(CNSNews.com) – Attendees at the 2012 International AIDS Conference taking place this week in D.C. were given the opportunity to offset the “carbon footprint” they made traveling to the event through the registration process or at a “carbon offset” desk located in the registration area of the conference.
Idun Strand, who works for the International AIDS Society in its Geneva, Switzerland, office, told CNSNews.com that the donation option is available to anyone registering for the conference.
“All delegates have an option to offset carbon emissions of their flight through the registration process,” Strand said.
The donation level, Strand said, ranges from $25 to $85, depending on how far one had to travel to get to D.C.
The money collected will be distributed between three companies, according to Strand:
• Township Patterns is a South African non-governmental organization comprised of women who make bags for conferences, although they did not make them for the AIDS conference, Strand noted.
• A non-governmental organization based in Switzerland will also benefit. “My Climate” works in Brazil to reduce emissions by replacing diesel fuels with bio fuels.
• DC greenworks, a local non-profit that installs “green rooftops” and rain barrels to recycle storm water, also will benefit from the carbon footprint donations.
The AIDS conference website includes a page about how the event is "socially responsible," which includes recycling printed materials and buying from local suppliers with "good social responsibility policies."