Wednesday, September 17, 2008

posted by Jason @ 8:21 AM
This news is now a couple of days old, but it's worth repeating. In response to a ton of heckling from the outside world and an organized campaign by Greenpeace, Apple has started to make good on a promise to detoxify its products. With Al Gore on the board of Apple, this has been something of an embarrassment for the company for quite a while. The new fourth-generation Nano finally makes a break from some of the nasty metals and chemicals that make our beloved little gadgets into little environmental gremlins. Eco Tech Daily has some good coverage:

Specifically targeted: reducing lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, and PVCs in
computers and home entertainment components. Apple has also been giving some
thought to its packaging, opting for biodegradable materials and reducing
unnecessary bulk wherever possible. This summer’s 3G iPhones shipped in
Styrofoam-free trays made from potato starch.

Arsenic-free display glass
Construction free of Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs)
No use of mercury
No use of PVCs
Highly recyclable metal casing

I'm not sure what "highly recyclable" means, but it's clear that Apple is at long last starting to take this important issue seriously--all those toxic chemicals are bad for the planet, bad for the manufacturing crews, and might just be bad for the end users. The company has promised to make similar changes to its entire product line by 2010, so look for more announcements like this in the next few Apple product launch extravaganzas.

For more on the topic, see this ABC News story and the official tech specs from Apple.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

posted by Jason @ 3:57 PM
Google's newscrawler turned up a nice find for me today with an English-language piece from Radio France International about a festival called Le Cabaret Vert. The festival is named after a poem by Rimbaud, who came from the same Ardennes region that the festival is held in. This year the event celebrated its fourth anniversary over the last 3 days of August.

The piece is available both as an article and as an audio piece (caution-Windows Media Player file) complete with a full-length track from an Atlanta-area hip-hop band. It's particularly interesting to note that the festival's reputation isn't based on the quality of music but instead on being a green festival that happens to have good bands. As unlikely as that might sound to American audiences, they managed to draw 35,000 to this year's event, about the same number of people who attended Rothbury.

Unfortunately, there's no English language version of the festival website, so I wasn't able to read about the specifics of what makes this festival so eco-friendly. The article mentions lots of recycling bins and an area where fans wash their own dishes instead of using disposable foodware, but other than that I'm not sure how this event stacks up.

Here's some kind of a promotional video for the 2007 version of the festival. I'm not really sure what's going on, but the French-rock soundtrack is pretty entertaining. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

posted by Jason @ 8:52 AM
Zoinks! I hadn't realized that it's been 2 whole weeks since my last post. Life's been exciting on the non-music front for me, with the purchase of a new home and a big move taking up all of my available free time. But now things are settling down and I can get back to what's really important: bringing you the hottest green news from the music industry.

Today we're going with the short and sweet approach to posting. It seems that the oh-so-catchy funkster-horn band Cake has caught the solar buzz. They've gone and installed solar panels on their studio in the Big Tomato and are claiming that their upcoming sixth studio album will be recorded with 100% solar power.

Get all the pertinent details here, and enjoy the video documenting construction below.

In other green news, make sure to check out the band's rideshare board on their website. Sadly, it seems woefully underused, possibly because it's not very well advertised.

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