The Wilderness Society joins Dave Matthews Band Eco-village

David Slater greets a few new friends in the EcoVillage.

If you happened to be at the Dave Matthews Band concerts in New Jersey this past weekend, you may have noticed hundreds of fans sporting “I Like it WILD” buttons, courtesy of The Wilderness Society.

On September 19 and 20, The Wilderness Society joined the Dave Matthews Band “Eco-village,” at the concerts in Camden. There, we were part of a collection of environmental and social justice groups that reach out to fans at every Dave Matthews Band show.

We spoke to hundreds of fans about wilderness and the importance of protecting our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas from the worst of global warming — and also talked with these fans about how they could become part of the solution.

The Eco-village demonstrates that Dave Matthews Band does more than put on great shows: they encourage their loyal fans to follow the band’s lead in making the world a better place. For years, the band has partnered with environmental groups to educate and motivate fans to recycle, save energy, and reduce their environmental impact.

Kristen Kerecman chats with passers-by in front of our booth.To help green their tour, the Dave Matthews Band created The Bama Green Project. An on-going partnership between Dave Matthews Band, IZSTYLE, and Reverb (a non-profit organization that educates and engages musicians and their fans to take action toward a more sustainable future), the Bama Green Project encompasses all of the environmental efforts undertaken by the band while on the road, in the studio, or at home.

According to the on-line magazine Grist, during their 2008 summer tour, the Dave Matthews Band encouraged 160,000 fans to carpool, diverted 8,000 cubic yards of waste from the landfill, employed 550 volunteers to educate fans, and reduced their carbon footprint by almost 8.5 million pounds of CO2 (through eco-efforts and offsets). And so far this year, Dave Matthews Band fans have recycled more than 42,644 pounds of waste.

What’s harder to measure, however, is the extraordinary number of Dave Matthews Band fans who have been inspired and motivated through the band’s sincere commitment to protecting the environment. Thanks to the opportunity they gave us to participate in the Eco-village, we hope quite a few folks also have a new appreciation for protecting America’s wilderness. Thank you Dave Matthews for making it so!

David Slater greets a few new friends in the EcoVillage.
Kristen Kerecman chats with passers-by in front of our booth.