April 23, 2008 / 1:18 AM / in 10 years

Top 10 music acts going green with compost and biodiesel

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Going green has become a focus in recent years for many artists who are trying to help save the environment with everything from carbon offsets, to giving away autographed compost bins, to philanthropy.

<p>Jack Johnson performs on stage at the Australian Live Earth Concert at Aussie Stadium in Sydney July 7, 2007. Former US. vice president Al Gore and his global partners are staging the Live Earth concerts held on seven continents simultaneously to raise awareness of environmental issues. REUTERS/Patrick Riviere</p>

With Earth Day celebrated on April 22 each year to mark the anniversary of the modern environmental movement, music publication Billboard published a list of 10 acts that have tried to make a difference to the environment over the past 12 months:

1. JACK JOHNSON

Hawaiian-born singer/songwriter Jack Johnson, a lifelong surfer, recently built a recording studio insulated with used denim and powered in part by solar panels at the Los Angeles HQ of his Brushfire Records, a cozy single-family home. Trucks and coaches on his 2008 tour will run on biodiesel, and venues are required to comply with his rules on cutting waste and recycling.

2. WILLIE NELSON

Country music star Willie Nelson’s BioWillie biodiesel fuel, which is already sold in about six U.S. states, will add a key location when Willie’s Place at Carl’s Corner, Texas, opens this year. The truck stop, off the truck route from the Mexican to Canadian border, is billed as the biggest green truck stop in the United States with all fuels having some percentage of biofuel.

3. MANA

Mexican rock group Mana’s nonprofit Selva Negra foundation, launched in 1994, has projects ranging from saving endangered species like the sea turtle to reforestation efforts. The group’s most ambitious proposal to make environmental and ethics classes part of the curriculum for all of Mexican schoolchildren.

4. DAVE MATTHEWS BAND

The U.S. rock band, through environmental nonprofit Reverb, has calculated the CO2 emissions from every stop on its upcoming summer tour and purchased the renewable energy credits to make up for the footprint left by each venue, hotel, flight, tour vehicle and even fan travel. Fans can sign up online for a carpool.

5. KT TUNSTALL

Last September, Scottish singer/songwriter KT Tunstall partnered with record label Virgin to create a 100 percent post-consumer waste recycled and chlorine-free booklet for her CD “Drastic Fantastic.” She also began work on the greening of her London home, as well as completing a carbon-neutral U.K. tour.

6. PEARL JAM

Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron last year played a January benefit for flood victims in Central Washington, while guitarist Stone Gossard helped plant vegetation in a Seattle park ravaged by English Ivy.

7. SERJ TANKIAN

The “System of a Down” frontman-turned-solo artist has founded Web site skyisover.net to connect fans to environmental and social justice organizations. He also founded a nonprofit, Axis of Justice, with former “Rage Against the Machine” guitarist Tom Morello and is working with environmental nonprofit Reverb to ensure his current tour leaves only a small carbon footprint.

8. RADIOHEAD

Delivering their album “In Rainbows” as a price-optional digital download before putting a physical product in stores last year prevented the manufacture and disposal of thousands of CDs. The British band travels unwillingly and when they do leave home, Thom Yorke and his bandmates partner with consulting firm Best Foot Forward to help reduce their carbon footprints.

9. MISSY HIGGINS

Australian singer/songwriter Missy Higgins spent two weeks traveling across the United States in a hybrid Prius this year, posting Web documentaries of stops at locations like the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and the Mountain View Montessori School, a green elementary school.

10. THE ROOTS

The Roots have taken autographing to a new level. At this year’s edition of their annual pre-Grammy Awards all-star jam session, the Philadelphia-based hip-hop crew gave away signed compost bins in an effort to promote the practice.

(Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

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