After nine years of touring with my band Guster, I realized that life on the road (and its inherent impact on the environment) didn't need to look so different from my life at home in Portland, Maine. And yet it was. Dramatically.
The Styrofoam products used backstage, the diesel poured into the buses, the bottles and cans covering the ground after the show... as a musician, I lamented the fact that putting on concerts had such a negative impact environmentally. While on tour, I encountered many other artists that felt the same way, but didn't know what to do about it.
In response, my environmentalist wife, Lauren Sullivan and I started up the non-profit, Reverb to make it as easy as possible for musicians, venues and record labels to make responsible environmental choices. Since 2004, Reverb has greened over 85 major music tours - from Dave Matthews Band to Coldplay to John Legend - while conducting grassroots educational outreach to over 10 million music fans. Tour greening efforts include local organic foods straight from the farm, recycling, composting, using reusable water bottles and silverware, purchasing power from renewable energy sources, and fueling tour busses with sustainably produced biodiesel.
Reverb feels very fortunate to be working with so many great individual talents in the music community and leaders in the non-profit environmental world. We recently realized that we were in the unique position to bring all aspects of the music community together into a powerful coalition.
This Saturday, January 30, Reverb is launching Green Music Group, a large-scale, high-profile environmental coalition of musicians, industry leaders and music fans uniting in one voice behind a common goal: to use our collective power to bring about widespread environmental change within the music industry and around the globe.
Our Founding Members include:
Outside of the music industry, Green Music Group will engage fans to take part in regular calls-to-action, amplifying the campaigns of various environmental non-profits. Non-profit launch partners include: Sierra Club, Oxfam America, Union of Concerned Scientists, Hip Hop Caucus, HeadCount, DoSomething.org, StopGlobalWarming.org, Music For Relief, Climate Counts, and Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance.
Our first effort on this front will be the "GMG Challenge," a series of calls-to-action that will be posted on GreenMusicGroup.org this March. Each Challenge will feature a founding artist, nonprofit partner and prize incentives, from VIP tickets to a new Apple iPad.
Please join us: www.GreenMusicGroup.org