Bungalows Nestled Withing the Rainforest
Since travel and transportation is one of the main culprits of global climate change, accounting for up to 1/3 of world-wide climate damaging greenhouse gas emissions, consider compensating for all of the carbon dioxide emissions released during your wedding.
STI provides simple complimentary carbon footprint assessments* for weddings of all sizes that wish to become carbon neutral. By definition, carbon neutral represents the point at which carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have been identified, measured, reduced where possible and 100% of the remaining emissions have been offset through high quality renewable energy, energy efficiency and or reforestation projects.
At a minimum, most couples take responsibility for covering the cost to offset the impacts related to the wedding venue since these fees are usually less than US$250. Adding attendee hotel room and air travel related impacts costs a bit more, ranging from US$25-50 per person but is the only way to become truly carbon neutral.
In terms of next steps, please provide us with the following information, so we can provide you with an offset quote. With this information, you can decide if you want a 100% carbon neutral wedding or if you prefer to only offset some of your wedding impacts.
• Total square footage of the communal space within the wedding venue and the number of days it will be used. Also, note if the facility is heated and or air conditioned.
• The total number of hotel rooms reserved by wedding guests and the total number of nights they will be staying in them.
• Demographic data for wedding guests. Specifically, we will need to know where they're flying to and from i.e., what state and or country.
Option 1: This information can be broken down in percentages of wedding guests’ points of origin on a region-by-region basis (e.g., the U.S. can be broken down into four time zones).
Option 2: Or you can estimate the total number of long-haul flights (over 7000 miles / 11,250 kilometers e.g., round trip New York to London) and short-haul flights (under 7000 miles / 11,250 kilometers) taken by wedding guests.
• Estimated volume of waste generated during the wedding expressed in pounds or kilograms.
• Average number of miles driven to and from the wedding (e.g., from the local airport to the conference facility).
*Please note that STI charges a nominal fee for complex carbon footprint assessments (i.e., usually US$100-250).
Your travel choice will affect the people, culture, economy and environment of the places you and your spouse visit during your honeymoon. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to ensure that the destination as a whole benefits from your visit:
• Research Alternatives. Responsible travel decisions can strengthen local conservation efforts and enhance the natural integrity of the places you visit. Support companies with policies that consider environmental, economic and socio-cultural impacts.
• Travel Lightly. Discover life from a locals' perspective. Consider walking, ride a bike, or use public transportation. Rent hybrid vehicles and choose to travel by train rather than plane when possible. Calculate and offset unavoidable carbon dioxide emissions emitted by your travel.
• Respect Local Cultures. Respect the values and beliefs, and accept the differences of local people and other cultures. Foster a greater understanding of their customs and social norms and learn about their environmental issues before you visit.
• Spend Locally. Ensure that local people benefit from your travels. Buy locally produced organic and fresh food when possible. Spend money in community or locally owned businesses and use the services of tour operators, outfitters and accommodations that employ local people.
• Natural Resource Use. Reduce, reuse and recycle when possible, and think about using water and energy efficiently. Consider the method of waste disposal used by tour operators, outfitters and accommodations. Avoid products sourced from rare and endangered species.
• Protected Areas. Familiarize yourself and follow all advisories, rules and regulations when visiting protected areas. Whether they're voluntary or required, the fees you pay to enter these areas support local efforts to conserve them.
• Wildlife Viewing. Do not disturb wild animals or their habitat. Keep your distance and use binoculars if necessary. Never chase, harass or feed wildlife. Not only is it dangerous, it can also negatively affect and disrupt feeding and breeding cycles.
• Giving Back. Feel a sense of purpose when you travel. Find a project, health clinic or school to donate to, or volunteer your time and help improve trail conditions, monitor wildlife, restore riparian areas, or plant trees.
• Be Aware. Our hurried concept of time is not the same in other regions and in other cultures. Keep in mind that local people’s thinking will differ from your own. Ask before taking pictures of other people and respect their wishes.
• Be Adventurous. Remember that your guidebook is just that - a guide. Use it as a starting point, and then explore. If you want to truly experience a place, head off-the-beaten-path. Talk with the locals, find out what’s going on, and visit the places where they spend their leisure time.