Good, Green, Music

Have any of you guys wondered about the stance your favorite bands and artists are taking on the environment? Do your favorite rock bands do more than just write lyrics about trees and the evils of pollution? Does your favorite singer travel exclusively in biofuel tour buses, and release her albums in biodegradable materials only?

Well just in case you’ve been wondering, the music industry has been increasing its efforts to be more environmentally friendly, an example being Warner Music Group. One of the “Big Four” of record companies, Warner Music Group has been releasing its work with DVD liner notes made of 30% recycled paper that was taken from carefully selected wood chosen by the Forest Stewardship Council. It also runs a nationwide recycling program that has found success in decreasing waste, with a total of almost 4,000,000 pounds of waste removed.

In addition to the record companies themselves going green, the artists themselves have also been increasing efforts. Reverb, a non-profit, environmentally focused Portland, Maine organization has played a huge part in this. Reverb focuses on partnering with artists and fans to make concerts and tours more eco-friendly, and to inspire people to become more invested in the environment.

Green Music Group, a project of Reverb, is made up of some very high-profile artists from The Roots to Willie Nelson that, according to their website, are aiming towards:

1. Creating an engaging online community of musicians, music industry leaders, and music fans all committed to addressing our greatest environmental concerns.
2. Facilitating large-scale greening of the music community through touring, venue, and label standards, resource development, green grants mentoring, and viral video and public service campaigns.
3. Providing environmental nonprofits with a megaphone for their cause, allowing them to expand their reach and support base.
4. Creating a sustainable green music guild to support and inform the efforts of the music community and position leaders in the music industry as voices for change, working to shine a light on the most pressing environmental issues of our time.”

From human pedal-powered concerts (!) to musicians bringing representatives from environmental organizations to their concerts to educate fans, environmental awareness is very present in the music world. Here’s a Rolling Stone article on some of the most eco-friendly bands and artists; you may be surprised by a few of them.

What’s On Your Bus Playlist? Here’s Ours!

We all know that riding the bus is one of the best ways to combat air pollution. One full bus can take as many as 35 cars off the road, which cuts down on the amount of harmful emissions in the air.

So, get excited about your bus ride by spending a little quality time with your MP3 player. Of course, everyone has a different opinion on how to make the perfect mix. But, here are some things to think about:

Consider the Mood. What’s the tone you’re trying to set for your day?

Challenge Yourself. Mix it up—try different combinations to avoid getting bored.

Be Flexible. Don’t worry about sticking to a certain genre or theme.

I posed a Facebook question about how to make the perfect mix, and here are some tips I got:

  • Don’t limit yourself to one mix. Create several playlists to anticipate your different moods. For instance, when I’m frustrated, I have an angry metal playlist prepared. I’ve also got a soothing, indie heavy mix ready to calm me down. (-Alyson)
  • I like stability in my playlist and usually stick to classical music because it allows me to do other things like read and play games. (-Erin)

And we asked around the Clean Air Campaign office for some favorite tunes:

  • “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 because “it wakes me up and gets me moving.”
  • “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele because “the beat is invigorating.”
  • “Lose Yourself” by Eminem because “it gives me street cred.”

Other listening options

Music playing services.  If you keep your music on your phone or use a 3G capable MP3 player, you can also access a music service like Pandora Radio. Pandora automatically recommends and plays music based on your song suggestions. And if you’re a Facebook user, check out Spotify, another music service that also allows you to share songs and playlists with your friends.

Podcasts  Not that into music? Try flipping to a podcast instead.

iTunes has hundreds of free podcasts to browse through —but that’s not your only option. If you’re not an Apple user try or to download casts to the media player of your choice, or even directly onto your MP3 player or smartphone. Funny, serious, educational, political—pick a topic, and there’s likely a podcast out there covering it. And most are totally free!

I’m personally a fan of following podcasts that talk about my favorite TV shows like (geek alert!) Doctor Who, How I Met Your Mother, and The Walking Dead.

Videos.  How else does taking the bus win over driving? Video. When you don’t have to keep those eyes on the road, you can glue them to something way more entertaining. So if your MP3 player has video capabilities, try a video podcast. And don’t forget about music videos—get on YouTube or Vevo for a huge backlog of music videos and even suggested playlists based on the artists and songs you search.

What do you like to listen to on the bus? Leave us an answer in the comments! And don’t forget to log your bus riding time on the AirCreds tool for points and prizes!