Wayfinding Wednesday: Recycle Please

Jiminy wants YOU to recycle (Mouse on the Mind)

When I found this recycling can near Community Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk Villas, it seemed very patriotic (perfect for the Fourth of July!) and slightly out of place.

I’d never seen anything quite like it, so I shared it with Steve from Magical Trash, who thought it was unique enough to feature on his blog as the Earth Day trash bin. But it made me curious. Where did this bin come from? And why had I never noticed a similar one before?

So I started with some research into Jiminy Cricket himself. We all know him as Pinocchio’s conscience, and he is a champion for essential human goodness. In short, he’s my kind of bug. (If I can be said to have a kind of bug, which I really don’t.)

In the early 1990s, a smarty-pants in Disney marketing decided that Jiminy would make an excellent “conscience” for the Park-going public and cast members, steering us in the direction of earth-friendly environmentalism.

“E,” a film about protecting and nurturing the environment, is hosted by Jiminy Cricket and screened to all Disney cast members. The Disney Company also introduced Jiminy Cricket’s Environmental Challenge (now known as Disney’s Planet Challenge), which encouraged school-aged children in California (and, eventually, worldwide) to make environmentally-conscious decisions.

This new, sustainably-concerned Jiminy started making appearances in the park, too. He’s appeared on lots of pins throughout the years, and obviously, he appeared on lots of trash bins, mostly, it seems, in Disneyland. He even appeared on a trash can being used by the JaMMitors in 2009!

So I can’t tell you how or why this trash can appears at Disney’s Boardwalk, but I do love that, as a wayfinding item, it tells us about the values of the company, setting the scene in slightly different way than we’ve previously looked at.

So take the straight and narrow path, and if you start to slide: give a little whistle. And always let your conscience be your guide!

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