Musicians Launch Eco-Friendly Tour

The Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds Five, and Guster have started an environmentally friendly music tour and help promote the Lacey Act.

On Monday, REVERB, a non-profit focused on making music tours more environmentally sustainable, launched 2013’s “Last Summer on Earth” tour at the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, Texas. The tour features Barenaked Ladies, Guster, and Ben Folds Five.

Each of the concert venues will include an interactive and educational “Eco-Village” with tents where music fans can learn about ways to protect the environment and fight climate disruption. One of the issues that concert-goers can learn about is the risks of illegal logging and the importance the Lacey Act, a century-old piece of legislation that prohibits trade in illegally harvested timber.

“As musicians, it’s important for us to know where the wood in our guitars, drumsticks, and other instruments comes from -- and whether it got here legally,” said Adam Gardner, guitarist and vocalist of the band Guster and co-founder of REVERB. “Our music is meant to bring people together, and that includes everyone from our fans who listen to our music to the workers who made our instruments to the communities who live in the forests where the wood comes from.”

In addition to helping to identify the origin and legality of a product, the Lacey Act and its 2008 amendments help reduce deforestation and combat climate disruption dramatically. Trees are the Earth’s natural filter for carbon dioxide, and they use the greenhouse gas to produce oxygen. Deforestation itself contributes to as much as 17 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

"Forests are invaluable. They help regulate the global climate, clean our air, and are home to indigenous communities who are protecting their land from illegal and destructive logging,” said Ilana Solomon, Sierra Club’s trade representative. “The Lacey Act is a vital piece of legislation and one of the strongest tools we have against the climate crisis.”

“The illegal trade of timber and wood has led to the destruction of invaluable forest ecosystems as well as human rights abuses,” said Kate Horner, director of Forests Campaigns at the Environmental Investigation Agency program. “The Lacey Act sends a strong signal to companies that they must stem the flow of illegal timber imports, or face the music. We are heartened to see these bands educating fans about the destruction of illegal logging and the importance of having such laws like the Lacey Act on the books."

Each Eco-Village will have a booth dedicated to the Lacey Act, where visitors will be able to send messages to government leaders, asking them to continue to enforce laws like this fundamental act. Visitors to the Eco-Villages will also be able to work on other environmental issues like local food, e-waste recycling, and environmental education.

The tour will run through July 30, 2013 where it will end in Brooklyn, NY. For more information on the summer tour’s green initiatives, please click here.