with fond feelings of environmental stewardship. Wouldn’t that be dandy? Sliding down slides, snacking on pizza and, oh yeah, why not do something nice for the planet in the meantime? Fortunately, this fantastical summer escape is real (in part). According to the Australian website, this water park Down Under has recently introduced “a public recycling initiative that will see more than 1,000 bottles diverted from landfill each day.” The initiative, which debuted earlier this year, has been, excuse the pun, making waves. The following statement from the park’s general manager illustrates the impressive scope of this project:
“With more than 1 million people visiting our park annually, the new recycling bins and the Queensland Government’s ‘Do the Right Thing, Use the Right Bin’ recycling message will have a significant impact on the environment. We’ve now implemented two recycling streams at the park: beverage packaging and cardboard. The recycling bins at Wet ’n’ Wild will have the potential to divert 6 tonnes of waste from landfill annually, reducing our carbon footprint by 34 tonnes every year.”
These estimates on annual weights are based on the implementation of 50 recycling bins scattered throughout the park. This way, in between grabbing some refreshments and hitting the inner tubes on the dinosaur’s tail water slide, patrons can take a second to make sure their planet is a little nicer. This is particularly good since, I’m sure, they would want to make sure that this world is a place where water parks can exist for their own children, and their children’s children, and so on.