How can something made of plastic be environmentally friendly? There’s a new release from Piuma that sets out to be just that. Here’s how the artist explains what he’s trying to do.
I love nature—backpacking, hiking, the beach—but I also love listening to music on vinyl; and in making my first release on wax, I wanted it to be as environmentally friendly as possible. To do that, I first had to source all the power to record and mix the album from renewable energy. Then, I worked with all the vendors, who mastered, printed, and pressed all the record parts—to offset their power by each planting a tree. I specifically found vendors that make super high quality stuff, but also are well-versed in how they are eco-friendly. Stoughton Printing, who printed the inner sleeves and record jackets has been pioneering environmentally friendly techniques for decades. We used recycled and renewable materials wherever possible—and all bi-products are recycled. For shipping, we try to use current USPS delivery routes, so we are only adding the nominal weight to the truck—rather than sending a truck for a specific route. There are other subtle things—like instead of shrink-wrap, we have a re-usable outer polybag, that fans keep to protect the record. And instead of a lyric sheet insert or single disc gatefold, we have lyrics/more artwork on a printed inner sleeve—replacing the standard one.
The biggest component, is that $1.00 from each album goes towards planting additional trees through TreePeople, making the release carbon positive. It breaks down to 10,000 lbs per 25 records or 400 lbs per record, which is the equivalent to powering a home for about a month. Someone might say a digital-only release is more eco-friendly than a vinyl record—and that might be true under normal circumstances—but not with our EP; which is why I wrote an article about Making an Environmentally Friendly Vinyl Record, so other bands and record labels have all the details—and can make eco-friendly records too. To have a more sustainable environment, we have to make some sacrifices, but I think there are ways to have the things we love, while also being very eco-friendly.
I love concept albums and bands with a vintage/modern sound—and the concept of Piuma is about opening Pandora’s box and resolving to be a force of positive change—so it was my goal to try and be that when releasing this record. I am absolutely stoked with the sound of the 12” 45rpm—and so happy with the positive reception from fans—knowing they not only love the record, but also support the cause.
There’s a special Earth Day version of the album. Learn more here.