Sunday, May 6, 2007

posted by Sarah Krasley @ 7:26 PM
About 90% of my friends are musicians. Throughout my life, I have seen some friends with album budgets that brought forth the best engineers at the best studios with the newest coolest packaging and others with barely enough money to self-release their record and pay for the ink-jet cartridges they used to print their liner notes. I have also seen lots of bands with budgets in between.

When I talk to my friends about switching to eco-friendly packaging or electricity they often say it is out of their price range and they cannot afford the extra cost of buying products that are more sustainable. I will definitely admit that I have been in that position, too---looking at the Prius price tag comes to mind….. Luckily, the price of eco-friendly materials is getting lower by the day and I am in a position to give you some low cost resources to green your music habit. I promise I will not include anything that does not look cool.

Let us start with CD packaging:

  1. For bands who do not carry their own equipment and get to roll off as much K at sound check for as long as they like.

PaperFoam CD Trays: The Millennium Collection started using these for some of their "Best Of" collections---the CD tray is biodegradable and is fused to the CD cover and backing that is made from recycled board.

  1. For bands who carry their own equipment but do not sweat over the rent at the practice space.

Arigato Pack: This is by far my favorite option. Not only are these totally awesome looking, they are made from recycled content and do not even require glue. They are the brainchild of an amazing company called Stumptown Press. Stumptown will send you 50 blank Arigato paks for 20 bucks, or you can work with them to do some lovely letterpress printing with vegetable-based inks. They also roast coffee

Here is the price list (it is a PDF):

Here is more information on the Arigato pak ! DO it!

  1. For bands that have never had a sound person at their shows and are still waiting for a yummy record label lunch.

The RESLEEVE: The RESLEEVE is the newest creation from Sustainable Group, a company from which I buy my binders and folders. Their folders look really sharp and are made from 16pt bending chipboard (100% Recycled Fibers ---56% Post Consumer Recycled / 44% Post Industrial Recycled). The RESLEEVE has a round die-cut hole in the center to view the front of the disk. The back is solid, embossed with the message "RESLEEVE 100% Recycled"). These are brand new, so I have not seen a sample other than on their website, but they are made from the same stock as the folders I use and love.

Get 50 RESLEEVEs for $16 bucks

GreenDisk Jewel Cases: GreenDisk takes unused jewel cases that would otherwise sit in landfills and rot and ships them directly to you. The jewel cases they use are sourced from outdated tech products that have been pulled from the shelves - but they are in perfect condition because they have never been directly handled. The Hidden Tracks , one of the green rock pioneers, used GreenDisk for their last release and won themselves an ADDY award. SWEET.

Get 100 for $39.99

While you are at it, get 17 Hidden Tracks songs for free --this will make you cool, but green only by association.

Sustainable Paper: Bands that self-release their albums and subscribe to a full home DIY method can use sustainable 8.5" x 11" paper to load into their home printers to print out liner notes. You can grab all those jewel cases from your own music collections, clean them up, and re-purpose them yourself.

Check out:

Neenah Paper: Such style. Such grace! Neenah paper makes me giddy with joy. They are also the largest renewable energy purchaser in the entire state of Wisconsin. Pick from their Environment or Eames (yay!) lines of papers

New Leaf Paper: I use New Leaf recycled paper in my own home printer and am quite pleased with its performance. New Leaf Paper pioneered the Eco Audit label that quantifies the environmental benefits of using their paper. Check it out.

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It's amazing what the will of people will do with the right technology, I hope we keep this up and move away from "depleting" economies to structures that are based on "sustainability".

I was watching a documentary on the Philadelphia eagles and how they converted almost every consumable on their field from garbage to bio-degradable items, they had everything from plastic "looking" cups and plates made out of corn to napkins made from recycled paper.

So the technology is here all we need to do is have the will to do something with it.
Since you bring up the importance of recycling and sustainable products, would anyone be interested in sampling bio-degradable cleaners?

They come in 100% recyclable packaging (the bottle as well as the boxes) and since they are super-concentrated, only a few drops diluted in water are necessary, you save water and money.

They are made from sustainable plant sources (coconuts and corn), no artificial ingredients are added.

So contact me for a free sample.
Modern CD is selling the 100% Recycled Chip Board Sleeves and Wallets along with their CD/DVD Duplication and Printing Services.
Wow, thanks so much. I am in the process of packing a children's music video for the benefit of non profits around the world and we want to package them in eco friendly cases. Thanks for the info.
Peace :)
Hi there, I am a music fan, festival/concert green team member, and project manager at the Sustainable Packaging Coalition in Charlottesville. Please check us out at and let me know if you'd like to talk further about our organization! Peace-Anne Bedarf (
Glad to see this up here! We're trying to get the same message out at the Dogwood Alliance (if you're so inclined, check out our facts about packaging and the music industry: We are also launching our own campaign along the same lines very soon!)
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