Every day seems to bring more reports of extreme weather from across the globe, a stark indication of the impact humanity is having on the globe.
Scientists have long warned of an incoming extinction event, and the evidence is everywhere from last year's deep freeze to February's bizarre, record-breaking mini-summer.
Anteros want to do their bit. Recognising that bands have an extensive carbon footprint they promote green energy by walking it like they talk it, using sustainable merch while raising awareness of plastic wastage.
Singer Laura Hayden writes for Clash about why musicians must take the lead on climate change...
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The carbon footprint that touring generates itself has a massive impact on the environment, considering all of the factors that touring entails. The biggest of all is travel. Travel generally represents the most significant part of one person’s impact, but when you are travelling to a different city every day for weeks at a time, with tons of gear and stage production, the emissions of one band or artist alone are scary.
There’s the way we consume food on the road: the amount of meat that is consumed (meat and dairy are associated with much higher carbon emissions than plant-based food.) When you’re on the road, it is hard to eat well on a budget - and most of the time it is hard to control that it be locally sourced and also in season. How much time we spend on eating in canteens or takeaways, as packaging and transporting the food to the location means added carbon emissions.
Then you have the food and snacks on the rider that doesn’t get finished, or eaten. According to recent reports, ONE THIRD of all food that is produced in the world goes to waste. That is a crazy figure, considering how many people go hungry.
The amount of energy used to power the venue every night. Think of the sound, the lighting on stage. Not all music venues and festivals are committed to using renewable energy suppliers. The fact that so many instruments and devices are left on standby for hours on end. Then you have to think about the air conditioning inside the venues and how, the bigger they get, the more gets used.
What does the venue do with its waste? I would say around 90% of the venues we have played do not provide a recycling bin for artists. Whenever I’ve asked for it, they’ve been unable to provide it, and looked at me as if I were being difficult. The processes for dealing with un-recycled waste are extremely harmful on the environment.
Merch is my current battle. I’ve been trying to find a sustainable merch company, and it seems pretty much impossible. Because everyone wants to produce the cheapest merchandise at the biggest profit, and forget that it takes 2,700 litres of water to make ONE cotton t-shirt. Music festivals are getting a lot more clued in on offsetting their carbon monoxide emissions (SXSW did it this year), and Glastonbury has banned all single use plastic this year.
As an artist in the early days, the infrastructure / resources make it harder to comply with every requisite of going green. I feel that a first step in the right direction is to stick your head above the ground and understand the impact that you are making on the environment. Then you can evaluate what you are willing to sacrifice or compromise on in order to make a difference.
For example, avoiding meat and dairy could reduce your carbon footprint from food by nearly three-quarters. Demand that music venues do their part by providing recycling bins both inside the venue and dressing rooms, removing plastic straws… and it is time for venues to stop cutting corners with single use plastic cups. Avoiding the use of air conditioning / heating in the dressing rooms as much as possible.
There are so many changes we can make, big and small. Even if it starts by just bringing our own water bottle. Using it on stage. Water should come from a tap with drinking water, not tiny single use bottles. Can you switch to biodiesel fuel? You can also offset your carbon footprint easily, online, within minutes.
Many of the carbon offsetting projects also provide wider benefits in addition to carbon reduction, such as biodiversity, education, food security, health and wellbeing in developing countries. You can take control and source merchandise suppliers responsibly.
Start the discussion with fans, they will listen. There will not be a planet to tour if we continue at this rate, and the suits on top of this pyramid are not going to change unless we demand it. This is a task that requires awareness and people power.
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Anteros will release debut album 'When We Land' on March 22nd.
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