Earth Day 2010, Music Industry’s Carbon Footprint, and Green Music Group Set To Establish Green Music Standard

Today, Earth Day celebrates its 40th anniversary.  After decades of environmentalists warning governments, industries and the general public about the damage to the earth, the world has to make a choice.  It isn’t about one nation fighting climate change while others watch.  The world has to participate as a global village to make a positive impact.  Dangerous emissions enter the atmosphere from manufacturing.  Manufacturing machinery is powered from electrical plants that use fossil fuels to generate electricity.  Chemicals left by the manufacturing process are dumped polluting precious water sources.  Businesses must temporarily set aside the bottom line for the betterment of society.

I was dumbfounded when I stumbled on a story that described the amount of waste swept onto the shores across the southeastern US because of Hurricane Katrina.

“According to comprehensive research using government incident databases, about 8 million gallons of petroleum releases were reported as a result of Katrina hitting the U.S. Gulf coast in 2005, nearly 75 percent of the total volume of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. The releases were largely due to storage tank failure and the shut down and restart of production processes. Storm surge floods were the primary cause, but some incidents occurred as a result of hurricane and tropical storm strength winds where no surge was present, according to the authors.” (Source:

The Exxon Valdez spill is considered the worst manmade environmental disaster.  The fact that Hurricane Katrina caused that much damage should wake environmentalist naysayers from their apathy.

Furthermore, I was shocked this morning when I heard a story on Good Morning America discussing the increasing acidity in the oceans is killing off shellfish.

New Study Reveals Music Industry’s Carbon Footprint

Musicians are using their star power to encourage fans to become more eco-conscious.  The music industry needs to take action along with stars they promote.

Think about everything that happens to bring people together for a concert.  A tremendous amount of fuel is used by bands and fans to converge at a single location.   Music equipment and lighting are powered by an electrical grid dependent on fossil fuels to produce power.  Envision the amount of waste left behind by fans chugging mass quantities of alcohol.

Earlier this week, a study was released by the Environmentalresearchweb, which was commissioned from the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute by Julie’s Bicycle, a non-profit organization launched by UK music industry heavyweights on the eve of Live Earth in 2007.

“Each year the UK music industry is responsible for around 540,000 tonnes of greenhouse-gas emissions, according to researchers from the UK and US. Three-quarters of this is due to live music performances, while the rest is caused by music recording and publishing.” (Source: UK Guardian)

If the UK is producing 540,000 tons of waste, then I presume the U.S. produces at least three or four times that amount.   But efforts are underway to change how the music industry operates.

Green Music Group

Earlier this year, Dave Matthews Band, Sheryl Crow, Warner Bros., and other music institutions formed Green Music Group.

“Green Music Group is a project of the non-profit organization Reverb. GMG is a large-scale, high-profile environmental coalition of musicians, industry leaders and music fans using our collective power to bring about widespread environmental change within the music industry and around the globe.

Leading by example, Green Music Group facilitates large-scale greening of the music community, and magnifies the work of national nonprofits, all while building a vibrant community committed to environmental action.”

On April 10th, Dave Matthews Band kicked off the Green Music Group Challenge, which ends on August 13, 2010.  Every two weeks, a new challenge is presented encouraging music fans and others in the industry to do something productive to clean up the environment.  By participating, you could also win some cool prizes such as a 2010 Honda Civic Hybrid.

Join the challenge by signing up here.

Saving mother earth should go beyond a single day of celebration.  Earth Day is a good reminder for us to evaluate how much further we need to go in order to change our earth killing ways.

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