Since my first show in 2003, I have spent countless hours every summer following the Dave Matthews Band. I have attended 27 shows at 12 different venues, in three states, and two countries. The typical budget for these trips includes costs for food, lodging/camping, spending money, and… gas. For every DMB concert, enormous amounts of fossil fuels are consumed in transportation by the thousands of concertgoers, resulting in the release of substantial CO2 pollution into the atmosphere. As an environmentally conscious band, DMB recognizes the negative impacts their touring activities have on the environment, and are maximizing efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.
In 2006, DMB committed to offset all CO2 emissions generated by the band for the past 15 years. To achieve this goal, the band partnered with NativeEnergy; a group that focuses on the construction and operation of renewable energy generators. DMB began purchasing renewable energy credits from NativeEnergy to help fund the company’s operating and research costs. Each credit represents a MWh of renewable energy generated by the company that has displaced energy derived from sources emitting CO2. The band has also taken strides to reduce their own carbon emissions by reducing the number of vehicles used for transportation on tour, and using generators that run on sustainable bio-diesel fuel. As a fan, I’m pretty pumped to see DMB take responsibility for their own CO2 pollution, something that many who claim they are “pro-environment” fail to do.
The band also is committed to helping fans make environmentally sound choices. Whether providing links to websites that facilitate carpooling, or listing the available public transportation details, the amount of resources that DMB provides to fans is amazing. This summer, I attended the Dave Matthews Band Caravan at Governor’s Island in New York City, one of four festival-style stops the band made. Inside the venue, there were a number of services that helped attendees minimize their impact: filtered Brita water for ticket holders with reusable water bottles; food products made primarily from local organic crops. In addition, many environmental groups had set up booths in a section called, “the eco village,” where you could get information about the causes they were involved in. However, the thing that surprised me the most were the recycling bins. As I thought hard about all the shows I had attended, I don’t ever remember a venue having anything but a garbage. It’s the subtle choices the band makes, like providing recycling bins, that show a real passion and concern for our planet, and I applaud them for that.
I think this would be a good place for people to share stories relating to the environmental conservation efforts made by a person or group that they have an interest in!