Our “nature” themed wedding doesn’t just have to be about the look or the styling of your day. Why not go that step further and do something good for nature by planning a carbon-neutral wedding?! The fabulous Hank Paul has created a ‘how to’ to set you on the right path.
The Paris Climate Agreement was an international set of agreements made between 196 countries to transition our world to net-zero carbon emissions and keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees celsius. Under this agreement, many governments and companies around the world are adopting “net-zero by 2050” policies, as this is in line with scientist’s predictions about how long we have until irreparable damage is done to our planet.
Despite the Paris Agreement, there are no set carbon standards in the Australian wedding industry (as much as I’d like to see some) and there is no governing body for wedding standards. This leaves the onus on the couple getting married to ensure their wedding is as conscious and ethical as they like.
A lot of couples don’t realise the amount of carbon emissions that an average wedding creates. In fact, the average wedding in Australia has a footprint of 21.5 tonnes of CO2eq, which is equivalent to one person flying between Sydney & Perth 46 times!
Taking steps to plan a carbon-neutral wedding is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment, plus you’ll also be able to party hard (and guilt-free), knowing that you’re not contributing to the climate crisis.
It’s easier than you think! And here’s how…
Make Sustainable Choices
From the very beginning of the wedding planning process, you have the power to make impactful choices such as your flowers, dress suppliers, transport arrangements etc. Keeping your carbon footprint in mind as you slowly start to lock in your plans will mean you are more likely to choose a greener option.
Calculate Your Footprint
Once you have a good idea of the size, location, and logistics of the wedding, it’s time to use a tool like the Wedding Footprint Calculator from Less Stuff More Meaning to determine your wedding’s footprint. It will give you a sense of how your wedding fares against the average wedding footprint, and find areas where you can cut back your footprint.
Reducing your wedding’s carbon emissions to nil is practically impossible. You will need to emit carbon to travel, and eat, and do pretty much anything at the wedding. However, the term “net-zero” refers to the method of offsetting your negative carbon emissions with “positive” solutions that directly or indirectly cancel out your carbon.
Offset companies like Green Fleet are great services for couples to use to put their money where their mouth is. If you’re spending $40,000 on your wedding, what’s an extra $300 to offset your footprint?
Spread The Word
One of the most impactful things individuals can do to help the climate is talk about it, and talk about their own choices. When your guests’ RSVP, ask them to consider carpooling or taking public transport. As part of the ceremony, ask your celebrant to announce that the wedding is carbon-neutral. Go out of your way to communicate this to people, as it encourages others to take action for themselves.
Planning a carbon-neutral wedding is easier than ever. Sharing the load between you and your fiance means you can follow these steps to leave the planet a little better off than before.
About Hank Paul: Hank Paul is a Sydney Wedding Photographer and blogger who specialises in sustainable and inclusive weddings. For more information, or to read more of his writing and photography check out his website!