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September 05, 2013

Reverb: The New Green Sound

GusterGuster performing at the Mann Center in Philadelphia on July 18.

By Izzy Weisz, Sierra Club Youth Ambassador

Remember that time you went to Philadelphia?

We do. July 18th to be precise, for approximately 48 hours. Just enough time to attend an eco-concert. (Click on the image below to see a video about how to green your rock tour.)


Remember that time you thought you put the ketchup lid on tight enough? But it turns out you merely rested the lid atop the container, and then someone else went to use the bottle but gave it a good shake first…


Remember when you used to listen to the Barenaked Ladies?
I’m gonna throw it back to around 1997, dancing around the living room on a Saturday morning to “One Week.” Fast forward about 16 years, and add in Guster (in the pic at the top of this post) and Ben Folds Five. Daniel and I got to groove to these '90s bands; pretty big right there, truth be told.


Remember when you arrived two hours early and had to wait outside in Northeast heat wave?

So we showed up to the concert venue to interview the people who run the eco-village, a set of tables/tents at this concert venue and a myriad of other shows that are involved in the environmental movement. We were promptly told to come back in two hours. Needless to say we got to know the park across the street and the shaved ice vendor pretty well.

Remember when concert tours were eco-friendly?

Yeah, me neither. BUT, this "said no one ever" is potentially on its way to being a "said everyone." Here's the skinny: One of the Guster band members and his wife created Reverb, this non-profit that's working to greenify music tours and do some outreach and education, too.


At this particular show in Philly, the Sierra Club was tabling to stop illegal logging, and a local Philadelphia non-profit was promoting outdoor education while also sharing their snake, skink and turtle. Oh and their raccoon pelt and skull (see below). Reverb put on this eco-village, and also did all this cutting-edge eco stuff like couple every trash can with a recycling bin, etc., etc.


Remember the Lacey Act?

OK this is potentially the biggest throwback of all. The Lacey Act began in 1900 and was about protecting and preserving animals, and stopping the illegal trade of them. Then a century and a few years later, circa 2008, it was amended and plants were included. With the Lacey Act, the U.S. became the first country to ban illegal trade of timber and wood products.


So now it's also about illegal logging. Save the Amazon! So the Sierra Club has been tabling to keep it alive, and to urge concert-goers to ask their Member of Congress to support strong implementation of the Lacey Act.  And the whole thing is tied to these green concerts because of wooden instruments, i.e., guitars made out of illegal wood. Which must stop of course.

Want to take action to support Lacey Act? You can do so right here! Save the Amazon!


So we tabled a bit (that's Vrinda Manglik, a volunteer with the Sierra Club's Responsible Trade program, above), filmed a bit, talked to concert goers and Reverb volunteers alike, and meandered around the cool venue that had a fabulous view of downtown Philadelphia in the distance.


By the time the night wrapped up, we had a good sense of both what it meant to green a tour, and why Philly cheesesteaks are so popular.


Help support the Lacey Act and take action with Reverb!

Want to know more about trade in illegally-harvested timber and other ways trade affects the environment? Click here to learn more about the Sierra Club's work to support responsible trade.


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