Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Music Lover’s Guide to Being Green(er).

Today my office sent all of us to a presentation on global warming to help develop our sense of corporate social responsibility (read: free muffins and coffee). The speaker was Jean Lemire, this amazing biologist and documentary filmmaker who spent a year in Antarctica measuring the effects of climate change. His advice and anecdotes were accompanied by a string of breathtaking photos and a sneak peek at his new movie, called The Last Continent (Le dernier continent).

Lemire’s tale of glacial adventures was spectacular, but also quite dramatic. He shockingly revealed that their coldest night was only -15 degrees Celsius, (though I’m going to guess that this does not include the wind-chill factor...) and that the water only froze during one winter month, an abnormality. From there, he detailed the alarming impact of these occurrences on local wildlife and on our societies, with a segueway into our role in this matter. Lemire praised the power of requesting and influencing change, however small the scale.

I left the presentation with a serious longing for a chinstrap penguin of my very own (omigod, they look like little Ali Gs!). But most importantly, I gained a greater awareness of my environmental footprint and inspiration to take action. NOW, to make this post relevant to the context, I will provide you with a few tips on how YOU, as a music fan, can help the environment.

I present to you the Music Lover’s Guide to Being Green:

  1. Buy music online as much as possible. Sure, it’s nice to have a great big record collection you can display, but when you think of the production costs, the associated pollution, the packaging, the shipping... it’s just not worth it!
  2. If given the option, opt for concert tickets that are sent to you electronically. You’re eventually going to have to print them, but you can do that on scrap paper. This means there’s no envelope, fancy printing and transportation required.
  3. Talk to the bands! Don’t underestimate the power of your opinions. If you think they print too many unnecessary posters, flyers, stickers or other crap, tell them!
  4. If you are a band, please don’t print too many unnecessary posters, flyers, stickers or other crap. At least use recycled materials if you have to.
  5. Steal posters! We just theoretically took away your ticket stubs and your liner notes... If you absolutely want a memento of a concert or band, just take the poster off venue walls or phone poles. It’s eventually going to be garbage otherwise.
  6. Remember mixed CDs? (Aw, did you make one lately? Cute.) If you have botched CDs, old mixes or even albums that you want to get rid of, recycle them instead of throwing them in the garbage. Make art, string them together to make a curtain, stack’em shiny side up and stick some flowers in the middle. No?
  7. If you’re going to buy an album that’s not super recent, check out used record stores first. Not only will you get a sweeter deal, but you’re also Reusing something annnnd Reducing the amount of nasty plastic packaging (score, two out of the three Rs)
  8. Add to this list! There are a hundred other things, but being aware is the first step.
Oh. And turn down the effing Eurobeats blaring from your earphones if you're going anywhere in public. Noise pollution is also very real.


1 comment:

bridging the atlantic said...

support festivals that support the planet.

virgin festival, for one. the one in baltimore last year was loaded with eco-friendly initiatives, and the one in toronto took these steps:

Complete on-site recycling and composting
- Generators running on bio-diesel fuel
- Biodegradable cups and containers
- Printed materials all use
non-toxic inks on recyclable
- Trees being donated to Toronto
Island Park after the festival
- Global Inheritance's TRASHed ::
Recycling Store for trading in
recyclables for cool swag and
other goodies
- FLICK OFF, the movement to
educate Canadians about the
devastating effects of global
warming, offering advice and
information on how to reduce
carbon emissions