Today is Earth Day, celebrated for the first time in 1970, when I was 12 years old. This eco-friendly, environmentally conscious, tree hugging, gracefully aging hippie, celebrates it every day, leaving as small a carbon footprint as possible. I reduce-re-use-recycle whatever I can, I walk where I am able, combine trips when I can’t, carpool as often as possible, have never been a litter bug (my parents taught me well), buy organic food when available, mostly veg, bless the planet with thoughts of love and healing, practice Tikkun Olam (Hebrew for ‘repair of the world’) and have taught my son to be kind to the earth as well.
According to the website: Earthday Network: ”
The height of hippie and flower-child culture in the United States, 1970 brought the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Protest was the order of the day, but saving the planet was not the cause. War raged in Vietnam, and students nationwide increasingly opposed it.
At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news. Although mainstream America remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment for the modern environmental movement, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries and, up until that moment, more than any other person, Ms. Carson raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and public health.
Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center.”
Today, as I was listening to The World Cafe on my favorite radio station WXPN (885. fm), the host David Dye was interviewing Adam Gardner from the group Guster. Along with his wife Lauren Sullivan and a gathering of kindred spirits with all kinds of skill sets from promotion to organization, from logistics to community outreach. The purpose of their organization that they call Reverb, is for those in the music industry to take the lead in making the tours eco friendly and responsible. It is a grassroots effort that is spreading worldwide.
For the bands, it involves using bio-diesel fuel for the tour busses and vans, using recycled and re-usable products rather than disposable and creating a sustainability thought process for their fans that includes:
- Eco-Village | Festival-like village with environmental displays and activities to educate and engage fans
- Non-Profit Groups | Environmental organizations hosted at each Eco-Village
- Carbon Offset Program | Allows fans to offset their carbon footprint
- Volunteers | Reverb volunteers coordinated to encourage fans to participate in Eco-Village activities
- Eco-Concert Program | Takeaway for fans describing green initiatives of the tour and offering simple calls to action
- Jumbotron Slideshow | Includes eco-trivia, tour greening information, and text messaging campaigns
- Greening Website | Custom tour-specific site outlining all greening elements taken on tour, featuring resources and calls to action for fans
- Online Carpooling | Resource for fans looking to carpool to and from shows
Artists, including Dave Matthews, Brandi Carlile, Bare Naked Ladies, Jack Johnson, Maroon 5, Janelle Monae, John Legend, Sheryl Crow, Jason Mraz, Ben Folds and Phish have jumped aboard this Earth friendly stage and encourage their audiences to do the same.
One thing that I would LOVE to see happen, but is not likely, is that venues (even those outdoors) become completely smoke free. I have been at many events at which otherwise enviro-savvy folks blow smoke about and then drop their butts on the ground as if it is their ashtray. Now THAT would be quite a feat. Imagine the reverberation that would spread world wide~ In the meantime, good for you, Adam, Lauren and your family of choice who are making this planet a greener and cleaner place to live.