by David Chacon
As Dillo Day approaches, we here at In Our Nature pieced together a list of our favorite environmentally-conscious groups that we’d love to see grace the Lakefill this weekend. While we superfan over their tunes, they superfan over Mama Nature herself, leaving us in awe of their efforts to protect the planet while working to shred through their discography.
In his recent From Here To Now To You World Tour, Jack Johnson pulled out all the green stops to keep the carbon footprint low. Not only did he work to be sustainable as a performer, but he also encouraged fans to get in on the action through a variety of methods! Johnson banned his crew from using single-use water bottles, instead opting for reusable bottles and backstage water refill stations. Working towards a “zero waste” tour, the crew worked with venues to set up recycling and compost stations in order to reduce the waste levels generated at each show. On top of that, Johnson primarily used sustainable biodiesel to fuel tour buses, trucks, and generators, burning cleaner energy while still getting the transportation job done. Fans were also encouraged to help by biking and carpooling to the show, with the Jack Johnson Ride-Share Program on ZimRide helping to organize rides among the eager concertgoers.
What can you say about a man who loved his soybeans so much, he wanted to share the food with his tour bus? While his BioWillie-brand of biodiesel folded late last year, Willie Nelson’s environmental efforts are not to be laughed at. His work as a board member of Farm Aid (a title he shares along with fellow ION fave Dave Matthews Band) has helped raise over $45 million to help family-farms sustain their efforts. This year, Farm Aid celebrates 30 years of concerts benefiting farmers.
This country singer is one to watch when it comes to keeping tours green. On top of fueling up her tour buses with biodiesel and pulling from organically-produced, local foods for catering, she is a proponent of environmental causes such as Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green™ initiative, which works to recycle denim jeans into insulation for homes.
Dave Matthews Band
Much like the other acts listed here, Dave Matthews Band works to ensure their tours are as eco-friendly as possible, outfitting their tour buses with biodiesel and making a great effort to recycle as much waste as they can. Going a step further, DMB works to offset their carbon footprint by supporting renewable energy to keep further “dirty energy” from the grid. Even more admirable is their establishment of the Bama Green Project, a collaboration with Reverb (an environmental non-profit) that works to “reach out to their millions of fans to encourage worldwide change.” Through this initiative, they not only facilitate their own green measures, but also host environmental groups to spread awareness to other operators in the field.
This bluesy rocker has long been a supporter of our planet, using her music and concerts as an avenue to preach about the environment through most of her career. Her concerts are frequently partnered with The Guacamole Fund, an organization that works on issues of sustainable energy and environmental protection, where certain choice seats receive a special ticket offering. The proceeds collected from the sale of these seats benefit the organization. Furthermore, she was a founding member of MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy), a collective which has sponsored a whole host of media dedicated to tackling unsafe nuclear energy practices, inspired by the events on Three Mile Island.