Offsetting Your Wedding Carbon Footprint

Regular readers of ‘Wedding Planning Tips’ may know that I also write for the blog ‘Greener Me’.  ‘Greener Me’ is a record of my personal journey not only to live a greener life but also run a greener photography business.


Many of my wedding couples are not only sharing my concern for the environment but also share my desire to actively do something about it.  I have been impressed and inspired by many couple’s knowledge, actions and decisions in regards to having a ‘green wedding’.


I mentioned in a recent post ‘A Green Wedding’ a couple I photographed last year at Balmoral Sydney.  Instead of paying money for guest bomboniere, they donated the money to ‘Climate Change’.


On my personal journey to live a greener life, I have been investigating the carbon offsetting scheme that many companies offer.  From my basic understanding, the scheme works by honestly answering a number of questions about your life i.e. how much petrol you spend each week, what is your power bill etc etc etc.  Then these companies calculate how much carbon emissions per year your lifestyle and business are creating.


This emission figure then translates to a money figure that you can pay.  These companies will then plant the number of trees needed to cover the amount of carbon emissions being emitted from your lifestyle / business.


I have to admit my knowledge on these schemes is at present limited (still researching), however even though my current personal opinion is that the idea isn’t bad, I feel I could do better.


I would rather try to eliminate the carbon emissions in the first place rather than simply offsetting them.  Therefore instead of paying $200 a year because I run a heater all day during winter, I would rather put on another jumper and turn the heater off.


However in saying that I have decided to do both.  My goal is to pay less money each year for offsetting because I am not having a lifestyle that is emitting as much carbon as the previous year.


So for couples trying to organise a ‘green’ wedding, perhaps their thinking may be the same.  In my post ‘A Green Wedding’ has some more information, links and ideas about how to have a wedding that will create less carbon emissions.  To be fair it is probably highly unlikely that couples will be able to have a wedding that is totally carbon natural without offsetting (unless you plan to stand naked in the forest and forage amongst the trees for berries to eat at the reception).


It is my great pleasure now to direct you to a website that I stumbled across only recently.  Sally Miles, is a Sydney lady who recently held her own carbon neutral wedding.  She has created a website dedicated to couples wanting to do the same.  She named her website the Green Wedding Guide.


She offers ideas and also the option to calculate your wedding’s carbon emission and even offsetting them.


I will be personally contacting Sally to congratulate and encourage her new green wedding venture.



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A Green Wedding

As a wedding photographer, I have noticed the subject of planning a green wedding is becoming a concern with many more couples.  Ali who is getting married at the end of the year and who has been reading both my blogs emailed me about her green wedding concerns:

“Oh I found something you might be interested in this. I can’t afford to hire china plates etc for our wedding (and can’t be arsed washing them up after) and I didn’t want plastic ones as they are so bad for the environment… so I found a cool alternative – I love them!!! :)”


Check out ‘Non Toxic Life’. 


I did check out this website Ali – thank you so much for emailing me the link.  I am going to add them to my Australian website blog roll (on my Greener Me blog).  My only concern was they used palm leaves to make the disposable plates.


I knew from my friend Laura that you need to be careful on where palm leaves and palm oil comes from.  We don’t want to destroy any more orangutan forest or habitat. 


See Laura’s email in my post


Laura emailed them on my behalf to ask the question of where the palm leaves comes from.  Here is their response back: 


“Hi Laura


The bioplates are made from the fallen palm fronds of the Betel Nut tree. In the village where they are made, the trees are everywhere naturally, they are not harvested at all. 


We are simply finding a use for the fronds that just create a mess as there are so many trees in the area.

The wooden cutlery is made from fast growing plantation timber, grown on a four year rotational cycle, especially for their manufacture.


Kind Regards

Melissa Kerr


Thanks Laura for your help on this post.  Please leave a comment about any more information you would like to add about saving the organgutan.


Here are some links to other blogs, posts or websites talking about green weddings for your reference:


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