Members of the cult rock band Guster, known for their bongo-heavy, much-bootlegged live shows at colleges across the country, met during a Wilderness Orientation program at Tufts University in the early 1990s, a perfect setting to predict the band's path over the next two decades. The group's love of the outdoors and penchant for activism culminated in 2004, when guitarist Adam Gardner and his wife Lauren Sullivan, a veteran of the Rainforest Action Network, founded Portland, Maine-based Reverb, a non-profit that consults with musicians about going green and working with environmental causes. Reverb is now preparing to "green" its 100th tour, having worked with artists from Avril Lavigne to the Arcade Fire. Reverb and Guster have taken the lead to help artists increase awareness and lighten their footprint in a variety of ways, including collecting half-used batteries from live shows; ditching styrofoam cups on tour; supporting the use of biodiesel for travel, as well as carbon neutral venues; selling green merchandise; and much more. At Reverb-affiliated shows, "Eco-Villages" are set up to teach fans about environmental issues. The band has also been known to cover the Talking Heads' nature fantasy "(Nothing But) Flowers," which includes lines like, "There was a factory, now there are mountains and rivers."
Photo:Adam Gardner of Guster testifies during the House Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee hearing on the future of biofules in Washington, DC, October 24, 2007.