Carbon Footprint Reduction

By  GALA Expert 

 December 9, 2023 

Festival is a significant source of carbon emissions. Our estimate of Festival’s carbon footprint is over 1,500 metric tons of carbon emissions or the equivalent of planting 38,615 urban trees. Find tools to help address the carbon impact of your own chorus here!



The Central Issue: Air Travel

Travel makes up 95% of the emissions; paper waste, food waste and water usage all contribute. We are requesting your help to address the emissions created by air travel.

GALA Choruses will be working with our hotels and performance halls to reduce the carbon emissions associated with paper waste, food waste and water usage.

Our goal is to demonstrate leadership in recognizing, reducing and offsetting the carbon impact of a music festival.

In this document we have outlined how your chorus can:

  • estimate the carbon impact of your travel to Festival,
  • identify options for offsetting that carbon impact, and
  • submit a form for reporting back your successes.

Your Impact — Estimating Your Chorus’ Travel Carbon Impact

This Climate Toolkit is a manual designed to help GALA groups navigate the complex and perplexing issue of climate change and the offset of our carbon footprint. It provides tools and strategies to explore the underlying science and results that can be obtained through simple understanding. There are a number of online calculators which allow you to estimate the impact of various activities. A simple version can be found at

  1. Select Calculator from the bar at the top of the page
  2. Select Individuals from the dropdown box.
  3. Most of you will be traveling by air so select Air Travel from the bar at the top of the calculator. If you are traveling by bus or car select Car Travel.
  4. Select the length of trip category based on the number of miles from your hometown to Minneapolis.
  5. Enter the number of individuals traveling from your chorus.

The Solution – Alternatives for Offsetting Your Carbon Impact

There are a wide variety of alternatives available for offsetting your carbon impact. A partial list is given below.

  •—Offers monthly subscription for carbon removal offset. $20 per tonne plus a 25% fee
  • 8 Billion Trees
  • CoolEffect
  • Terrapass
  • South Pole
  • Friends of Trees—donate or volunteer
  • Sustainable Travel International—Calculate travel carbon footprint and purchase carbon offsets
  • EPA Carbon Footprint Calculator for Home, Transportation and Waste
  • Green Mountain Energy—purchase carbon offset packages for Travel, commute, lifestyle (home) or by the Ton $10 per ton. Carbon offsets are investments in projects like reforestation efforts, methane capture at landfills and wastewater treatment facilities, and energy efficiency technology.
  •—Can select from a few carbon offset projects and do one-time, monthly payments etc.
  • COTAP—This California-based program funds projects around the world. The mission of Carbon Offsets To Alleviate Poverty (COTAP) is to empower individuals and organizations in developed countries to address both climate change and global poverty. COTAP counteracts with carbon emissions through certified forestry projects in least-developed regions, creating transparent, accountable, and life-changing earnings for rural farming communities where income levels are less than $2 per day. 90% goes to projects, tax-deductible in the U.S. $15 per tonne.

How One Chorus is Doing It

Below is an example of the calculations and offset plans for an example chorus. For the example below I used a chorus with 50 people traveling a roundtrip distance of ~2,000 miles. The chorus’ travel will result in the emission of 32 tonnes of CO2.

Trip Length# of Round TripsExampleTonnes CO2
Short0JFK to CLT—1,000 miles/2 hrs0.00
Medium50ORD to DIA—2,000 miles/4 hrs31.96
Long0LA to JFK—5,500 miles/9 hrs0.00
Extended0JFK to PEK—10,000 miles/15 hrs0.00
Total Air Travel Tonnes: 31.96

There are a number of estimates of the number of mature trees required to absorb a tonne of CO2 emissions in a year but an average is 25. Our example chorus chose the following plan to offset the emissions caused by their air travel.

Type of OffsetTonnes of CO2 Offset% of CO2 Offset
Tree planting (100 trees)412.50%
COTAP Donation ($420)2887.5

Tracking Our Successes

In order to track our success in minimizing the carbon footprint of Festival 2024 we would appreciate choruses reporting their success at offsetting their travel-related emissions. Please send the information below to

Chorus NameVery Gay LBGTQ Chorus
Estimated Travel-Related Carbon Emissions32 tonnes CO2
Method of Offset UsedContribution to COTAP
Amount of Carbon Emissions Offset32 tonnes
Percent of Carbon Emissions Offset100%

Other Ways Your Members Can Join the Effort and Minimize Their Carbon Impact

We are concerned about the climate crisis and are actively trying to make changes to mitigate environmental impacts. We encourage the implementation of more sustainable practices and are committed to creating a more sustainable Festival.

  1. Be mindful of your travel carbon footprint. If driving, try to carpool
    or rent an electric vehicle. If flying, take the flight with the fewest connections.
  2. Use as little paper as possible for the Festival schedule.
  3. Use the smart phone app or the map found in your badge.
  4. Reuse is always the most sustainable option! Bring your own tote bag, lanyard, and water bottle.
  5. Reduce the impact of your hotel stay: opt out of laundry service (towels & sheets) and bring your own toiletries.
  6. Reduce on-site transportation emissions by walking, sharing rides or taking public transportation.

Thank you for helping us to achieve our goal of reducing Festival’s carbon footprint. We greatly appreciate everyone’s efforts in minimizing their impact on the environment. Please contact Robin Godfrey at with any questions.