There is much talk about biodiesel buses and the sustainability of tours, but these factors which are in the band’s control are just part of the picture. The largest carbon footprnt impact is from the fans commuting to the live events along a tour.
Larger tours are trying to address this concern with ideas such as the Coachella AMTRACK Express train used in Las Angeles to use of PickupPal carpooling by masses of fans.
PickupPal is working with the low-carbon-footprint-minded tour company Portland-based Reverb to extend their services to tour-going fans across the U.S including The Dave Matthews Band who is using them for their full 40-city tour. Barenaked Ladies and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are some of the other acts that have used Reverb’s services, which include reducing waste, getting biodiesel for tour buses and purchasing carbon offsets.
PickupPal is a new very web 2.0 online service that links eco-minded drivers with people who need a lift with the aim of minimizing everyone’s carbon footprint. On their website they have a CO2 emissions calculator which reads nearly 375,000 lbs of CO2 avoided.
Here’s a somewhat-cheesy clip showing how this service works:
With the 2008 Summer Music Festival season upon us Grist.org once again reviews the topic. They start off referring to the unique approach taken by Coachella this year who organized an Amtrack train to bring LA residents out to the Indio, CA grounds. Over 300 fans chose this “public transportation” route for their journey to the show and their train tickets were free.
Later this summer the Rothbury Festival during the July 4th holiday aims to be a concert with a purpose. Rothbury features top music talent including Dave Mathews Band, John Mayer, Thievery Corporation, The Dresden Dolls, Crystal Method, Beth Orton and many, many more. In their own words, they provide the guidelines they have followed in organizing their event. Many of these items should be considerations for any live event or tour planning:
ROTHBURY is dedicated to throwing a HUGE party… with a purpose. This July 4th weekend, ROTHBURY emerges as a new American celebration where music and cause join together to stir ideas, to awaken possibilities, and to empower through knowledge. And yeah, to have the time of our lives. [Read more →]
You may have seen the recent television and print campaigns for this campaign called “We Can Solve It” with their strange upside-down letter “m” as the “w” in the word “we” in their logo.
In all seriousness, here is what they are about (from their site):
The We Campaign is a project of The Alliance for Climate Protection — a nonprofit, nonpartisan effort founded by Nobel laureate and former Vice President Al Gore. Our ultimate aim is to halt global warming. Specifically we are educating people in the US and around the world that the climate crisis is both urgent and solvable.
On 7.7.07 Live Earth staged concerts in New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg and Hamburg – as well as special broadcast events in Antarctica, Kyoto and Washington, DC – and featured feature more than 150 of the world’s best music acts – a mix of both legendary music acts like The Police, Genesis, Bon Jovi and Madonna with the latest headliners like Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Black Eyed Peas and Jack Johnson.
The 2007 Live Earth Promo Video:
If you missed this earth-rocking event, you can buy the DVD on Amazon. And if you don’t read much you can view one of the short films available on the site created by 60 award winning film makers.
But there is more to “Live Earth” than the one time global music event. If you visit their website you will find climate crisis information and tools. Also, you will find the “Live Earth Pledge” which is a basic first step that everyone should take in doing their part to combat the climate crisis. The Live Earth Pledge Site requests that you commit to these items:
I will change four light bulbs to CFLs at my home
I will shop for the most energy efficient electronics and appliances
I will shut off my equipment and lights when I am not using them
I will ride public transit or carpool at least one or more times per week
I will forward a live earth email message to five friends
I will add my name to the Live Earth Pledge:
To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;
To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become “carbon neutral;”
To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;
To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;
To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;
To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,
To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.
Shark Meat Records is an independent record label, digital distributor and artist service company. We offer digital distribution, marketing, consulting, artist development, graphic and web design. Our focus is to support independent songwriters, artists and bands across many music genres in reaching their target audience.
There are several options to consider to “offset” your music business’s Carbon Footprint. Not all options are created equal. Several sites review propular options and provide a comparison of the costs. We cannot speak for the accuracy of the data in these surveys and sites but they do provide a good list of the options and an initial understanding of the costs for you to continue your research.
The more we explore “Green” methods of operating our businesses the more we see that being a “Green” company does not have to mean reduced profits and increased costs. Especially in the music business where we are one of the first industries whose primary product has gone digital, we actually gain significant cost savings by pushing the greener digital music distribution channel. By examining our practices and focusing on how to reduce waste and hasten our transition to a stronger digital promotion, product offering and distribution model, we increase our profits while reducing our Carbon Footprints. An interesting Green Business Focused website called GreenBiz provides more ideas and resources. Additional, “Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage (Daniel C. Esty)” available on Amazon provides insight.
Please comment below with your suggestions on how to get greener and make more green ($) in the music business.