Our Coming and Our Going: Travel and Transportation
Share train, bus, and Metro information with guests
Encourage guests to take public transportation to your celebration by researching information about the best transit routes and making this information available along with driving directions. Guests will often consider leaving their cars at home if an alternate way of arriving is provided in an easy format. Similarly, some guests may consider taking a train rather than flying if it’s brought to their attention that your celebration is near a train station.
Help your guests carpool
Guests coming from the same neighborhood or city may not know one another or think to carpool without a little help. Hosts of celebrations can dramatically reduce the number of cars that spew smog and greenhouse gases bringing guests to their event if they take some time to put together carpooling groups in advance and put guests from nearby locations in touch with each other.
- Hosts can ask someone to serve as a carpooling shadkhan/matchmaker, and invite guests to contact her or him with rides offered and needed in the weeks leading up to your celebration.
- You, or your carpooling shadkhan, can sort your guest list by city and state and then send an email to all those in a single area saying, for example: “You all live in Fairfax and will be guests at our celebration on September 24. You’re invited to be in touch with one another to organize ride sharing.”
- Or, invite guests to edit a shared online spreadsheet using Google.com’s “Documents” application. Set up columns for name, contact information, rides offered, rides needed, origin, destination, and “match made,” and create a public URL for the document that you can share with guests by email: http://docs.google.com. (Select “Anyone can edit this document without logging in at [URL].”)
- AlterNetWays Company can create a customized ridesharing application that can open directly from a celebration’s website for $50. Your guests can coordinate with each other through the system and organize ridesharing among themselves: www.alternetrides.com, 925.952.4519.
- For the big day itself, consider coordinating a vanpool or other rideshare to the celebration itself to minimize the number of guests driving separately.
Offset celebration-related travel
If some guests decide to fly to your celebration, you can invest in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the same amount that their travel produced, through the purchase of carbon offsets. Many promising projectsthat would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions lack the capital they need to get built; by directing your offset dollars to these projects, you can help finance new wind farms, solar arrays, and more. Learn more with Co-op America’s guidelines for finding a reputable carbon offset provider: www.coopamerica.org.
See, for example:
- The Climate Trust: www.carboncounter.org, 503.238.1915
- MyClimate™: www.sustainabletravelinternational.org, 720.273.2975
- NativeEnergy: www.nativeenergy.com, 800.924.6826
- TerraPass: www.terrapass.com, 877.879.8026
Some of these offsetters will provide you with stickers, cards, or other recognition to let your guests know that an offset was purchased for their travel. You can purchase a travel offset for your guests or encourage them to do so.
For strategies for “registering” for a gift of carbon offsets from your guests for their own travel or for your honeymoon travel, see Registries and Gifts.
Couples: Stay grounded on your honeymoon
If you want to go on a vacation as a couple after your wedding, consider choosing a honeymoon destination that won’t require air travel. Passenger flights are one of the most significant environmental impacts of any celebration. However you travel, consider purchasing carbon offsets (above) to balance out the climate impact of your trip.