Guster and the green touring revolution

guster.jpgWhen Guster kick off their spring Campus Consciousness Tour in Winston-Salem at Wake Forest  University tonight, it will be with a tour organized to lessen as much as possible its environmental impact on the planet. Utilizing buses powered by clean-burning domestically made bio-diesel fuel and purchasing renewable energy credits through Native American owned renewable energy company Native Energy, Guster is part of a growing number of musicians who are combining the process of touring and making music with environmentally benign practices.

The impressive thing with Guster is that they are showing the way forward for others to make the same commitment. Guster singer/guitarist Adam Gardner and his wife Lauren Sullivan formed the Maine-based environmental organization Reverb three years ago to help those in the music business adopt eco-friendly practices wherever possible. According to a recent article in Pollstar, Reverb does “green entertainment consulting for artists who want to clean their tours through the use of biodiesel for transports, biodegradable plates and utensils backstage, and many other options to cut down on carbon emissions.” Lauren Sullivan explained to the magazine

“We sort of create a la carte environmental programs for the artist. We’ll map out the tour, do all their fueling, negotiate all payments – we’ll take that off their plate. “We do the greening behind the scenes, such as coordinating biodiesel fueling for their truck fleets and mapping those all across the country.”It’s all about meeting them wherever they are in terms of what they’re doing and helping to make their efforts come to life.”

And the move to be more eco-friendly in the music business seems to be taking off. Artists as diverse as Bonnie Raitt, Barenaked Ladies, Alanis Morrisette, Pearl Jam, the Dave Matthews Band and Willie Nelson have all implemented green touring practices. Reverb is also working with Warner Brothers Records in making them more eco-aware and I have already written about Smog Veil Records’ new eco-friendly headquarters building.

Now you can certainly debate whether the act of buying renewable energy credits results in an appreciable impact on reducing global carbon emissions but you cannot deny the fact that the level of awareness that is growing in the music business matches the rising level of awareness in the general public and that we are finally starting to make some changes to the way we live our lives in order to lessen our impact on this planet. Whether these actions result in a small or large positive impact is, in my opinion beside the point. The point is that doing something, anything is always better than doing nothing at all. And that is something that Guster is reminding everybody who attends their concerts. I’m green with envy.



03/28/07 WED Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
03/30/07 FRI Grand Opera House Macon, GA
03/31/07 SAT Wabash College Crawfordsville, IN
04/02/07 MON Liberty Hall Lawrence, KS
04/03/07 TUE Lloyd Noble Areana Norman, OK
04/04/07 WED Donald W. Reynolds Center Tulsa, OK
04/06/07 FRI Stubb’s BBQ Austin, TX
04/07/07 SAT Granada Theater Dallas, TX
04/09/07 MON Western Illinois University macomb, IL
04/10/07 TUE Luther College Decorah, IA
04/13/07 FRI Beacon Theatre New York, NY
04/14/07 SAT Beacon Theatre New York, NY
04/20/07 FRI Opera House Boston, MA
04/21/07 SAT Opera House Boston, MA
04/26/07 THU Williams College Williamstown, MA
04/27/07 FRI Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
04/28/07 SAT Siena College Loudonville, NY
04/29/07 SUN Loyola College in Maryland Baltimore, MD
05/04/07 FRI Furman University Greenville, SC
05/05/07 SAT Erskine College Due West, SC
06/22/07 FRI Telluride Bluegrass Festival Telluride, CO

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