Our Green Gurus

Guest bloggers share all you need to know to lead a greener lifestyle.

You say you want a revolution?


Tim Hollo is an environmental activist, musician, and the founder of Green Music Australia.

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Musician and eco-activist Tim Hollo, founder of Green Music Australia explains why he thinks the music industry can do more to help change the world.

Travel, energy-guzzling lighting, air conditioning and refrigeration at venues and festivals, and the enormous waste streams of packaging, food, cups and more – the music industry’s footprint is much larger than it needs
to be.

We can do a lot better. And we must. We musicians have a special role to play because we have so much influence on our culture. While many campaigners rightly focus on stopping new coal mines and ports (indeed, many musicians are also involved in these campaigns), I believe it’s just as important to build a greener culture.

There isn’t a snowball’s chance of stopping climate change in a 4°C warmer world unless there’s a cultural shift. We all have to be ready to embrace big reforms, and we need to ditch the throw-away consumer culture that defines prosperity through possessions.

There’s a long, proud history of musicians helping to drive social change. Consider the role of artists white and black in the civil rights movement, confronting wrongs and presenting a vision of a world without segregation.

Consider how, alongside a powerful boycott and divestment campaign against apartheid, Paul Simon’s breach of the cultural boycott by working with South African musicians brought the joy and power of that culture to the world’s ears and added to the huge momentum for change.

I have founded a not-for-profit group called Green Music Australia, which hopes to lead practical greening of our music scene, and in turn, to mobilise this leadership to drive broad cultural change. We’re bringing people together around this common vision, with dozens of musicians, managers, venues and festivals – including Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, Katie Noonan and Wally de Backer (aka Gotye), and Woodford and WOMADelaide – already committing to take part and spread the word.

Once Green Music Australia is running properly, we’ll provide tools to help make sustainability accounting
easier for our industry. We’ll organise bulk purchasing to increase availability and bring down the cost of
greener options, like recycled cardboard CD casing and LED stage lighting. You can look forward to our special ‘green gigs’‚ to demonstrate what can be done, raise funds to retrofit venues, and build momentum towards cultural change.

Green Music Australia is now finalising two pieces of research – a technical study into the current footprint of the music scene and what we can do about it, being done by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney, and an academic study of how musicians can help drive social change that I am doing through the Australian National University in Canberra.

My fellow musicians and I have a special role to play. By turning individual action into systemic change, and using that to create a real culture shift, we’ll amplify the impact of our actions hugely. Then we’ll really be leading the way to a greener world.

To get involved in the green music revolution, visit www.greenmusic.org.au. You can also hear a podcast from The Planet Talks at last year's WOMADelaide, where Tim Hollo was part of a panel discussing "Gen Z and Distractions vs. Action" – check it our here.