Top 5: Green Thinking Bands

Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder

Pearl Jam

Whilst self-destruction is at the beating heart of rock n roll, planetary destruction is seemingly off the agenda nowadays, with more and more musicians and bands jumping on the biofuel powered eco-bandwagon, and doing their bit for Mother Earth. Cynics might claim that it’s just another ploy to raise profiles in an increasingly tough business, but whatever the motivation, the message is certainly getting through.

1. Pearl Jam
In terms of putting their money where their collective mouths are, few bands come close to the eco-awareness of Pearl Jam. In gifting $100,000 to various eco projects during a recent world tour, it was more than a donation, it was a call to arms. The activism section on Pearljam.com makes for great reading, and offers an insight into the lengths the band will go to in order to ensure their impact on the planet is kept to a minimum.

2. Radiohead
When Radiohead recently snubbed Glastonbury, it wasn’t because of the mud, the distinct lack of sanitary toilets, or a sudden dislike for Indonesian nose harpists. Nothing so trivial would keep Thom ‘Smiler’ Yorke and his merry band of men away. ‘Glastonbury’s spiritual houseband’, as the 2003 programme called them, disappointed legions of fans for one reason, and one reason alone – the lack of a green transport system to the site. The message was clear – the biggest greenfield festival in the world just isn’t green enough.

3. Green Day
Green Day’s support for the Natural Resources Defence Council in the States has brought immense exposure to the Move America Beyond Oil campaign. More information on the campaign can be found in the Youtube videos that they have launched to support the movement.

4. Jack Johnson
From launching the Kokua Hawaii Foundation to support environmental education in schools, to building a recording studio which runs entirely on solar power, Jack Johnson lives and breathes the green cause. He’s also a devoted supporter of 1% For The Planet, a global movement of companies which donate 1% of their sales to worldwide environmental organisations.

5. Perry Farrell
When Perry Farrell pledged in 2003 to power one stage at his pioneering Lollapalooza festival on biodiesel, it was seen as a bold, and somewhat ambitious move. When he ended up running the whole festival on the stuff, he set the benchmark for green event management. More recently, Farrell has pledged his support to the growing Global Cool movement, an affiliation of musicians, celebrities and activists seeking to increase awareness of environmental issues, who are using the song in their current campaign.
These are just a few of the artists and musicians who are doing their bit to reduce their impact on the planet. If you think we’ve missed any off, or if you’ve spotted any examples of great green practice at gigs or festivals you’ve been to, drop us a line in the comments section below, let’s share the good news.

Those just commencing their musical journey might want to check out perhaps the ultimate in green guitars from Simon Lee.

Eddie Vedder image via Flickr

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