MUSICIANS FOR A GREENER PLANET
Touring = environmentally problematic. It’s just a fact. Logging all those miles on the road, whether it’s a DIY van-and-trailer run or a 20-truck stadium tour, is not good for the environment. The conundrum bands often find themselves in is that touring in an environmentally conscious manner is, to put it simply, really fucking expensive.
The Musicians Energy Conservation Alliance seeks to solve that very problem by grouping together musicians and environmentally friendly organizations that wish to support sustainable touring. And their ideas are way more realistic and achievable than the usual “buy carbon offsets” and “use veggie oil fuel” mantras. From their website:
The Musician’s Energy Conservation Alliance (MECA) is a network of musicians, restaurants, farms, and markets collaborating on a new model for sustainable touring. MECA bands plan their tours with local food in mind and restaurants, farms, and markets offer members discounts with the goal of getting a locally grown meal on the road as easily and affordably as stopping at McDonald’s.
MECA facilitates band carpooling, much the way multiple artists traveled on one bus in the 1960s on the classic Motown Revue tours. By sharing a MECA veggie-powered bus and equipment, bands can greatly reduce their oil consumption and carbon footprint. We help plan veggie fuel stops and also encourage camping when weather permits.
MECA differs from some organizations in that we feel carbon offsets, while positive, do not make big-production tours “sustainable.” When some of the music industry’s biggest bands travel with 200 diesel trucks and a crew of hundreds, they are promoting an unsustainable culture of consumption. We believe oil is a finite resource and that we need to conserve it while we step up planning and innovation for a renewable energy economy. Carbon offsets do not fully address this problem.
Our goal is to help any band on any budget reduce their carbon footprint and fossil fuel consumption while supporting local economies. We’re excited to change the touring industry, and we hope you’re excited to join us.
A fresh, locally grown meal while you’re on the road? Hard to imagine, but I can’t think of a single musician I know that would chose yet another shitty Taco Bell meal over that. If you’re in a band that’s interested, sign up at JoinMeca.org; it doesn’t cost anything to join.