GRAND PRAIRIE, TX – On Monday, REVERB, a non-profit focused on making music tours more environmentally sustainable, launched 2013’s “Last Summer on Earth” tour at the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, Texas. The tour features Barenaked Ladies, Guster, and Ben Folds Five. Each of the concert venues will include an interactive and educational “Eco-Village” with tents where music fans can learn about ways to protect the environment and fight climate disruption. One of the issues that concert-goers can learn about is the risks of illegal logging and the importance the Lacey Act, a century-old piece of legislation that prohibits trade in illegally harvested timber.
"As musicians, it’s important for us to know where the wood in our guitars, drumsticks, and other instruments comes from -- and whether it got here legally," said Adam Gardner, guitarist and vocalist of the band Guster and co-founder of REVERB. "Our music is meant to bring people together, and that includes everyone from our fans who listen to our music to the workers who made our instruments to the communities who live in the forests where the wood comes from."
REVERB is working with the Environmental Investigation Agency and the Sierra Club to raise awareness of the importance of the Lacey Act at the Eco-Villages. Signed into law in 1900, the Lacey Act instituted prohibitions and penalties on the import of illegally trafficked wildlife species. When Congress expanded the law in 2008 to cover plants, the U.S. became the first country to ban illegal trade of timber and wood products.
In addition to helping to identify the origin and legality of a product, the Lacey Act and its 2008 amendments help reduce deforestation and combat climate disruption dramatically. Trees are the Earth’s natural filter for carbon dioxide, and they use the greenhouse gas to produce oxygen. Deforestation itself contributes to as much as 17 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
"Forests are invaluable. They help regulate the global climate, clean our air, and are home to indigenous communities who are protecting their land from illegal and destructive logging," said Ilana Solomon, Sierra Club’s trade representative. "The Lacey Act is a vital piece of legislation and one of the strongest tools we have against the climate crisis."
"The illegal trade of timber and wood has led to the destruction of invaluable forest ecosystems as well as human rights abuses," said Kate Horner, director of Forests Campaigns at the Environmental Investigation Agency program. "The Lacey Act sends a strong signal to companies that they must stem the flow of illegal timber imports, or face the music. We are heartened to see these bands educating fans about the destruction of illegal logging and the importance of having such laws like the Lacey Act on the books."
Each Eco-Village will have a booth dedicated to the Lacey Act, where visitors will be able to send messages to government leaders, asking them to continue to enforce laws like this fundamental act. Visitors to the Eco-Villages will also be able to work on other environmental issues like local food, e-waste recycling, and environmental education.
The tour will run through July 30, 2013 where it will end in Brooklyn, NY. For more information on the summer tour’s green initiatives, check out barenakedplanet.org. For more information from the Sierra Club about the Lacey Act, check out sc.org/IllegalLogging.
Based in Portland, Maine, Reverb is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded in 2004 by environmentalist Lauren Sullivan and her musician husband, Adam Gardner of Guster. Reverb provides comprehensive, custom greening programs for music tours while conducting grassroots outreach and education with fans around the globe.
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization with more than 2.1 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is an independent campaigning organisation committed to bringing about change that protects the natural world from environmental crime and abuse.