Wedding carbon offsets & an oil spill update

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Moved by the devastating effects of the recent oil spill, one of our Swankey couples are giving their wedding guests carbon offsets in lieu of a table gift or traditional favors.

Businesses, such as major airlines, have been participating in carbon reduction programs for years. Many companies, such as TerraPass, are encouraging participation from every day individuals now.

Carbon offsets are credits in which individuals or businesses can purchase to go towards greenhouse gas reduction projects such as wind farms.

Thus, in lieu of gifts, this couple will purchase carbon offsets in honor of their guests to offset their flights and hotel stays.

Check out both Terrapass and CarbonFund.org. Both organizations have carbon footprint calculators not only for every day living but specialized ones for weddings and events.

Wind farm photo courtesy of alt.energy

Speaking of the environment, here is an update on the oil spill in regards to the Keys from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Positioning of oil slick around the spill site for Thursday, July 29. The spill site is 500 miles to the northwest of Key West. Graphic courtesy NOAA.

  • The Florida Keys are fully open to visitors and there are no current oil impact risks to the island chain, according to NOAA.
  • Currently, there are no advisories recommending against travel to the Florida Keys or any other precautions advising visitors and residents not to engage in fishing, diving, swimming or other water sports, according to the Monroe County Health Department.
  • There have been no physical impacts to the Florida Keys from the Gulf oil spill and none are anticipated in the immediate near future, according to NOAA trajectory forecasts.
  • A large area in the Gulf of Mexico, west and northwest of the Keys, has been closed by NOAA Fisheries to protect the public. But no area in the Keys is under the order at this time. That means Keys-caught seafood has not been affected and is safe to consume.
  • According to officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, if the Florida Keys get any effects from the non-contiguous patches of oil sheen currently in the Gulf Loop Current, they are expected to be in the form of small tar balls, not large amounts of aqueous oil as seen near the spill site.
  • At the current time, the northern end of the Loop Current has been pinched off into a large clockwise eddy (Eddy Franklin) so there continues to be no clear path for spilled oil to enter the Loop Current from the source in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
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