As part of the Green Roster membership requirements, members must designate Annual Green Goals to strive towards in their day-to-day business. Sustain reviews members’ progress made toward their Annual Green Goals on a yearly basis.

The following resources are here to help bands, luthiers, and recording studios create and meet their Annual Green Goals and to be informed on ways their business practices can be made more environmentally friendly. To see examples of what Annual Green Goals might look like visit here.

If you have any suggestions, or would like your recycling/upcycling/green business added to the list, please contact us at sustainmusicandnature@gmail.com.

For BANDS       For LUTHIERS       For STUDIOS


GREEN RESOURCES FOR BANDS

As part of the Green Roster Band membership requirements, bands must designate Annual Green Goals to strive towards in their day-to-day business. The Annual Green Goals are in addition to the periodic Green Tour Check-Ins, which have tour-specific environmental goals for a set period of time. To look at the Green Tour Check-In requirements, click here.

Each band sets their own Annual Green Goals, and the progress made towards these goals is reviewed on a yearly basis by Sustain.

The following resources are here to help bands create and meet their Annual Green Goals and to be informed on ways their business practices can be made more environmentally friendly. This information might also inspire bands’ creative goals which are required in the Green Tour Check-In.


MUSIC MAKING

STRINGS

D’Addario estimates that 1.5 million pounds of instrument string metal ends up in landfills every year. That’s 6 Blue Whales worth!

Here’s what you can do instead.

  • Send your used strings to artists who repurpose them into jewelry. Sustain has worked with Guitarbage, who makes beautiful bracelets and earrings. You might even work with her to set up some of your used string bracelets for your merch table.
  • Wear Your Music is an organization that takes in spent strings and turns them into bracelets that are artist specific. They sell these online, and the profits are donated to the charity of the band’s choosing. We, of course, think if you want to boost your green cred more, you should have the donations go to Sustain!
  • D’Addario Playback Program: D’Addario kicked off a new string recycling program this year, and is the only recycling program currently available for instrument strings. You send D’Addario your old strings (any company’s) and earn points that can either be used to buy other D’Addario products, or towards donations to the D’Addario Foundation which supports music education.

Not only can you be green when you’re done with strings, you can also be greener when you buy them.

D’Addario (I swear Sustain’s not sponsored, even though that would be really nice, but they’re a company that cares!) has been working on reducing their string packaging and the environmental impact of their string production since the 1980’s. Their packaging does not use PVC, uses recycled papers, and they’ve even changed their production methods in order to reduce the amount of tin needed to make strings. Consider buying D’Addario strings if you want to reduce your environmental footprint. Learn more about their efforts here.

PICKS

Picks are personal, but if you’re open to trying something new, there are some green pick options. There are lots of folks selling guitar picks that are made out of old records, quarters, circuit boards, etc on Etsy. You could also consider getting a pick punch, which can cut out picks from old credit cards and hotel key cards.

GREEN ROSTER INSTRUMENTS

Our Green Roster Luthiers are making some beautiful, unique, and quality instruments, that have the added bonus of being created under environmental practices. Please consider buying from Green Roster Luthiers, as they use sustainable materials, and environmentally conscious workshops. Green Roster Bands also get discounts, so you don’t have any excuses. Supporting Green Roster Luthiers means you support businesses who take the time to care about the environment. You can also trust that their products aren’t using endangered trees, like Burmese Rosewood and Vietnamese Ebony.

Visit the Member page to see all of our luthier members and their products.

GREEN ROSTER STUDIOS

Record at Green Roster Studios if you want to make sure your money is going towards a business that cares about the environment. Also, you get discounts as fellow Green Roster members!

Visit the Member page to see all of our studio members and learn about their environmental practices.

GREEN SHOWS

Do you get offers to play at environmental fundraising events, or at festivals that focus on being low impact? Support these when you can, and make sure to tell fans about what these events are doing for the environment.

MERCH TABLE

There are a lot of ways you can make your merch more environmentally friendly. Think about choosing materials that are recycled, reused, organic, non-toxic or renewable. Plus, people feel better about buying something that is a bit kinder to the environment. Here are a few ideas:

Oasis, one of the major CD production companies, now offers zero-carbon CDs! These CDs produce 88% less CO2 compared to jewel cases. The plastic used in it comes entirely from recycled plastic bottles. Whatever emissions they can’t eliminate, they offset at the Freund Family Dairy in East Canaan, CT. This farm, not far from Sustain’s headquarters, catches their cows’ methane emissions and uses it to help power the farm. (Side note, they also make seed starter pots out of cow poop [Cow Pots] which Sustain’s co-founders love using to start plants for our veggie garden).

To learn more about the option, which only costs slightly more than standard CDs, visit their website.

Piuma wrote a great article on their process of making a zero-carbon vinyl album release, with eco-friendly production companies and donations to offset any emissions by planting trees in a National Forest. Check it out: Making an Environmentally Friendly Vinyl Record

Think about doing an entire album release with zero-carbon CDs/Records, or trying a limited run with special artwork. You could likely charge slightly more for these, as people are often willing to support a good cause.

Also consider switching any packaging you use over to recycled papers and print with environmentally friendly inks, whether soy or water based.

For shirts and apparel, go for natural or recycled fibers, environmentally friendly inks or dyes, and USA made will mean your shirts didn’t have to get shipped as far.

If you’re mailing any of your merch out, pack with eco-friendly materials. Think paper, not plastic or Styrofoam. . This article has great pointers on how to ship greener- like where to get cardboard boxes that are Forestry Stewardship Council certified, how to compare delivery companies’ green performance, and better packing material options.

Print your show posters on recycled paper. There are many companies that offer green printing. Here are just a few:

Riders

Update your show riders to reflect your dedication to the environment. Tell venues that you don't want single use plastic water bottles. Ask for vegetarian meals. Jack Johnson has used riders to get venues to switch over to energy efficient lightbulbs, and to offset the carbon produced by his shows. You might not have Jack Johnson's sway, but it can't hurt to make your rider pro-environment.

THE MESSAGE

You are on stage- both real and virtual. You have an audience. You have people who are inspired and influenced by you. Don’t be shy about letting folks know that you conduct your business in an environmentally conscious way.  Share your green actions on social media- people get excited about others doing good work. Point out something green that you’re doing at your shows. Preaching is a sure way to turn people off of environmentalism, but being open about the good work you’re doing is a great way to spur progress.

REDUCE

REDUCE

Think about the materials you need to run your band. Are all of them necessary? Is there packaging that’s superfluous (plastic wrap I’m looking at you) on your merch products? Do you need to write your set lists on paper freshly harvested from virgin forests? Just take a second to think before you buy something, or when you’re ordering merch, to make sure it’s necessary.

Also consider ways you can reduce the waste created by the band.

  • Use reusable water bottles instead of the bottles they hand out at venues.
  • Put in your riders that you don’t want disposable bottles provided.
  • Bring a travel coffee mug- most coffee places will rinse it out for you and give you a discount (Starbucks takes 10c off!)
  • Bring your own bulk snacks in the van so you’re not buying packaging-hefty gas station snacks.
  • Bring empty reusable food containers to bring home leftovers from restaurants.
  • Have silverware in the van so you don’t need plastic.
  • Bring reusable shopping bags on tour.
  • When shopping, pick items with less packaging or in recyclable materials.
  • Don’t use straws in your drinks.

CARBON EMISSIONS

Carbon emissions contribute to climate change, which is host to all sorts of environmental and humanitarian issues. Not every band can afford a Tesla run on wind-power, or a bio-diesel tour bus. Nor does everyone have the fortitude to bike to every stop on a tour.  Do your best to try and reduce emissions where you can, but consider offsetting the carbon emissions which you can’t avoid. It’s easy to offset the emissions created when you go on tour.. This website (link) helps you calculate how much CO2 was released by your van, bus, or airplane. All you have to know is your vehicle make and model (or your gas mileage) and the distance traveled. It will give you the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere from your trip. You can ‘offset’ those emissions by buying carbon credits. Carbon credits represent some activity (like planting new trees, preventing deforestation, distributing more efficient cook stoves in developing countries) that decreases carbon emissions by the same amount that you just emitted on your trip. By offsetting your emissions, you decrease your carbon footprint and your role in mucking up the climate.

 Graphic from this  website .

Graphic from this website.

There are many different companies and organizations that will offset your emissions, each with their own different prices. To give you a general idea though, you can offset 1,000 miles in a van for just $6.

Check out the following websites for offsetting your carbon:

There are other ways to decrease your emissions on the road. Pack only what you need in the tour van. Extra weight = extra gas burned. Also, make sure your tire pressure is up. Properly inflated tires improve gas mileage by 3.3%, which means your emissions go down by 3.3%.

  • Carpool
  • Bike or walk or public transport
  • Turn down the heat, and nix the AC when you’re gone
  • Plan your errand trips so you’re making car travel efficient
  • Bring your meals to rehearsal or the studio so you don’t have to drive somewhere to go get it
  • Eat less meat.  Producing 100 calories of beef uses 11x more greenhouse gases, and 160x as much land as producing 100 calories worth of rice.
  • Have some of your riders for shows request vegetarian meals only.
 Graphic from  here .

Graphic from here.

ELECTRICITY

Sustain isn’t about to tell your death metal band to go acoustic. However, do be considerate of turning off electric gear when you’re not using it. Using power strips (when safe) makes it easier to just switch everything off at once, so you don’t have to unplug all your gear. Be mindful of turning off your electrics when you’re taking a break from rehersal, or you’re done with soundcheck. If you’re not using it, it doesn’t need to be on.

If you’re leaving on tour, also be sure to turn off the wifi, and other electricity culprits that have no reason to be on while you’re away.

Does your band pay for electricity at your rehersal space? Look into what options your power company has for switching to wind power or other renewable sources. It may not be much more expensive.

WATER

Why waste water if you’re not using it? This is especially important in drier climates, where every drop counts. The less water we use, the more that may be available for the environment, and critical wetlands that are hotbeds of biodiversity. The average household can save $350 a year in water and energy costs by outfitting their house with water-saving devices and ENERGY STAR appliances. There are lots of steps you can take to reduce water usage:

  • Shower shorter or turn off the water while you soap up.
  • Only run the dishwasher or laundry machine when you have a full load.
  • Turn off the sink when you’re brushing your teeth and save 8 gallons a day!
  • Don’t water your lawn during the hottest part of the day when that water will more easily evaporate.
  • Don’t water your lawn at all! Xeriscape it with drought tolerant plants and pretty rocks.

HOTELS

As a Green Roster Band, you’re very familiar with hotels by now. Even though it’s a temporary place to spend the night, there are still ways you can be more environmentally friendly about it.

  • If you’re staying a few nights in a row, don’t have housekeeping change all of your sheets and towels.
  • If you leave the room, turn down the heat or turn off the AC, and turn off the lights.
  • Bring your own refillable containers of shampoo and soap, so you don’t have to use the hotel’s single serving packages and bottles.

Some hotels have stronger environmental policies than others. If two companies have a similar price and you can’t decide, look at their environmental policy and choose whoever is doing better work. If you can afford to select the best environmental hotels, even better.

According to Groundswell, these major hotel chains have the best sustainability policies:

  • Starwood (includes Westin and Sheraton hotels)
  • Hilton
  • Fairmont
  • Hyatt
  • Mariott

TripAdvisor has a great program that ranks hotels based on their environmental practices. When you’re looking for a hotel, use TripAdvisor to see if the hotel is using any green practices. A green leaf denotes an eco-conscious hotel.

Learn more at:  https://www.tripadvisor.com/GreenLeaders

REUSE

USED GEAR

Buying anything secondhand means that an unwanted item is getting a second life, not taking up space in a landfill or wasting energy through recycling reprocessing. New instruments and gear are generally made with newly-mined or newly-chainsawed wood and materials. Buying used gear decreases the need to extract new materials to make new gear. Do your best to see if you can find what you’re looking for in the second-hand market.

Used Instruments: Reverb.com

Used Audio Gear: Usaudiomart.com

RECYCLE

You know about recycling paper, glass, cans, and numbered plastics. But you can also recycle things that are ‘non-traditional’, like broken cables and amps.

If your electronics (amps, cables, pedals, moog, etc.) are completely busted and can’t be either repaired or sent to a new home, find a place that accepts e-waste. Best Buy will take your electronics, rechargeable batteries, and CDs and more. You just have to drop it off at one of their stores, no charge and no purchase necessary. Check out their recycling program here.

A great website for finding out where to send your rubbish for recycling is Recycle Nation. Just enter your zip code and what you want to recycle, and it’ll give you a map of places that will accept your items.

GREEN SPACES & LIFESTYLE

Don’t forget to consider your band members’ environmental footprint while at home. The following might not be directly related to your business practices, but we’d love to hear our members getting involved in these sorts of activities:

GREEN OUTDOORS

The National Wildlife Federation has a program to certify your yard as wildlife habitat. The requirements are pretty simple, and your yard might already have all the habitat components! Generally, your yard has to have food, water, cover, places to raise young, and sustainable yard/garden practices. Certification costs $20, and you become part of thousands of certified wildlife habitats across the country. Are any of your band members willing to do this at their residences? Do you have a practice space that you could certify?

Learn more about the program HERE.

Below is a snapshot of part of the application. See the application here.

SUPPORT BIRDS

Following habitat destruction, did you know that the leading cause of wild bird deaths is from collision with windows? Birds see trees reflected in the windows and are unaware of the glass. In 50% or more cases of window strikes, the birds die as their brains hemorrhage. However, there are steps you can take to decrease the risk of birds smashing into your windows. Decals that stick to the glass are not very effective, but strips of tape on the outside of the glass, or strings or feathers hanging outside the window, each no more than 10 inches apart, are fairly effective. Decorative features like stained glass designs or window dividers can achieve the same result. Outside screens are very effective both to reduce the reflection and to cushion the impact.

Can you add screens or string deflectors outside band members’ windows? Are their windows at your rehearsal space you can protect birds from?

 Chart from  Sibley .

Chart from Sibley.

What about cats? Outdoor cats love snacking on birds, and it really takes a toll. Do you have a band cat that goes outdoors? If you can’t keep the cat indoors all the time, consider the very fashionable BirdsBeSafe collar. It not only makes your cat the belle of the ball, it significantly reduces their bird hunting prowess. If 1% of the United States’ outdoor cats wore this collar, it would reduce bird deaths by 1.7 MILLION. The bright collar covers cost $10 (breakaway collars run about $7). If anyone is handy at sewing, you could make a collar cover yourself too.

Does anyone have an outdoor cat in the band? Think about outfitting them with a gaudy collar!

COMPOST

Did you know over 60% of household waste is organic matter that could be composted, instead of going into a landfill? Composting your food scraps is not only good for the environment, it also saves you some money if you have to pay for trash by the bag. If you have a yard, a compost pile is easy to start. Check out this resource to learn more. 

There may also be a composting program available in your city, or at a farmer’s market nearby. A good trick for composting if you can only drop off your food waste once a week at the market is to dedicate a bag in the freezer, so you can freeze everything until you’re ready to do a drop off.

Bonus benefit: If you garden, you can use your compost to add nutrients and improve soil quality!

GREEN FOOD

What you send down your gullet is your own business. Food is a very personal choice, so choose what you will. However, if you want to make some choices that are good for the environment, consider the following.

  1. Grow some of your own food if you have the space. That way, you know exactly what went into it, and unless you’re running a tractor-based operation, there is next to no carbon emissions involved in producing or transporting it. Also, points for growing your own food, everyone loves that.
  2. Buy organic when you can. Less pesticides, less harmful chemicals in the environment, happier bees, and not necessarily sadder wallet.
  3. Buy from your local farmers. While organic certification is very strict and can be hard to obtain, a lot of smaller farm operations do use more sustainable practices than the mega-commercial farms. Support them.
  4. Cut down on the red meat, then the cheese, then the other white meats. Red meat has the highest greenhouse gas emissions (partly due to the methane in cow farts), followed by dairy (those cows and their toots, plus refrigeration and transport), and then other white meats like chicken, pork, and seafood. Eggs are a good protein, lower carbon option too. If you replaced just one red meat/dairy serving a week with an “other white meat” in a year, it would be like saving the equivalent carbon from driving 760miles. Replace that red meat meal with veggie-based protein once a week for a year and you’re saving the equivalent of driving 1,160 miles.
  5. Choose products that display the following certifications:

GREEN RESOURCES FOR LUTHIERS

As part of the Green Roster Luthier membership requirements, luthiers must designate Annual Green Goals to strive towards in their day-to-day business. Sustain reviews members’ progress made toward their Annual Green Goals on a yearly basis.

The following resources are here to help luthiers create and meet their Annual Green Goals and to be informed on ways their business practices can be made more environmentally friendly.


INSTRUMENT MAKING

ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE WOODS

The woods you choose to make your instruments out of are important. Not only does the wood need to possess the right tone, you really need to consider where it’s coming from as well. While the luthier trade might not demand a huge volume of wood, the trade can sometimes spur excess logging as timber companies cut through forests in order to extract the prized mahogany, rosewood and ebony trees. Some of these tree species are becoming increasingly rare- in fact, 70% of the tree species utilized for instrument manufacturing are now vulnerable to extinction. Some species, like Brazilian Rosewood, are now protected from international trade, however the wood is still poached and ending up on the black market. Not only do we risk losing tree species that are harvested above sustainable rates, we risk losing the biological communities that these trees play a role in.

The Forestry Stewardship Council is an organization that promotes environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests. They run the FSC certification program for wood products that come from working forests that adhere to strict environmental and social principles. Look for their logo on paper and wood products you buy for the workshop, and you’ll know it comes from a sustainable forestry operation.

Other certification programs include the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Their standards aren’t as rigorous as FSC, but they still elevate the environmental responsibility of working forests and the products that come out of them.

Not all woods need to come from somewhere exotic either. Check out your local working forests to see if they have wood that will work for your instruments. Locally-sourced wood saves on carbon emissions associated with shipping, and comes with a better story for your customers.

A good, yet no longer updated, resource for learning more about wood and the luthier industry is GreenPeace’s MusicWood site.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY FINISHES

Sometimes there are nasty chemicals in the finishes used on guitars, but there are environmentally friendly choices out there. Shellac is a natural material, made from resin secreted from the lac bug from trees in southeast Asia. It’s dried out into flakes, and then dissolved in ethanol to make liquid shellac for protecting wood surfaces. Definitely less toxic than a nitrocellulose finish, which in its raw form is highly flammable and used in explosives. There are also water-based finish options out there, which are environmentally preferable to polyurethane. Zero Impact Guitars has a good article on finishes here.

USED GEAR & MATERIALS

Buying anything secondhand means that an unwanted item is getting a second life, not taking up space in a landfill or wasting energy through recycling reprocessing. New tools require new materials to be mined or harvested, which is less sustainable than using something that has already been around for years. Do your best to see if you can find the gear and tools you’re looking for in the second-hand market. Getting used pick-ups and other metal bits is another way to lower the environmental impact of your instruments.

Reverb.com is place to find used pickups, and they also have a great article on what to look for when buying used.

A lot of Green Roster Luthiers also do their best to use woods that had previous lives as barns, houses, doors, etc. Think about whether you could do any of your work with reclaimed wood in order to cut down on deforestation.

SHIPPING

You likely end up shipping a lot of your instruments across the country to your customers. Shipping is a key area where you can increase your environmental efforts. This article has great pointers on how to ship greener- like where to get cardboard boxes that are Forestry Stewardship Council certified, how to compare delivery companies’ green performance, and better packing material options.

MERCH

There are a lot of ways you can make your merch more environmentally friendly. Think about choosing materials that are recycled, reused, organic, non-toxic or renewable. Plus, people feel better about buying something that is a bit kinder to the environment. Here are a few ideas:

For shirts and apparel, go for natural or recycled fibers, environmentally friendly inks or dyes, and USA made will mean your shirts didn’t have to get shipped as far.

Do you do stickers or posters? Use recycled paper and eco-friendly inks. There are many companies that offer green printing. Here are just a few:

GREEN BUILDING

There are many ways you can update your workshop to be more energy efficient- whether replacing old light bulbs with efficient ones, improving insulation, and installing heat-retaining curtains, up to more intense remodeling with green building materials and appliances.

A great resource on green building is the U.S. Green Building Council which also runs the LEED certification for environmentally friendly construction. It may not be in your budget to re-work your entire workshop, but there are small things you can do. Check out this LEED list of building/property features that earn points toward certification. You can click on each heading to learn more, and see what you can do in order to meet that requirement (e.g. reducing light pollution by shielding outdoor lights from shining upwards). 

This website has articles on making your home/studio greener. Consider switching to greener cleaning products with less harmful chemicals. Another website grades all sorts of cleaning products based on their environmental friendliness- visit here.

YOUR CLIENTS

Make sure your clients know that you’re a Green Roster Luthier, and point out some of the environmental work you’re doing on your website and media outlets. Don’t be shy about letting folks know that you conduct your business in an environmentally conscious way. Preaching is a sure way to turn people off of environmentalism, but being open about the good work you’re doing is a great way to spur progress.

REDUCE

REDUCE

Think about the materials you need to run your workshop. Are all of them necessary? Are there any areas where you can reduce the amount of materials you need to buy? Are you shipping your instruments with superfluous plastic or non-biodegradable materials? Try not to buy more wood than you’ll ever use and think about composting any wood scraps and sawdust made at the shop.

Take some time to think about what aspects of the workshop are more wasteful than necessary, and come up with ways to reduce that waste.

CARBON EMISSIONS

Carbon emissions contribute to climate change, which is host to all sorts of environmental and humanitarian issues. You can use the EPA’s household carbon footprint calculator to estimate how much carbon your workshop creates, based on what your electricity bills are. 

You can ‘offset’ those emissions by buying carbon credits. Carbon credits represent some activity (like planting new trees, preventing deforestation, distributing more efficient cook stoves in developing countries) that decreases carbon emissions by the same amount that your shop created. By offsetting your emissions, you decrease your carbon footprint and your role in mucking up the climate.

  Graphic from this   website  .

Graphic from this website.

There are many different companies and organizations that will offset your emissions, each with their own different prices. To give you a general idea though, you can offset 1,000 miles in a van for just $6.

Check out the following websites for offsetting your carbon:

If you commute to your workshop, is it possible to bike there or take public transport? Can you bring your meals in with you, so you don’t have to drive to go get food? Also, eat less meat.  Producing 100 calories of beef uses 11x more greenhouse gases, and 160x as much land as producing 100 calories worth of rice.

  Graphic from   here  .

Graphic from here.

ELECTRICITY

We know workshops have a lot of equipment that need powering. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of power you’re using. Be considerate of turning off electric gear when you’re not using it. Using power strips (when safe) makes it easier to just switch everything off at once, so you don’t have to unplug all of your gear.  Bonus- save on the electricity bill. Some of you may consider using hand-powered tools in place of electric if it’s something that would work for your shop.

Don’t forget utilizing natural light as best you can. Work from sunlight when possible, and save on powering light bulbs.

You might also want to look into installing solar panels. Many states offer subsidies, and every bit of energy not coming from fossil fuels counts. You can also look into your electric company’s programs- as they may offer the option to buy your power (or portions) from renewable sources, like wind farms. It’s not always much more expensive, so take a look.

RECYCLE

You know about recycling paper, glass, cans, and numbered plastics. But you can also recycle things that are ‘non-traditional’, like broken amps and other equipment.

If your electronics (amps, cables, pedals, microphones, etc.) are completely busted and can’t be either repaired or sent to a new home, find a place that accepts e-waste. Best Buy will take your electronics, rechargeable batteries, and more. You just have to drop it off at one of their stores, no charge and no purchase necessary. Check out their recycling program here.

A great website for finding out where to send your rubbish for recycling is Recycle Nation. Just enter your zip code and what you want to recycle, and it’ll give you a map of places that will accept your items.

USING RECYCLED PAPER

Make sure to use recycled paper for your shop, business cards, brochures, and even your toilet paper! Using paper made from previously recycled paper creates 74% less air pollution, 35% less water pollution, and creates 5x the number of jobs compared to producing paper from trees.

More information: http://worldcentric.org/biocompostables/paper-info

GREEN SPACES & LIFESTYLE

Don’t forget to consider your environmental footprint while at home. The following might not be directly related to your business practices, but we’d love to hear our members getting involved in these sorts of activities:

GREEN OUTDOORS

The National Wildlife Federation has a program to certify your yard as wildlife habitat. The requirements are pretty simple, and your yard might already have all the habitat components! Generally, your yard has to have food, water, cover, places to raise young, and sustainable yard/garden practices. Certification costs $20, and you become part of thousands of certified wildlife habitats across the country. Does your workshop have outdoor space? Can you get your shop yard certified?

Learn more about the program HERE.

Below is a snapshot of part of the application. See the application here.

SUPPORT BIRDS

Following habitat destruction, did you know that the leading cause of wild bird deaths is from collision with windows? Birds see trees reflected in the windows and are unaware of the glass. In 50% or more cases of window strikes, the birds die as their brains hemorrhage. However, there are steps you can take to decrease the risk of birds smashing into your windows. Decals that stick to the glass are not very effective, but strips of tape on the outside of the glass, or strings or feathers hanging outside the window, each no more than 10 inches apart, are fairly effective. Decorative features like stained glass designs or window dividers can achieve the same result. Outside screens are very effective both to reduce the reflection and to cushion the impact.

Can you add screens or string deflectors outside workshop windows? 

  Chart from   Sibley  .

Chart from Sibley.

What about cats? Outdoor cats love snacking on birds, and it really takes a toll. Do you have a shop cat that goes outdoors? If you can’t keep the cat indoors all the time, consider the very fashionable BirdsBeSafe collar. It not only makes your cat the belle of the ball, it significantly reduces their bird hunting prowess. If 1% of the United States’ outdoor cats wore this collar, it would reduce bird deaths by 1.7 MILLION. The bright collar covers cost $10 (breakaway collars run about $7). If anyone is handy at sewing, you could make a collar cover yourself too.

Do you have an outdoor cat? Think about outfitting them with a gaudy collar!

WATER

Why waste water if you’re not using it? This is especially important in drier climates, where every drop counts. The less water we use, the more that may be available for the environment, and critical wetlands that are hotbeds of biodiversity. The average household can save $350 a year in water and energy costs by outfitting their house with water-saving devices and ENERGY STAR appliances. There are lots of steps you can take to reduce water usage:

  • If your workshop is in your house, encourage shorter showers and turning off the water while you soap up.
  • Only run the dishwasher or laundry machine when you have a full load.
  • Turn off the sink when you’re brushing your teeth and save 8 gallons a day!
  • Don’t water your workshop’s lawn during the hottest part of the day when that water will more easily evaporate.
  • Don’t water your lawn at all! Xeriscape it with drought tolerant plants and pretty rocks.

COMPOST

Did you know over 60% of household waste is organic matter that could be composted, instead of going into a landfill? Composting your food scraps is not only good for the environment, it also saves you some money if you have to pay for trash by the bag. If you have a yard, a compost pile is easy to start.  Check out this resource to learn more. 

There may also be a composting program available in your city, or at a farmer’s market nearby. A good trick for composting if you can only drop off your food waste once a week at the market is to dedicate a bag in the freezer, so you can freeze everything until you’re ready to do a drop off.

Bonus benefit: If you garden, you can use your compost to add nutrients and improve soil quality!

GREEN FOOD

What you send down your gullet is your own business. Food is a very personal choice, so choose what you will. However, if you want to make some choices that are good for the environment, consider the following:

  1. Grow some of your own food if you have the space. That way, you know exactly what went into it, and unless you’re running a tractor-based operation, there is next to no carbon emissions involved in producing or transporting it. Also, points for growing your own food, everyone loves that.
  2. Buy organic when you can. Less pesticides, less harmful chemicals in the environment, happier bees, and not necessarily sadder wallet.
  3. Buy from your local farmers. While organic certification is very strict and can be hard to obtain, a lot of smaller farm operations do use more sustainable practices than the mega-commercial farms. Support them.
  4. Cut down on the red meat, then the cheese, then the other white meats. Red meat has the highest greenhouse gas emissions (partly due to the methane in cow farts), followed by dairy (those cows and their toots, plus refrigeration and transport), and then other white meats like chicken, pork, and seafood. Eggs are a good protein, lower carbon option too. If you replaced just one red meat/dairy serving a week with an “other white meat” in a year, it would be like saving the equivalent carbon from driving 760miles. Replace that red meat meal with veggie-based protein once a week for a year and you’re saving the equivalent of driving 1,160 miles.
  5. Choose products that display the following certifications:

GREEN RESOURCES FOR STUDIOS

As part of the Green Roster Studio membership requirements, studios must designate Annual Green Goals to strive towards in their day-to-day business. Sustain reviews studios’ progress made toward their Annual Green Goals on a yearly basis.

The following resources are here to help studios create and meet their Annual Green Goals and to be informed on ways their business practices can be made more environmentally friendly.


RECORDING

GREEN ROSTER INSTRUMENTS

Our Green Roster Luthiers are making some beautiful, unique, and quality instruments, that have the added bonus of being created under environmental practices. Please consider buying studio instruments from Green Roster Luthiers, as they use sustainable materials, and environmentally conscious workshops. Green Roster Studios also get discounts, so you don’t have any excuses. Supporting Green Roster Luthiers means you support businesses who take the time to care about the environment. You can also trust that their products aren’t using endangered trees, like Burmese Rosewood and Vietnamese Ebony.

Visit the Member page to see all of our partners and their products.

STRINGS

Do any of your clients leave spent strings at your studio? Consider recycling or upcycling these. D’Addario estimates that 1.5 million pounds of instrument string metal ends up in landfills every year. That’s 6 Blue Whales worth!

Here are some ideas for what to do with those dead strings:

  • Send your used strings to artists who repurpose them into jewelry. Sustain has worked with Guitarbage, who makes beautiful bracelets and earrings. You might even work with her to set up some of your used string bracelets for your merch table.
  • D’Addario Playback Program: D’Addario kicked off a new string recycling program this year, and is the only recycling program currently available for instrument strings. You send D’Addario your old strings (any company’s) and earn points that can either be used to buy other D’Addario products, or towards donations to the D’Addario Foundation which supports music education.

Do you buy strings for the studio? There’s a chance to be greener there too.

D’Addario (I swear Sustain’s not sponsored, even though that would be really nice, but they’re a company that cares!) has been working on reducing their string packaging and the environmental impact of their string production since the 1980’s. Their packaging does not use PVC, uses recycled papers, and they’ve even changed their production methods in order to reduce the amount of tin needed to make strings. Consider buying D’Addario strings if you want to reduce your environmental footprint. Learn more about their efforts here.

GREEN SUNDRIES

Does your studio provide housing or snacks to your clients? One easy way to be a little greener is to provide soaps, shampoos, etc. that are organic or made of natural materials.

MERCH

There are a lot of ways you can make your merch more environmentally friendly. Think about choosing materials that are recycled, reused, organic, non-toxic or renewable. Plus, people feel better about buying something that is a bit kinder to the environment. Here are a few ideas:

For shirts and apparel, go for natural or recycled fibers, environmentally friendly inks or dyes, and USA made will mean your shirts didn’t have to get shipped as far.

Do you do stickers or posters? Use recycled paper and eco-friendly inks. There are many companies that offer green printing. Here are just a few:

If you’re mailing any of your merch out, pack with eco-friendly materials. Think paper, not plastic or Styrofoam. This article has great pointers on how to ship greener- like where to get cardboard boxes that are Forestry Stewardship Council certified, how to compare delivery companies’ green performance, and better packing material options.

GREEN BUILDING

There are many ways you can update your studio to be more energy efficient- whether replacing old light bulbs with efficient ones, improving insulation, and installing heat-retaining curtains, up to more intense remodeling with green building materials and appliances.

A great resource on green building is the U.S. Green Building Council which also runs the LEED certification for environmentally friendly construction. It may not be in your budget to re-work your entire studio, but there are small things you can do. Check out this LEED list of building/property features that earn points toward certification. You can click on each heading to learn more, and see what you can do in order to meet that requirement (e.g. reducing light pollution by shielding outdoor lights from shining upwards). 

This website has articles on making your home/studio greener. Consider switching to greener cleaning products with less harmful chemicals. Another website grades all sorts of cleaning products based on their environmental friendliness- visit here.

Trying to add some sound absorbers? Instead of oil-based foam, see if there are natural materials (cork, wool, cotton batting) you could try. Giving Tree Band even used large sections of oak bark to absorb sound in their in-house studio. Reflect sound with wood instead of man-made materials.

YOUR CLIENTS

Make sure your clients know that you’re a Green Roster studio, and point out some of the environmental work you’re doing. Don’t be shy about letting folks know that you conduct your business in an environmentally conscious way. Preaching is a sure way to turn people off of environmentalism, but being open about the good work you’re doing is a great way to spur progress.

REUSE & REDUCE

USED GEAR

Buying anything secondhand means that an unwanted item is getting a second life, not taking up space in a landfill or wasting energy through recycling reprocessing. New instruments and gear are generally made with newly-mined or newly-chainsawed wood and materials. Buying used gear decreases the need to extract new materials to make new gear. Do your best to see if you can find what you’re looking for in the second-hand market.

Used Audio Gear: Usaudiomart.com

REDUCE

Think about the materials you need to run your studio. Are all of them necessary? Are there any areas where you can reduce the amount of materials you need to buy? Can you provide clients with glasses for water instead of plastic? If you have a kitchen at your studio, are you using plates and silverware instead of disposables? How about cloth napkins?

Take some time to think about what aspects of the studio are more wasteful than necessary, and come up with ways to reduce that waste. 

CARBON EMISSIONS

Carbon emissions contribute to climate change, which is host to all sorts of environmental and humanitarian issues. You can use the EPA’s household carbon footprint calculator to estimate how much carbon your workshop creates, based on what your electricity bills are. 

You can ‘offset’ those emissions by buying carbon credits. Carbon credits represent some activity (like planting new trees, preventing deforestation, distributing more efficient cook stoves in developing countries) that decreases carbon emissions by the same amount that your studio created. By offsetting your emissions, you decrease your carbon footprint and your role in mucking up the climate.

  Graphic from this   website  .

Graphic from this website.

There are many different companies and organizations that will offset your emissions, each with their own different prices. To give you a general idea though, you can offset 1,000 miles in a van for just $6.

Check out the following websites for offsetting your carbon:

If you commute to your studio, is it possible to bike there or take public transport? Can you bring your meals in, so you don’t have to drive to go get food? Is it possible for bands to stay overnight on your premises to cut down on the amount of driving that’s needed?

Also think about what sort of food you're providing. Cutting down on red meats and cheese really decreases your carbon footprint- producing 100 calories of beef uses 11x more greenhouse gases, and 160x as much land as producing 100 calories worth of rice.

  Graphic from   here  .

Graphic from here.

ELECTRICITY

We know studios have a lot of equipment that need powering. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of power you’re using. Be considerate of turning off electric gear when you’re not using it, and putting computers to sleep when you’re taking a break. Using power strips (when safe) makes it easier to just switch everything off at once, so you don’t have to unplug all of your gear.  Bonus- save on the electricity bill.

Don’t forget utilizing natural light as best you can. Work from sunlight when possible, and save on powering lightbulbs.

You might also want to look into installing solar panels. Many states offer subsidies, and every bit ofenergy not coming from fossil fuels counts. You can also look into your electric company’s programs- as they may offer the option to buy your power (or portions) from renewable sources, like wind farms. It’s not always much more expensive, so take a look.

WATER

Why waste water if you’re not using it? This is especially important in drier climates, where every drop counts. The less water we use, the more that may be available for the environment, and critical wetlands that are hotbeds of biodiversity. The average household can save $350 a year in water and energy costs by outfitting their house with water-saving devices and ENERGY STAR appliances. There are lots of steps you can take to reduce water usage:

  • If you’ve got a house-type studio, encourage shorter showers and turning off the water while you soap up.
  • Only run the dishwasher or laundry machine when you have a full load.
  • Turn off the sink when you’re brushing your teeth and save 8 gallons a day!
  • Don’t water your studio house’s lawn during the hottest part of the day when that water will more easily evaporate.
  • Don’t water your lawn at all! Xeriscape it with drought tolerant plants and pretty rocks.

RECYCLE

You know about recycling paper, glass, cans, and numbered plastics. But you can also recycle things that are ‘non-traditional’, like broken cables and amps.

If your electronics (amps, cables, pedals, microphones, etc.) are completely busted and can’t be either repaired or sent to a new home, find a place that accepts e-waste. Best Buy will take your electronics, rechargeable batteries, and CDs and more. You just have to drop it off at one of their stores, no charge and no purchase necessary. Check out their recycling program here.

A great website for finding out where to send your rubbish for recycling is Recycle Nation. Just enter your zip code and what you want to recycle, and it’ll give you a map of places that will accept your items.

USING RECYCLED PAPER

Make sure to use recycled paper for your studio, business cards, brochures, and even your toilet paper! Using paper made from previously recycled paper creates 74% less air pollution, 35% less water pollution, and creates 5x the number of jobs compared to producing paper from trees.

More information: http://worldcentric.org/biocompostables/paper-info

GREEN SPACES & LIFESTYLE

Don’t forget to consider your environmental footprint while at home. The following might not be directly related to your business practices, but we’d love to hear our members getting involved in these sorts of activities:

GREEN OUTDOORS

The National Wildlife Federation has a program to certify your yard as wildlife habitat. The requirements are pretty simple, and your yard might already have all the habitat components! Generally, your yard has to have food, water, cover, places to raise young, and sustainable yard/garden practices. Certification costs $20, and you become part of thousands of certified wildlife habitats across the country. Does your workshop have outdoor space? Can you get your studio yard certified?

Learn more about the program HERE.

Below is a snapshot of part of the application. See the application here.

SUPPORT BIRDS

Following habitat destruction, did you know that the leading cause of wild bird deaths is from collision with windows? Birds see trees reflected in the windows and are unaware of the glass. In 50% or more cases of window strikes, the birds die as their brains hemorrhage. However, there are steps you can take to decrease the risk of birds smashing into your windows. Decals that stick to the glass are not very effective, but strips of tape on the outside of the glass, or strings or feathers hanging outside the window, each no more than 10 inches apart, are fairly effective. Decorative features like stained glass designs or window dividers can achieve the same result. Outside screens are very effective both to reduce the reflection and to cushion the impact.

Can you add screens or string deflectors outside studio windows? 

  Chart from   Sibley  .

Chart from Sibley.

What about cats? Outdoor cats love snacking on birds, and it really takes a toll. Do you have a studio cat that goes outdoors? If you can’t keep the cat indoors all the time, consider the very fashionable BirdsBeSafe collar. It not only makes your cat the belle of the ball, it significantly reduces their bird hunting prowess. If 1% of the United States’ outdoor cats wore this collar, it would reduce bird deaths by 1.7 MILLION. The bright collar covers cost $10 (breakaway collars run about $7). If anyone is handy at sewing, you could make a collar cover yourself too.

Do you have an outdoor cat? Think about outfitting them with a gaudy collar!

COMPOST

Did you know over 60% of household waste is organic matter that could be composted, instead of going into a landfill? Composting your food scraps is not only good for the environment, it also saves you some money if you have to pay for trash by the bag. If you have a yard, a compost pile is easy to start.  Check out this resource to learn more. 

There may also be a composting program available in your city, or at a farmer’s market nearby. A good trick for composting if you can only drop off your food waste once a week at the market is to dedicate a bag in the freezer, so you can freeze everything until you’re ready to do a drop off.

If you compost at the studio, make sure to let your clients know how to join in.

Bonus benefit: If you garden, you can use your compost to add nutrients and improve soil quality!

GREEN FOOD

What you send down your gullet is your own business. Food is a very personal choice, so choose what you will. However, if you want to make some choices that are good for the environment, consider the following:

  1. Grow some of your own food if you have the space. That way, you know exactly what went into it, and unless you’re running a tractor-based operation, there is next to no carbon emissions involved in producing or transporting it. Also, points for growing your own food, everyone loves that.
  2. Buy organic when you can. Less pesticides, less harmful chemicals in the environment, happier bees, and not necessarily sadder wallet.
  3. Buy from your local farmers. While organic certification is very strict and can be hard to obtain, a lot of smaller farm operations do use more sustainable practices than the mega-commercial farms. Support them.
  4. Cut down on the red meat, then the cheese, then the other white meats. Red meat has the highest greenhouse gas emissions (partly due to the methane in cow farts), followed by dairy (those cows and their toots, plus refrigeration and transport), and then other white meats like chicken, pork, and seafood. Eggs are a good protein, lower carbon option too. If you replaced just one red meat/dairy serving a week with an “other white meat” in a year, it would be like saving the equivalent carbon from driving 760miles. Replace that red meat meal with veggie-based protein once a week for a year and you’re saving the equivalent of driving 1,160 miles.
  5. Choose products that display the following certifications:

ARTICLES

General Environmental

 

UN Music and Environment page: http://www.unep.org/music_env/resources.asp

http://www.sibleyguides.com/conservation/causes-of-bird-mortality/

https://abcbirds.org/program/cats-indoors/cats-and-birds/

https://www.audubon.org/news/how-stop-cats-killing-birds

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/basics/

Food carbon emissions: http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6064

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/making-sense-of-coffee-labels-shade-grown-organic-fair-trade-bird-friendl/

https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/our_water/why_water_efficiency.html

Water efficient lawns: https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/docs/ws_grassgreener508.pdf

Steps for water efficiency: https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/pubs/simple_steps.html

https://zeroimpactguitars.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/renewable-power-options-for-the-practicing-musician/

Luthiers

http://www.gizmag.com/eco-friendly-guitars/11918/

New green material: http://www.flaxwood.com/support/faq/

Great blog on greener guitars: https://zeroimpactguitars.wordpress.com/

https://zeroimpactguitars.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/the-anatomy-of-an-eco-friendly-guitar-part-1/

https://zeroimpactguitars.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/anatomy-of-an-eco-friendly-guitar-pt-2/

https://zeroimpactguitars.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/recycle-your-woodshop-scraps-and-sawdust/

http://www.lmii.com/finishing-options

http://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/the-tone-garage/lacquer-the-barrier-between-your-guitar-and-hazard

http://www.musicwood.org/

BANDS

Making an Environmentally Friendly Record: http://www.piumamusic.com/articles/2015-12-17_Making-an-environmentally-friendly-vinyl-record.html

STUDIOS