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The 15 Most Eco-Friendly Rockers

How Radiohead, Drake, Phish, the Roots and others are going green by recycling, using biodiesel and planting trees


The life of a musician is known for its excesses. But the abuse stars do to their bodies doesn't even compare to the toll that recording, releasing and performing music takes on the environment: Just one stadium show might produce as much as 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide. The good news is that increasingly artists are attempting to take responsibility and move toward greener alternatives, either by cutting back on their use of harmful products like fuel and plastic or by devoting time and money to promoting environmental causes. Here's a look at 15 artists on the forefront of a still-growing movement.


By Joe Coscarelli

Nancy Ostertag/Getty

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow estimates she neutralized nearly 1.5 million pounds of CO2 by greening her 2010 tour by using biodegradable and compostable catering, biodiesel fuel and reusable water bottles for the band and crew. The tour's total carbon reductions were equivalent to 81 homes not using electricity for an entire year. Portions of the tour also went toward the Laurelbrook dairy farm in Connecticut to help purchase a methane digester to reduce the amount of toxic gas entering the atmosphere. At every show Crow required an Eco-Village to house informational booths for more than 50 environmental groups. In the past, Crow worked with StopGlobalWarming.org on a college tour and partnered with ZimRide to encourage carpooling to shows. She even planned an eco-friendly baby shower in advance of her son's birth.

Photo: Sheryl Crow performs at the final concert of the Stop Gloval Warming College Tour, April 22, 2007 in Washington, DC.


Thom Yorke

"Plastic anything is like contraband," the band Liars wrote about touring with Radiohead. "Every bus and truck runs on biofuel. There is no idling, rather some new-fangled way to deliver electricity cleanly. They don't do airfreight, either. The list goes on. Everything is supremely managed to reduce the 'footprint.'" Instead of flying their gear, singer Thom Yorke insisted on buying two sets of equipment and at one point even threatened to quit touring altogether, citing environmental concerns. But instead of hanging it up, the band worked to green their tours and support climate change awareness campaigns like Friends of the Earth. Though Yorke refused to meet with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to discuss the environment, citing his lack of "environmental credentials," he's similarly critical of himself. "I haven't done enough," he told an Australian newspaper in 2006. "The job I'm in is a job that wastes energy left, right and centre. It's madness."

Photo: Thom Yorke attends the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, December 18, 2009.

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