Thursday, November 11, 2010

{Thrifty Thursday} Offset Your Wedding

More and more people are “greening” their weddings these days, not just as the “it” thing to do but as the right thing to do.  We see recycled dresses and dishes, paper plates, corn cups – I had those at my wedding from Eco-Products, online invitations, plantable save the date cards and even donations as gifts. Another way to green your wedding is to reduce your wedding carbon footprint.  
A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation etc.
Here is a calculator specifically for determining your wedding carbon footprint, but how exactly do you reduce it?  A carbon offset of course.  What the hell is an offset exactly?  Quite simply as describes: A carbon offset represents a reduction in emissions somewhere else - like a renewable energy or a reforestation project - to balance out the emissions you cannot reduce.'s mission it to encourage you to reduce what you can and offset what you can’t.  They offset carbon by partnering with renewable energyenergy efficiency and reforestation projects globally that reduce carbon dioxide emissions and the threat of climate change.  And YOU do it by partnering with, which is a non-profit organization by the way.
Let's break it down another way:  You use energy, create emissions with almost every sort of activity you do or need you have.  Picking up some eggs at the store?  Energy has gone into shipping the eggs, keeping them fresh in the store and then getting them to your home to your fridge, which takes energy to keep cool.  All these actions take energy which created emissions.   
Weddings are no different than eggs – think shipping for all the food your caterer uses, rentals transported by truck, transportation to and from the wedding, in between the ceremony and the reception, energy for lighting, for music, for video equipment, plane travel for out of town guests, the list goes on. Every time you get in the car to visit a vendor, you create a carbon emission and for weddings, we create LOTS.
Now, it is impossible to calculate every bit of your footprint as you plan and have your wedding.  But you can choose to be as eco-friendly as possible by offsetting your footprint with a donation to the Carbonfund as favors for your guests or asking them to donate to the Carbonfund instead of giving a gift, which equals energy and trash.
Long and short – you donate to to offset the crap you have put in the air and they donate it to reforestation and conservation initiatives, renewable energy projects, energy efficiency efforts that help take the crap out of the air.  Feels good, is good.  For more on their projects, go here
On a personal note, my sister and her husband asked for people to donate to to offset travel to their California wedding. It was nice knowing I gave them something they really wanted and that helped the environment at the same time. Talk about two birds!

On a second personal note, my husband is from Brazil and the conservation of the Brazilian Rainforest is a big deal for us.  One of programs is  Amazon Forest Conservation Project and we will definitely be offsetting our travel to Brazil for our second wedding with a donation. 
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