News & Events Categories

News & Events Yearly Archive

Live Earth-Just the Beginning?

LE3.jpegIf you haven’t heard of the Live Earth concerts last week and you’re reading this blog, please tell me that you’ve been on vacation in Bora Bora for the last couple of months!

And if you have heard of them, I’m sure you’ve formulated some opinion, which we, of course, would love to hear. Likewise, I won’t miss the opportunity to share my thoughts, since I was there, in New Jersey (NOT New York!), on the floor, close enough that I didn’t need binoculars to see the screens (or the artists on stage).

I’ll keep it short (though I don’t know about sweet), and, in usual fashion, I'll bullet point it out (“bullet point” is now officially an action verb):

The Good

  • Artist performances were, overall, great! There was a large variety, which appealed to different audiences (as could be seen from the different constituencies clapping when their artist(s) came on, especially for Bon Jovi—go Jersey!).
  • There was public transportation (buses) provided to and from NYC.
  • Inside the stadium, there were recycling bins and signs that the trash will be sorted out and 90% of it will either be recycled or composted (I saw one recycling area out in the parking lot, too).

The Not-So-Good

  • Pepsi was there, asking everyone to recycle and when they did, they got a wrist band…made out of plastic! Ok, recycled plastic, but plastic as a give-away at a “save the earth” concert??
  • Phillips was there giving out tips on energy efficiency but they packaged the tips to make them look like press passes, in plastic sleeves (how many CFLs do you need to offset the cost of producing those?).
  • I asked one of the guys at the door, before going in, where the recycling was, and he had no clue—people were just throwing everything out in one container.

The Ugly

  • I met one guy who was asked to throw out the top of his Nalgene bottle. The whole point of his bringing the bottle was to be eco-friendly, but apparently, the woman at the entrance missed the fact that if he threw out the top, he’d have to get a new bottle (or get a new top—does anyone actually just sell those?? they should’ve for this concert!).
  • Wasn’t that enough? I’ll stop there.

That being said, it was a great concert and it’s awesome that awareness is being raised and that stars are getting in on the act. My guess is that it was such an enormous effort that some of the details fell through the cracks. And yes, we can fault the artists for the pollution they created flying all over the world, or for not knowing enough about global warming, or the venues for not doing all they could have, but I’d like to give credit where credit is due (after my grumblings). I also understand that TV watchers were sub-par, but on-line viewership was larger than any other event. That speaks to the type of audience it attracted—it was popular, just not with the traditional TV crowd.

So, thanks Al Gore & company for a great kick-off to what I hope will be an expanding and ongoing awareness-raising effort. It wasn’t perfect, but it’s a start. I think it really planted the seed in people’s minds that this is something that’s here to stay….oh yeah, and that TO BE GREEN IS TO BE HIP & COOL…so what are you waiting for?? At least calculate your carbon footprint! I do have to say that I was saddened to miss Leo DiCaprio’s appearance…must’ve been off waiting in line for the margaritas from a plastic bag (but really, they weren’t that bad!).