Sunday, April 22, 2012

Green Your Wedding with Carbon Offsets

Happy Earth Day! 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, which is a measure of of the impact your activities have on the environment, from electrical use to shipping costs, to water for washing linens to guest's flights. You can determine you wedding carbon footprint with this calculator but how exactly do you reduce it?  A carbon offset of course.  What the hell is an offset?  

    Quite simply as describes: 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 energy, energy 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, for your wedding.

    Another way to green your wedding is to reduce your wedding carbon footprint, which is a

    Still confused? 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 create emissions.

    Weddings are no different than eggs – think of 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 would be nearly impossible to calculate your entire wedding footprint. However, you can choose to be as eco-friendly as possible by offsetting your carbon footprint: Make a donation to the Carbonfund as favors for your guests or ask 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.

    At the end of the days, eco-consciousness is important to many couples when planning a wedding. From the dress to the favors, there are so many ways to be green, and offset when you can't, without having to sacrifice the vision of your dream wedding. For more more great green tips, check out our FACEBOOK page and join the conversation on TWITTER. 

    What are your green wedding ideas? Leave us a comment below!

    Happy Earth Day, Happy Planning,

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