CAN MUSIC SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT? A panel discussion moderated by Jordan Poppenk (host of CIUT’s Green Majority), with speakers Jennifer Larry (Sunrise Records), Candace Alper (Name Your Tune), Liam O’Doherty (UTERN) and musician Barzin examines green practices in the music industry. Hart House Arbour Room, Thursday (February 7), 7-9 pm. Free. www.harthousemusic.com. Rating: NNNNN
What would a green music industry look like? Is it all folk singers and acoustic guitars?
The industry is certainly going green in terms of digitizing music so there’s less physical product around. My company’s done away with the traditional plastic jewel cases and uses completely recycled paper, veg-dyed ink. We’ve partnered with Zero Footprint to offset all the emissions caused by shipping. All these little things add up.
If so many singers are on board, what’s holding the industry back?
Part of it might be marketing and product display. I wasn’t allowed to use the same display units when I switched to paper. For others, it’s just resistance to change. You have to redesign your artwork and source new product. Its a little bit more expensive, but not enough to make me not do it. Historically, the industry has at least been able to bring attention to social issues, if to not bring about social change.
What’s your biggest green sin, music-wise?
Of course, CDs are not recyclable. I’m very attached to the physicalness of my product. I create music for kids, and there aren’t a lot of two- and three-year-olds walking around with iPods.
Who’s your favourite green rock ’n’ roller and why?
The Barenaked Ladies. They’ve been at the forefront of the whole greening-of-the-industry thing. I learned from them when I was looking to change my packaging.
Which band has the worst environmental footprint?
The ones that tour the most. And the ones that are still using pyrotechnics.