Greener Than Thou: Bands Clean Up Their Acts

Live Earth's compilation CD will be released on a new label called Green Owl Records, which is committed to environmentally sound practices like using postconsumer paper in packaging and using offsets to mitigate the impact of the manufacturing process. Certain solo artists have insisted on these changes themselves -- for example, Jack Johnson through his Brushfire Records label -- but Green Owl will initiate these changes labelwide.

ABC News contributor Michael Smith is an internationally recognized DJ who has a music-services business. He works with a variety of corporate clients. www.smitheventmusic.com or info@smitheventmusic.com. Judy Coleman is a freelance journalist who covers the music industry. "When we sign a band, we're not asking them to go around preaching the word," said Green Owl's Stephen Glicken. "It's more that we're acting in as good a way as possible." The label is soon releasing a compilation including tracks from Bloc Party and Muse.

On the Live Earth project, the label is working with the Warner Music Group, which partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to overhaul its album packaging practices. Earlier this year Warner released a Guster disc that is allegedly the first entirely carbon-neutral EP, where the band bought offsets to take into account the shipping from factories to distributors and all other costs.

But other labels may not accept the second place title so easily. Earlier this year Universal Music released its Millennium Collection CD series in recyclable paper packaging, including both the CD sleeve and the tray. The liner notes will be available online only. The label's news release explains that consumers rarely keep their jewel boxes anyway.

Taking Back Sunday's Mascherino said he had to admit he is a bit surprised by the interest he is seeing in the industry these days. He has been persuading, apparently without much effort, bands on this summer's Project Revolution tour to get greener.

"It's an issue that's been there since I was a kid, when we first started recycling, but it really wasn't out there the way it is now," he said. "I never thought I'd see all these acts coming together for this issue."

ABC News contributor Michael Smith is an internationally recognized DJ who has a music-services business. He works with a variety of corporate clients. www.smitheventmusic.com or info@smitheventmusic.com. Judy Coleman is a freelance journalist who covers the music industry.

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