Environmentally friendly practices catch on in music industry

By Daniel Torres

There is a recent trend in the music industry: more and more
artists and studios are being eco-friendly when creating and
distributing new albums.

A growing number of CDs are distributed in hemp cases instead of
generic plastic cases.

The difference between the two is conventional plastic CD cases
are non-biodegradable, while hemp cases are.

Hemp is the non-drug form of the cannabis plant.

It has already been utilized in the production of clothing,
paper, food and fuel.

One acre of hemp produces the same amount of pulp as four acres
of trees and can be harvested twice a year rather than once every
20 years, according to phreshwater.net.

“I think eco-friendly CD cases are a good idea,” said first-year
English and fine arts student Angelica Villareal. “I love buying
CDs anyway, but I would probably feel better about buying them
knowing that they aren’t hurting the environment.”

Samantha Bauer, a second-year liberal studies student, feels
slightly different about eco-friendly albums.

“If I like the artist, I am still going to buy his or her CD
whether or not it’s an eco-friendly case,” said Bauer. “On the
other hand, I’m not going to go out and buy some random person’s CD
just because they do have this case, either.”

Music artists are doing more than just using environmentally
friendly CD cases to make an impact.

Now they are utilizing eco-friendly studios to produce their

In London’s East End sits The Premise, Europe’s first
solar-powered recording studio. The Premise is home to Studio A,
which is the first of its kind in Europe. All the equipment,
including air conditioning, is extremely energy efficient,
according to Pro Sound News Europe, an industry magazine.

“The aim of the entire project was to try to get it to the point
where it was pretty much carbon neutral,” said Nathan Hale, The
Premise’s studio director, in an interview with

The studio was built on recycled shredded cars tires as well as
recycled timbers and a lot of the equipment used in the studio uses
very little energy.

Strawbale Studios, in Northwestern Montana, has also emerged
using solar energy for its equipment as well as using straw bales
for its construction.

“It’s a good trend. With so many bands being environmentally
conscious – like U2 and Rise Against – it makes sense for recording
companies to also do something for the environment,” said
second-year kinesiology student Kenny Iraheta.

Some artists have sought to relieve their environmental guilt by
buying up their carbon footprint.

A company in Ireland called Future Forests calculates the amount
of energy consumed and the pollution emitted by a company.

Future Forests relates this figure to a number of trees that
need to be planted in order to cancel out the detrimental effects
of their business.

In March 2003, allbusiness.com featured an article that
mentioned artists like the Pet Shop Boys, the Foo Fighters,
Coldplay, Gorillaz, Kylie Minogue, Shaggy, Mis-teeq, Dido, Neneh
Cherry and Sting have subscribed to Future Forests’ ideology and
pay the company to plant trees for them.

This idea is so prevalent that companies from the Netherlands,
Japan and Florida are eliminating their carbon footprints by using
tactics and companies similar to Future Forests. The MTV Europe
Music Awards were carbon-neutral last year, and Virgin is in the
process of making its music stores in the United States

Environmentally friendly practices catch on in music industry

Allen Chen/The Poly Post

Environmentally friendly practices catch on in music industry

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