WOW! What an experience our first year with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has been!
Our presence at Fair Day was a blast and we loved adding a little Powershop pink to the rainbow. Fair-goers pledged for a safer, greener and more inclusive Mother Earth at the Powershop stand and we were overwhelmed with the creative, funny, innovative and occasionally cheeky pledges!
Here are a few of our fave entries from the 330 submitted on the day:
Campfire rule for people and the planet. Leave it better than you found it.
Put your money where you mouth is. Support companies that are creating and investing in safer, greener technologies for the kids.
Use less water… shower together.
If it’s yellow let it mellow.
Be yourself because everyone else is taken.
Working in the background in the lead up to Mardi Gras, we also took the festivals largest events – Fair Day, the Party and the world-famous Mardi Gras Parade (catering for a combined audience of over 600,000) – and carbon-offset them. These changes meant the carbon footprint of the festival reduced drastically allowing it to be a positive event not only for the community but for the environment as well.
How did we do it? Well it turns out, there is a lot of work that goes into carbon offsetting, even with our experience in carbon offsetting our customer’s energy usage. This was a process that started well over ten months before the start of the Mardi Gras Festival. Here’s how it works:
Before the event – upfront forecast of emissions.
Powershop and Mardi Gras performed an upfront forecast and produced an offsetting report to calculate the emissions to offset the events. Each type of fuel – electricity, gas, diesel etc. has its own formula to make sure it’s all covered and we’re offsetting what we’re using. We then purchase carbon certificates on behalf of Mardi Gras to balance out the forecasted emissions.
After the event – we measured again to be sure.
After calculating and forecasting projected carbon emissions, we do it again after the festival, using the builder’s rule of measuring twice and cutting once. This gives us the chance to uncover any potential missed emissions and purchase additional carbon certificates to cover any shortfalls.
Evidence – we backed it up with evidence.
In our post event calculations, we also pair this with supporting evidence. This is everything from receipts for taxi’s and airfares, to a record of how many km’s the 197 floats in the parade travelled and what type of fuel they used. This gives all of our data evidentiary support and keeps us accountable along the way.
So there you have it. Carbon offsetting Mardi Gras’ biggest events under NCOS accreditation has never seemed so easy – a partnership to benefit not only the community but Mother Earth as well.
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