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Let’s think about food. Firstly, ask yourself: Do you know where your food comes from and how it’s produced? What about when you’re on tour? The reality is, most of the time most of us don’t know. And we often have less predictable cooking and eating routines when we’re on tour.

There are lots of good reasons for pondering the source of our food. Nasty agricultural practices spread toxins, damage land and waterways, hurt our kin (the other creatures and beings we live among), and our own personal health. Plus food waste is a major contributor to global heating.

So what can be done? Probably the single biggest thing you can do personally is to reduce the amount of meat (especially red meat) you eat. Meat production contributes at least 23% of the world’s greenhouse gases: more than all cars, trains and planes combined. Just replacing the carbon-heavy beef on your plate with chicken, you can cut your diet’s carbon footprint in half. And if you go a step further and take into account what beef-producing land could have otherwise been, like a carbon-absorbing, oxygen-producing forest, this research paper estimates the ‘carbon cost’ of beef is 73 times higher than soy.


  • Eat more veg: As well as being far far greener, they’re also healthy and delicious, easy to cook and often cheaper. Resources like HappyCow exist to help you find vegan/vegetarian options when out on the town. Use this carbon calculator to compare different options. 
  • Buy from bulk food stores: Use this Australia-wide directory and reduce your packaging and waste.
  • Plan ahead: Use a shopping list for touring and rehearsal meals so you don’t buy unnecessary food. Aussies throw away $8 billion worth of edible food each year. 
  • Buy locally: the closer your food is grown, the less emissions. Find your nearest farmer’s market here.
  • Buy ethically: If you are going to buy meat, make it organic and as local as possible. And find ethical seafood using the Australian Maritime Conservation Society’s guide to sustainable seafood.
  • Shop sustainably: Keep BYO shopping bags in the band van and grab some nifty produce bags. And learn more about shopping sustainably with this Sustainability Victoria guide.




Just like encouraging fans to take public transport to your shows, providing them with sustainable food is where you can make the biggest impact.

  • Make sustainable choices: If you have concession areas, source local, sustainable foods and preference vegetarian options. Check out the food-service requirements used by Jack Johnson and scale it to the size of your shows.
  • Sort out food waste: Enquire about the possibility of composting (see our waste section). If you have catering, prioritise companies that are low-waste and environmentally sustainable, like some of these companies. If food waste is unavoidable, ask if venues can donate leftovers to a local charity through organisations like OzHarvest


Of course, these kinds of individual actions are just the beginning. We know the issues we face are systemic. So while we’re improving personal footprints, we also need to push for collective, political change. That’s why your voice is the most powerful tool you’ve got. See Speaking Up for our suggestions on how to use it well. Or get in touch if you want to get more involved in the Green Music movement.

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