Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hartwood Celebration Of Lights - Offsetting the Offsets

The Hartwood Celebration of Lights is a breathtaking 3.2 mile stretch of holiday light displays consisting of more than two million lights. The displays range from 3- to 40-feet tall. It is in Hartwood Acres, an Allegheny County, PA, park. The lights are powered by diesel electric generators placed throughout the park, which produce 303 tons of carbon emissions each year.

But don't worry about that! According to WDUQ News, this year's Celebration of Lights is going to be carbon neutral. Thanks to a donation by Sustainable Pittsburgh and Native Energy. this year's festival of lights by purchasing carbon offsets to assuage the guilt of burning all that diesel fuel to keep the lights on. So, you'll feel like an environmentalist while driving past the generators and breathing the fumes.

The festival of lights begins on November 21st and will last through January 4th. It's nice that it'll be done earlier this year - I live near the park and you can hear "The 12 Days of Christmas" blaring until 10 or 11 pm when the event closes for the night and they turn the generators off.

It'll cost you $12 to drive through the lights, so I recommend that you start up your gas guzzler and pack in as many people as you can.
I'll personally be viewing the lights with my family in our Suburban. Around 600,000 other people will be joining me. None of us will be purchasing any carbon offsets, so we're going to offset the offsets!

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Update: I was contacted by the Executive Director of Sustainable Pittsburgh, who informed me that the carbon dioxide emissions of the vehicles expected to drive through the lights were included in the offsets calculation. You can click here to learn more about carbon offsets.

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