Tips for Greening Your Ears with Low Impact Music
Of all the things we do to lead a greener life, you wouldn’t think that the music we listen to is a big problem too. I was thinking about this when I realized how unfriendly the land tour can be. From used gas and fast food wrappers … to the plastic CDs themselves. Maybe there are worse things, right? Like tire fires to begin with. Of course reflecting on this got the better of me, and I started to come to terms with (without doing much research, as it sounds too much of a job) the huge carbon footprint of popular bands. As a general rule, I tend to boycott (or at least not buy) pop bands. Lots of other people do the same, as finding freelance artists is the new thing these days. However, as these bands (and their hitherto unknown labels) gain popularity, they are broadcast on the radio and enter the consumer cycle. If a major label band doesn’t reject the traditional management that involves the jet-set arena show, or doesn’t publicly announce what they are doing to reduce their pressure on resources, they are likely more interested in the line of background than in this green generation of fanatics.
“Well known bands like Bon Jovi or U2 can have up to 7 or 8 sleeper buses employed on their tours to accommodate the large number of road crew required for large venues like stadiums and arenas. However, these famous bands rarely they travel on the bus; they use air transport or limousines, letting their crew members travel by bus. Smaller and lesser-known gangs often travel by bus together with their technical team. ” – from the Sleeper Bus wiki
A boycott of these business model type bands that deplete the arenas and release 7 billion CDs may be in order. So it seems like I’ll be spending a lot less time listening to Static-X, not to mention Metallica (poor Metallica, everyone annoys them), but I guess it’s not a big deal since a thousand bands sound the same as them anyway.
You’d think it costs less for a band to travel and see their fans than to travel independently to see them, but without doing the math, I’m pretty sure it burns the same amount of fuel for a band to travel by plane. across the country of what fans need to reach them by plane, train, and car. Sure, it takes 6 transatlantic days on the Queen Mary II to get from the UK to Boston … but honestly, what else does Bon Jovi have to do? How in a hurry are these acts to go around the world? A sea voyage sounds pretty relaxed to me, and if you’re doing it to enjoy your ship, what better low-impact, cost-effective way to get from one point to another than on an ocean liner? Unless, of course, time is money.
Sir Paul McCartney is one exception, Radiohead another. That’s when it comes to big-name acts, so you can certainly choose from certain news-worthy bands. Finding out all of them is something I’d rather give up than investigating. Surely, you understand that it is a much greater improvement to my mood to boycott the music of great performances than to spend time researching news articles, wikis, and blogs to prove what I strongly suspect.
There have been some notes on hacking as low impact. Obvious objections aside, they are right. Giving up legality, they are definitely right. There has been literature on the life cycle of the compact disc, and that is the smallest reason to move to digital technology. See music and the nvironent blogspot for a similar entry on digitization, and the authors’ reasons for doing it.
Okay, sure, most big companies offer a fully digital medium to get your music out legally. Sure, you could easily steal the music from the big carbon-spending label bands (and be a hero in your own mind) but honestly what you’re doing is creating that viral exposure these bands trust. Think about the end of the media to bring music to the public on a large scale … is to come see them live, buy their merchandise, put on the t-shirt and go see them again and again, and again, and bring friends. I love watching live music and merchandising is a very important part of the cycle, but honestly, if you hear them on rock radio, they don’t need your money. If fewer people paid attention to these jet-set combustion engines, the music industry as an art form would be better off.
Lower-impact acts are some of the most talented echelon out there as independent, unsigned, or small label artists. Their t-shirts are printed on organic cotton with soy ink. Their shoes are made from recycled hemp or rubber. They drove a car to see you, and they weren’t expecting 10,000 cars to drive to see them. Meanwhile, they brought bikes and skateboards to get around town. They share mp3 with you …
This may not be for you. Maybe you need pop culture for a living (weird but probably true) and might suggest satellite radio of course urban hipsters raison d’etre … but of course most continue to buy CDs from box stores and prefers to gloat over some sick people. -Pedestal conceived that they are better than most because they “support art” in doing so. You never see them at shows, and they wouldn’t think a bad thing about taking a plane to see a band that took a plane to a distant city. instead of waiting for them to get closer to a driving distance or looking for music that they like so much locally.
- The worst thing you could do is buy music from Walmart’s major CD labels, then buy third-party merchandise, and attend stadium shows in the biggest city possible (thanks Hannah Montana for filling up our landfills).
- It would be better to catch the artists when they pass through a city near you (NIN in Toronto from here is a quick trip … but I am too lazy / scared to see if they take a plane or a bus … example while driving but they’re not that big) and buy your merchandise there. It pays for its gas fairly directly and carefully cuts Walmart out of its loop.
- The best suggestion is to purchase your music online completely digitally, back it up to your removable media, not buy products from major record labels, and see shows in your city. Do what you can to dissuade big label gangs from having to get on a plane. boycott the radio. boycott plastic music and keep it digital.
Perhaps people enjoy pop music due to time constraints, as it is certainly not due to the quality of the music. It takes time to get the music you like. Some people read about bands they listen to on Sirius and get new music that way. Some attempt searches for “similar artists” on Pandora, last.fm, or other music-tracking sites. This is good, as it opens up your tastes to bands that may not have previously caught your eye or that don’t make it to MTV or local radio. I really suggest doing everything you can to broaden your horizons like that and cut down on the big pop acts. It is not a real offense to them, but why remain in the ear, especially with something as personal as a taste for music?
So relax, slow down. Let each band be an acquired taste. Let it roll for a while before pouncing on it like a hungry cougar. Develop a sense of what you like and the qualities you would like in a band, and certainly what your impact is on the world around you. Low-impact music is a decision you can make to make your stainless steel water bottle less like a pig hat and a much truer symbol of the changes you are trying to make in all aspects of your life in the world. land.
If this is the past for you, I challenge you to recycle all the plastic in your kitchen and go for glass, metal or wood! Clever? To go!