This week Sundance Channels groundbreaking eco documentary series Big Ideas For A Small Planet takes a look at a whole generation. Referred to as Gen Y, it is everyone currently under the age of thirty. Can an entire generation be thought to have an eco consciousness?

Certainly musicians Adam Gardner & Lauren Sullivan, co-founders of Reverb think so. They have toured with many headline bands and take their eco message everywhere they go. Can you have a ‘green concert’? Yes you can, well at least you can minimize the ecological impact. What may seem minor at first glance are actually significant. If you are touring, use bio-fuels for transportation, this cuts down on the carbon footprint being left. There are also small things that can help, rechargeable batteries on stage, eco friendly concessions, they all add up. As Adam remarks “We thought it was only for the mega-stars, but when we looked into it, it was economically do-able” .

I caught up with Brian Allenby of Reverb and had the opportunity to ask him a couple of questions.

How and when did Reverb come about?

Reverb was founded in 2004 when Adam and Lauren saw the growing need to assist the music industry in their movement toward environmental sustainability. Adam has been playing in Guster for 16 years and Lauren has been working in the environmental field for almost as long, and it because a perfect figurative marriage to compliment their literal marriage. Over the past 4 years, Reverb has greened over 50 tours, 750 major events, reduced or eliminated over 35,000 tons of CO2, fueled touring vehicles with over 260,000 gallons of biodiesel.

In the tv segment you mention that ‘green’ was only for superstars, but when you investigated you found that ‘green’ was do-able, is it significantly more expensive, or is it just a mind set?

Going green really doesn’t have to be more expensive, and in some cases it can even save you money. In some cases, replacing products or services with more eco-friendly counterparts can cost a bit more, but as we continue to support new products and technologies, those costs will come in line with the existing standard, and hopefully become the new standard. We realize that everyone has very different abilities to contribute to the cause, and the fact that we stress as much as possible is that everyone should take part to the best of their ability. Honestly, it can be as simple as band members each carrying a reusable water bottle on tour or asking for organic food on a rider.

What is in the future for Reverb?

Over the next few years, Reverb will be developing a greatly increased online educational component to our website and all of our tours. In addition, we will be focusing on implementing programs that make it increasingly easier for fans to take action in their daily lives. A few examples would be carpooling services for concerts as well as integrated social networking carbon footprint tools.

Thanks Brian, and good luck with Reverb.

How about weddings? Is it possible to have a green wedding? Danny Seo a wedding organizer says yes. But what is a green wedding? It is amazingly simple, keep it simple, and keep it local. Use local products, skip the big limo’s, skip the disposable napkins, skip shipping flowers from across the globe, and use local organic produce for the wedding reception. Cost wise there will be little difference. It may seem like a small thing, but if everyone took this route the reduction of the global carbon footprint would be noticeable.

A Green Campus? Pitzer college in California says it can be done. Eco friendly living spaces is one way, their new halls of residence are proof of that. 80% of the materials used in the construction came from within 200 miles of Clairemont. Added to that is sustainability, water and power conservation, and even a vegetable patch.

Generation Y has inherited a problem from their parents. As a collective group they are much more environmentally aware than us ‘Baby Boomers’ and Gen X’ers.

You can catch Big Ideas For A Small Planet at 9pm Tuesday April 22 on the Sundance Channel.

Simon Barrett

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