Musicians who worry about the environment are beginning to demand that concert venues do their part to lessen live music’s ecological footprint. Soft rocker Jack Johnson, his wife, Kim Johnson, and Michael Martin, president of MusicMatters, a marketing company, have penned an EnviroRider, or “environmentally conscious production rider,” to be added to contracts made with tour venues. The rider, which musicians are free to adapt, spells out sustainability guidelines for the venues.

For example, Johnson’s rider requires venues to compost and recycle at least 50 percent of the total waste generated on the date of the show, to purchase carbon dioxide offset credits to cover emissions related to all energy consumed for the show, and to provide dressing rooms with organic toiletries that have not been tested on animals. It also says the venue is to turn down show lighting when nobody is performing and turn off speakers and monitors whenever possible.

Johnson says an EnviroRider could also encourage venues to use biodiesel or ultra-
low-sulfur diesel whenever possible for generators, donate excess food to local food banks or shelters, and require concessions to recycle all cardboard boxes.

Among the artists who have already adopted some version of the EnviroRider are the Dave Matthews Band, Incubus and the John Butler Trio. According to Martin, the movie industry’s Environmental Media Association (where he is a board member), which raises environmental awareness in show business, is also working on similar provisions for on-location venues.

Note: This article was originally printed with the title, "Jack Johnson's Low-Impact Tour".