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What is the Music Industry's role in addressing our climate emergency?

There's a conversation I've been wanting to start amongst musicians: from your point of view, what are ways you see that our industry can “green” itself? I’m interested in hearing about all aspects of the industry: concerts, venues of all sizes, touring, orchestras, orchestra pits, music education- both private and institutional, backstage catering, recording studios, album releases, luthiers, publishers, etc.

I’d love to hear ideas large and small, and even ideas that might seem like pipe dreams, or that appear to be way out of the box.

I’ll go first: string recycling. A partnership between D'Addario and TerraCycle accepts strings and string clippings of all materials and from all instruments for recycling. Strings from orchestral instruments, guitars, basses, harps, mandolins, ukuleles, etc, all are fair game. Go here to find a collection spot near you, or to get a (free) collection box mailed to you so that you can collect used strings in your own community. Strings may be physically small, but they require a lot of energy-intensive practices to be produced, and the metals require mining… womp womp.

I know that in the midst of a devastating year for music and musicians, environmentalism within our industry may not seem like the most pressing issue. But to me, this is the perfect opportunity to reconsider what we want the new normal to look like. And from a financial perspective for struggling musical organizations, there are changes that can be made at low or even no cost. My feeling is that these financially feasible options are the ones that need to be fought for first. Easy wins are still wins.

What are the areas you see that need the most improvement? Do you have ideas or solutions for what might improve the situation? What groups are doing this kind of work that I need to hear about? I'm all ears.


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