Sunday, May 01, 2011

Carbon Footprint: The Royal Wedding Edition!

"Carbon Footprint: The Royal Wedding Edition!" 
Aimee having a Low Tea at Nicole's 

As consumed as I was this week watching the beautiful historical moment of the British Royal Wedding of TRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton, (see photos) I did also spend a good deal of time thinking about the impact this event would have on our planet. I was comforted to know, in this modern age, that this was considered in many of the plans for the Wedding and related events. 

Green Points: According, to, the menu (for the Prince of Wales' evening reception), was sourced from organic and local foods, and the cake featured free range eggs. The Royal Couple asked supporters to donate to Earthwatch as one of their 26-charities benefitting from the Royal Gift fund, the invitations were printed on recycled paper and the media stands were constructed with Forest Stewardship-Council certified wood. Catherine's ring was made from  Welsh gold, (instead of conflict ridden minerals) and her dress was made with British textiles and traditional handicraft (not a sweatshop). The flowers were seasonal and not exotics shipped in for the event. The 140 tonnes of waste collected from the city will be recycled as well. 

Nicole's tea in honor of HRH
The Duchess of Cambridge.
The UK Telegraph used the Landcare Research estimates which included: international guest travel, to local crowd travel, the flyover, television and media coverage electricity, and emissions from hotels and venues...these considerations and more, but left out "any emissions from the millions of tons of bunting, cheap Union Jacks and confetti flooding the streets on the day or the flights of the international media." (source)  However, there were other considerations the UK telegraph suggests that they could have taken advantage of, which could have further reduced the carbon footprint of the day, which they did not: such as asking guests to come by public transport, or to offset their flights, and more. 

I do appreciate that the Royals asked people to donate to charities or their gift fund in lieu of gifts. (Which saves packaging and shipping carbon.)

The charities that are benefitting from the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund are:
Peace Players
Ocean Youth Trust
Greenhouse Schools
Oily Cart
Dance United
Venture Trust
Beat Bullying
A National Voice
Association for Children’s Palliative Care (ACT)
Youth Access
Community Foundation in Wales
Community Foundation in Scotland
Community Foundation in Berkshire
Combat Stress
Cruse Bereavement Care for Children of Forces’ Families
Household Cavalry Benevolent Fund
Irish Guards Appeal
Army Widows Association 
Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
New Zealand Government’s Christchurch Earthquake Appeal
Royal Flying Doctor Service – Australia

I think it's important to think about our own individual carbon footprints: for every event, large or small, in our lives. You can check out my other posts on carbon footprints here... or visit my carbon footprint calculator post.