Why Green Music

Why Green Music?

Musicians sing the story of our world and, by doing so, help to write it.

Today, looking at the increasingly unstable climate we humans are creating, many musicians are realising that we're part of the problem - and that that means we can be part of the solution.

More than being part of the solution, we're in a great position to help lead the way to a greener world.

Why Green Music

Musicians & change

Musicians have an amazing influence – tapping into our emotions, changing the way we think, influencing the food we eat and the clothes we wear, literally putting words in our mouths

From the civil rights movement in the USA to indigenous rights in Australia, from the feminist movement to nuclear disarmament, musicians have been at the forefront of social change since time immemorial. The special skills of engaging communication and leading by example make musicians invaluable to any process of change.

Green Music Australia has researched this vital role, looking at social and cultural theory and history, communications theory and practice and more. You can read the detail in our report, Key Change.

Why Green Music

Current problem

The evidence is clear. Human activity is destroying our planet’s precious environment at an unprecedented rate.

Logging forests for paper and palm oil plantations; mining farming land for ever more coal, oil and gas; clearing bushland for roads and cattle; dredging coastal areas to build bigger ports; poisoning our land, air and water and heating the entire globe. These are all choices that we make as a society.

We can choose to continue turning a blind eye and living as though there’s no tomorrow. Or we can choose to change direction, learning to live in harmony with each other and the environment which we are part of.

In the music scene, we are all familiar with what too many music festival sites look like at the end of a day: plastic water bottles, drink cans and other rubbish strewn around, land that looks – and is – uncared for. What we don’t see is the equally devastating impact of our choices with energy use in venues, how we produce records and merchandise, how we and our audiences travel, and much more.

With a little effort, all this can – and must – change direction.

Why Green Music

The opportunity

If you’ve ever been to a festival which was running a recycling scheme, you’ll understand the amazing feeling of community accomplishment and respect which comes with getting to the end of the day and walking around a clean site.

If you’ve made a record in cardboard packaging after years of plastic, you’ll recognise how much easier they are to lug, how many fewer get damaged, and how much fans admire them.

If, as a venue, you’ve made the switch to LED stage lights, you’ll know that the savings on your energy bills mean you can support more artists, keep overheads down, and keep the musicians cooler on stage.

Why Green Music

How to bring about change

We humans are tribal creatures. We naturally follow those we identify with.
That gives us, as musicians, a big responsibility. Fans who identify with us will follow us towards lifestyles of excess. Or they’ll follow us towards being happy with enough.

We humans are also learning creatures. And we learn particularly well by doing.

By leading by example, and by bringing our peers and our fans with us on the journey, the music scene can make our process of going green a giant exercise in practical learning.

We humans are deeply cultural creatures. Our behaviour follows cultural norms, informed by the stories we tell about ourselves, our ideas about the world and our place in it.

As musicians, we can sing new stories, lead new ideas, shift norms of behaviour. We can help create a new culture.