With apologies to Kermit the Frog, Jack Johnson says it’s easy being green — mostly because it’s important.
The surfer and filmmaker turned musician — whose latest album “Sleep Through the Static,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in February — is among the music world’s leading environmental activists. Starting with his films (“Thicker Than Water,” “The September Sessions”), Johnson and colleague-turnedmanager Emmett Malloy made a point to “make as small of a footprint as possible and leave a good impression on the places we went.”
He’s continued that in his music career, using bio-diesel fuel, recycling, donating leftover backstage food to local shelters, selling eco-friendly tour merchandise and signing on to the 1% For The Planet fund. On his current tour, Johnson, 33, is bringing along the All At Once Village Green Passport, a network of eco-friendly nonprofit organizations that will disseminate information and recruit fans for their causes.
“I grew up in Hawaii and surfed all the time,” the singer-songwriter explains. “I was out in nature more than I was inside. I’ve always had a really profound respect for nature, so (being eco-friendly) just felt natural to me.
“I was definitely not the first. I was part of that little chain ... I heard about Neil Young and Willie Nelson and Pearl Jam running their trucks and buses off of bio-diesel, and I wanted to be part of that crew and jump on it.”
Johnson practices what he preaches at home, too. He and Malloy employed a green stance in constructing a new headquarters and studios for their Brushfire Records label in Los Angeles, where he recorded “Sleep Through the Static.” The facility uses solar power and was built with environmentally friendly materials and operates on eco-friendly policies. Brushfire has also developed “green guide” for its artists and personnel.
“We wanted to do something that was gonna be long-term and something to be proud of forever,” says Johnson, who splits his time between homes in California and Hawaii. “Our friendship kind of blossomed off of having these same ideas. And now more and more people realize it’s just the right thing and the smart thing to do.”
Jack Johnson, Mason Jennings and Money Mark perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday (June 18) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets, if available, are $49.50 pavilion, $35 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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