Weddings are unique events where individuals celebrate their love and vow to spend their lives together. While these events are exceptional opportunities to spend time together with family and friends, there is a growing problem with today’s weddings. Couples everywhere are increasingly feeling forced to choose between a grand event of their dreams and a sustainable party that helps ensure there will still be a future to enjoy. Carbon offsets are becoming increasingly popular to help bridge this gap. This innovative approach is helping wedding parties, and their guests, enjoy everything they need, while still respecting their overall environmental impact. As a result, more and more weddings are becoming carbon-neutral—helping everyone feel good and have fun. If you are planning your wedding or attending another nuptial, then you should consider purchasing carbon offsets to help make it a green celebration.
What Is a Carbon Offset?
A carbon offset is a way to reduce greenhouse gases or support green energy initiatives that have a positive impact on the environment. One of the main objectives behind carbon offsets is to provide an opportunity to reduce an individual or group’s impact on climate change. Carbon offsets can be purchased by the metric ton to help offset your travel, a specific event like a wedding, or even your day-to-day activities. The idea is to offset the same amount of damage that is occurring. For example, if you are flying from Los Angeles to New York and wanted to offset the amount of carbon released during your flight, then you would calculate the carbon footprint and purchase the same amount of offsets before your trip. The money you spend on the offset then goes towards a project that eliminates that amount of carbon from the atmosphere—helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make your total carbon footprint zero. Carbon offset projects can include:
- Wind power
- Landfill gas capture
- Animal waste management
- Carbon capture and storage
- Renewable energy initiatives
- Abandoned coal mine methane capture
How Big Is Your Wedding Carbon Footprint?
Every wedding is unique, and as a result, the carbon footprint for each event may vary widely. However, the average wedding party in the United States produces around 62 tons of carbon dioxide—that’s the equivalent of burning over 65,000 pounds of coal. Factors that play a role in your wedding’s footprint include:
- Lodging and other accommodations
- Air travel
- Ground transportation
The individual choices made regarding these factors can push the event’s carbon footprint above or below that 62-ton average. For example, those selecting green wedding options such as local flowers and food will have a smaller footprint, while destination weddings with hundreds of attendees would have a much larger one.
How to Offset Your Wedding’s Carbon Footprint
While selecting greener options for your wedding party is a great step in the right direction, more is needed to create a completely carbon-neutral event. To offset your wedding’s carbon footprint, you will need to determine what that footprint will be before the wedding day. The best place to start is by using a carbon calculator that will estimate your event’s carbon dioxide emissions. From there, you can purchase carbon offsets equal to that amount. You can work the extra expense into the cost of the event, or even put the offsets on your gift registry for guests to buy.
Terrapass offers silver, gold, and diamond offset packages explicitly created to help weddings be more green. Each offset package includes a 1/2 ton carbon offset per person and will help offset carbon emissions for things like air travel, lodging and ground transportation, and meals of an average wedding. Other packages offer offsets that will also help with additional considerations such as international air travel, honeymoon travel, and even water consumed. To learn more, start exploring our wedding carbon offset packages today.
- “Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 15 Oct. 2018, www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator.