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December 2, 2006

Our Duhks Save the Planet

"We didn't set out to be a political band, but we do sing about things that are meaningful to us," explains Leonard Podolak, banjoist for and founder of Winnipeg's old-timey acoustic band The Duhks.

What's meaningful to the Duhks is doing their part to protect the environment. They've teamed up with radio station Indie 103 and key members of environmental organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council and Heal the Bay to discuss how individuals and the greater community can support environmental sustainability. This press conference is taking place at the legendary Cherokee Studios on Fairfax, following a four-song recording session with the legendary Bruce Robb, who has engineered albums for Ricky Lee Jones, Art Garfunkel, and Frank Sinatra. The current structure that houses Cherokee Studios is scheduled to be torn down and replaced with the first-of-its-kind "green" professional recording studio.

The Duhks themselves admit that it's sometimes a challenge to minimize their impact on the environment, since being a touring band doesn't not easily lend itself to the cause. But whenever and wherever possible, the Duhks do their part. The following are some simple (as well as more challenging) suggestions and reminders that the Duhks, NRDC, and Heal the Bay suggest individuals and bands can do to help minimize your impact on the environment:

- Eat organic and eat local. Shopping at Farmer's Markets is not only fun, but also supports local growers and farms.

- Don't leave the engine idling while waiting for that last band member to jump in the van.

- Use the towels provided in hotel rooms more than once. You'll help conserve water and energy by minimizing the amount of necessary laundering.

- Turn the lights off when you leave a room.

- Use the same paper coffee cup 16 times a day if you have to. Minimize waste.

- Use hemp products. Not only are they chemical and pesticide free, but hemp clothing also provides more UV sun protection than other kinds of clothing and lasts four times as long as cotton!

- Have a rider in your touring contract? Request organic foods and natural water for your dressing room. You'll not only be eating healthier, but also help spread the word about minimizing environmental impact.

- What to do with all those record bags from Amoeba? Take them to the grocery store when shopping as an alternative to "Paper or plastic." No need to deal with double-bagging!

- Work in an office? Start a recycling program if there's not one already in place. All you need is a plastic waste can or bin - and a sign that says, "Recyclables only." It may take some time for your co-workers to catch on (and not throw trash in there) - but once they do, you'll all be making a considerable contribution.

- Get involved with Heal the Bay or other environmental organizations. They offer a variety of time commitments for even the busiest of people.

- Join Quarter2Three Records in "Rock Your Planet" - an environmentally focused eco-music tour focusing on spreading this message to Southern California's college and university campuses. Be a title sponsor, media sponsor, donate food / drink, instruments, etc. Contact Tiffany Downey at 323-653-3412.

- Adopt an endangered species as a Christmas gift for friends and family. Save the Mantee Club and other organizations offer "adoptions" as gifts, which usually include a quarterly newsletter, adoption certificates, photos of "your" creature, plus the great feeling of knowing you're protecting our natural resources!

Posted by darlin at December 2, 2006 2:52 PM