Enviro-conscious bands offer more green strategies

Concerts getting eco-friendly

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Ever wondered how musicians can preach environmental friendliness while driving mammoth-sized buses all over the continent? With the global warming movement in full swing, many artists are taking steps to erase their carbon footprint.

These enviro-conscious musicians are giving back to the earth by carbon-offsetting. It’s a way to help neutralize the carbon emissions of bands and their fans. For example, to help offset the damage done by thousands of fans driving to a concert venue, some bands sell eco-friendly merchandise which was manufactured with fewer carbon emissions.

With the help of Zerofootprint, a Canadian non-profit green organization, The Barenaked Ladies sell “Barenaked Planet” stickers that neutralize 483 km of driving " in most cases, a much greater distance than fans drove to attend the concert.

Bands have used other green strategies as well, including using china instead of paper plates, and ensuring all recyclable waste is disposed of properly.

According to The Toronto Star, BNL has even sent boxes of its recyclables home with environmentally conscious fans when on-location recycling pickup was not available.

The Tragically Hip is also using a Canadian-grown green solution to combat carbon emissions. With the help of Toronto-based Greenshift, all plates, cups and cutlery used on its World Container tour were made from 100 per cent renewable resources, and fully biodegradable.

Other acts have taken a different path to neutralize carbon emissions. Pearl Jam partnered with Conservation International on several of its tours. As a result, dozens of hectares of tropical forests have been planted " enough to absorb thousands of tons of carbon emissions generated by a typical world tour.

Many eco-friendly bands reduce carbon emissions before they are released into the environment.

According to a recent Rolling Stone article, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam and Coldplay planned bio-diesel tours. Tour stops are coordinated to allow for bio-diesel distributors to fill up their tour buses and trucks. Bio-diesel is made from a mixture of waste plant oils and diesel, which means anywhere from 20-99 per cent of the bands’ fuel is made from renewable resources.

If this green trend continues, odds are the next big concert you attend will be eco-friendly. Enjoy the organic t-shirts and carbon-offsetting merch, and rejoice in the knowledge you love a band that loves the environment. The gaping hole in the o-zone layer will thank you for it.

More information on eco-concert tours can be found at www.reverbrock.org, www.greenshift.ca, and www.bullfrogpower.com.

Visit www.zerofootprint.net/offsets to calculate your own carbon footprint.

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