It's Only Rock 'N Roll, But We Like It: Going Green on Tour

TreeHugger loves to see the power of pop culture put to good use; not only does it offer a fantastic opportunity to spread our green message to a new, hip demographic, but we can be entertained at the same time. As such, we’ve been happily tracking the progress of the music industry as both up and coming and well-established acts put the planet higher and higher on their lives’ set list, if you will. One of the ways they can have the most positive impact — while still being able to play music and entertain fans — is by greening their tours. Whether it’s biodiesel in the bus or carbon portfolios in their back pockets, more and more bands are going green on tour every day. Here are some of our favorites.

1) Jack Johnson [] is one of the originators of the green touring stars
2) Barenaked Ladies [] are pumping biodiesel, buying carbon offsets for what they can’t reduce or make more efficient, recycling all the way and ditching disposable plates in favor of the real deal.
3) Before Pearl Jam [] announced their Carbon Portfolio Strategy and switched to biodiesel on tour, they were offsetting tour-related emissions and working on the “Vote for Change Renewable Energy Project.”
4) British rockers Gomez [] partnered up with Clif Bar’s GreenNotes program to fuel their tour with biodiesel, offset the tour’s CO2 emissions, use recycled paper and soy based inks for printed materials and provide organic cotton merchandise options for its fans.
5) Not to be outdone by the young whippersnappers, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young [] racked up 220,000 miles last year on tour; powering them all with biodiesel made them 78% cleaner than before, and they ponied up to be carbon neutral in 2006.
6) MTV’s $2 Bill Tour [] from 2006 wasn’t left out of the biofuel fun: the 27-city tour featuring 30 Seconds to Mars was fueled by biodiesel as well.
7) All of this biodiesel is great, but why use internal combustion power when you can just tour by sailboat [] as independent musicians Red Hunter, Jana Hunter and Ray Raposa did for a two-week east coast tour of the US.
8) Both The DittyBops [] and musicians Johnny Eden and Derek Olive [] are showing bands how to really travel green when there isn’t an ocean or lake in sight: they’re bicycling between tour stops. The DittyBops hit the road around the US; Eden and Olive are are pedaling across Canada from Powell River BC to Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia, a distance of 6,500 kilometers — that’s 4000 miles!

As you can see, there are many musicians making big changes while still cranking out some great tunes; stay tuned for more info on green tunes, including tips for musicians, resources for bands, and other ideas for tuning in and going green.