The green efforts of Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson, and Neil Young have been well-documented, but these performers are far from the music industry’s only eco-minded individuals. In fact, several of today’s most popular acts are speaking out against pollution, deforestation, and other major issues that impact the environment.
In 2000, the members of this experimental jam band from Minnesota founded Earthology Records, a recording studio located on an organic farm that was built using reclaimed wood and today runs on geothermal energy. The band also packages all of their albums in 100-percent recycled poster board, and their tour van is outfitted with solar panels.
Canada’s most famous rapper (sorry Snow) is also one of the music industry’s most vocal supporters of sustainable living. His tour bus runs on biodiesel, he and his crew eat organic food using biodegradable utensils, and much of his official merchandise is rendered from eco-friendly materials.
This trio from New York City (best known for hit singles like “We Are Young” and “Some Nights”) recently announced that all of their tour vehicles are equipped with carbon offsets to minimize the amount of air pollutants they emit. As a rule, recycle bins and green cleaning supplies are also utilized in all backstage areas at venues where they perform.
No matter how you feel about Maroon 5’s music, you have to tip your hat to their environmental efforts over the years. The quintet was honored at the 2006 Environmental Media Awards and have pledged support for the Global Cool initiative, which encourages people around the world to diminish the effects of global warming by minimizing their carbon footprint.
This neo-soul songstress recently traveled the country with Reverb (an environmental nonprofit founded by Guster’s Adam Gardner and his wife) as part of the Campus Consciousness Tour. “CCT has the right formula by combining music and activism and delivering it in a fun way to students,” she told Ecorazzi.
Rodrigo Y Gabriela
This Mexican duo is known for impressive acoustic guitar work, but their green efforts are also noteworthy. All of their album covers are printed on recycled paper, and most fan merchandise is rendered from sustainable materials. They’ve also raised money for wildlife reserves and other protected areas throughout Mexico.
Philly’s most popular hip-hop group since Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff, The Roots have had their hand in many environmental causes over the years. In 2010, they co-founded Green Music Group with several other artists (including Sheryl Crow and the aforementioned Maroon 5); their annual ‘Jam Sessions’ feature hours of live music from artists like Prince and Pearl Jam, with proceeds going toward various causes; and members of the Roots have worked with PETA to create kid-friendly programs espousing the benefits of vegetarianism.
By Brad Nehring