Green Tips for Musicians
Compiled by Scott Callan from the fine folks at the Tape Op messageboard
Many of the musicians I know care about their impact on the environment, but as a group, we buy lots of plastic and electronic things, and then we load them up into a van and drag them across the country. Oh yeah, we plug them in, too – a lot. So, to help lessen the load on the environment and to save a few bucks along the way, here’s a few quick tips that aren’t too hard to accommodate.
• Turn off your stuff if you’re not using it. It’s ok to let amps warm up, but if you’re done for the day…shut ‘em down. Same goes for studio gear…it might look great to make and impress clients to make all the flashy lights go blinky, but if you know you’re not going to be using something on a session, keep it off the grid.
• Install a solar panel or two to help power your studio. It might not keep the whole thing juiced up, but it’ll help.
• Instead of going through lots of bottled water at the studio, invest in a Brita filter. In fact, get two and save one for cheap vodka. You’ll never buy expensive vodka again.
• Instead of using CD-R’s for mix references in the studio, use flash drives when possible. If you do use CD-R’s, reuse old jewel cases or use recycled paper sleeves. You can send old CD-R’s to cdrecyclingcenter.org when you’re done with them.
• Instead of throwing away old drum heads, you can cut a large, thin “O” out of them and use that as a dampening o-ring on your drums…it’ll save you a few bucks from buying those dampeners anyway.
• If you’re touring, bring a thermos or reusable cup with you – you’ll cut down on paper and/or Styrofoam waste when filling up for coffee along the way.
• Speaking of touring, hit up some farmer’s markets while you’re on the road. You’ll be eating local foods, and you’ll probably be eating better because of it.
• Instead of shacking up at hotels on the road, try camping. It’s often cheaper, anyway.
• And make sure that tour van of yours has proper air pressure in the tires – you’ll help maximize your fuel efficiency.
• Get that old touring vehicle modified to run on cooking oil.
• Instead of throwing it away, learn to repair your broken electronics. Fire up that soldering iron.
• And…go totally off the grid…play acoustic instruments!