Posts Tagged ‘environmental awareness’

I dig it when I read about companies that take the environment seriously. No, I’m not a tree hugger, but I realize that the better we take care of our environment today, the longer it’ll last and continue to provide a world for following generations. And I think we as consumers need to constantly evaluate our consumption and have a mind towards restoration and recycling.

So when Prestige Guitars contacted me about a reforestation initiative they’ve taken, I had to share it here. Here’s the press release:

Prestige Guitars Launches Reforestation Initiative

In an effort to recognize global reforestation needs, Prestige Guitars – the Vancouver based guitar manufacturer – is launching a unique reforestation initiative where a tree will be planted for every guitar manufactured.

Prestige Guitars is also taking further environmentally conscious measures to only use recycled paper stock for warranty registration cards, as well as shipping cartons that are from recycled cardboard – that are also 100% recyclable.

Reforestation is an economical solution to many tough environmental problems, including air and water pollution, climate change, wildlife protection, habitat restoration and more.

According to a recent report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization; between 2000 and 2010, some 13 million hectares of forests were converted annually to other uses, such as agriculture, construction, or lost through natural causes; down from 16 million hectares annually during the 1990s – according to an assessment which surveyed 233 countries and areas. Ambitious tree planting programs in countries such as China, India, United States and Viet Nam – combined with natural expansion of forests in some regions – have added more than 7 million hectares of new forests annually. Despite the
recent downward trend, an area roughly the size of Costa Rica is still being destroyed each year.

“By launching our own reforestation initiative, we hope to do our part for the environment, and also persuade and motivate other companies in our industry to follow suit. Although trees play an integral part in manufacturing a guitar, it’s frightening to imagine the state of our environment and our industry in the near future if we don’t start taking action now” – Michael Kurkdjian, President of Prestige Guitars Ltd.

Way to go, Prestige! This is something of which to be extremely proud!

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Brazilian Rosewood Tree

Brazilian Rosewood Tree

Important enough to use wood from an endangered species? Specifically, Brazilian Rosewood?

But let’s take this even a step further. How important is tone in general to you? Important enough to buy gear from manufacturers who use non-sustainable materials or do not practice environmentally-safe methods of construction and waste disposal?

I ran across an interesting thread on The Gear Page last night that really got me thinking. In that article, guitar builder Terry McInturff wrote that he lost a sale because he refuses to use Brazilian Rosewood – actually the article bothered me to the point that I decided to join in the call to action to not use Brazilian Rosewood (Click here to read the article – opens a new window).

But after a lot of troubled thought last night, I decided to make an environmental support statement of my own that not only includes Brazilian rosewood, but extends to other issues as well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a tree hugger, but I believe that as the highest-order intelligence inhabitants of this planet, we all have a responsibility to act as stewards of the Earth to protect and preserve its resources for the enjoyment and enrichment of the people of this world, now and in the future.

What troubled me last night is the fact that as a tone freak, my beloved instrument is often constructed of exotic woods, and often painted using dangerous and environmentally unsafe materials and disposal methods. There’s nothing I can do about guitars have already been built, but there is something I can do about the ones that haven’t, and lots I can do personally to not support deforestation of exotic woods and environmentally unsafe construction methods.

Why am I making this appeal here? Because I believe that we guitarists have a huge collective voice that will be heard if we take a stand together. Please don’t read this wrong: I’m not saying we should be militant and go out and commit some violent act to prove a point. That’s just plain stupidity and acting on rage. No one wins with that kind of behavior. Instead, I’m going to make what I’ll call my “Green” statement:

Brendan’s “Green” Guitar Statement

  1. I will only purchase guitars that are made with non-endangered species of wood.
  2. I will only purchase guitar gear from manufacturers who practice environmentally safe methods of construction and waste disposal.
  3. I will take the time to research companies’ practices before making a decision.
  4. I will encourage my fellow guitarists in making a “Green” stand.

This is a statement of passive resistance, and a refusal to be part of things that will have a deletrious effect on the Earth. I’m sure there will be those who will call me names, and who really don’t give a shit about any of this. I can’t control that, but neither will I judge them back. Everyone has a choice. I get that. I’m just taking public stand that I will do my best to contribute to the health and not the harm of our planet. If it makes me unpopular, so be it. But if I don’t have my principles, then what do I have?

I also realize that this eliminates a fairly wide range of gear builders, especially the big brands, who have fairly large facilities overseas where environmental controls are much more lax than in the States. It also means that I will probably have to pay a higher price for gear that abides by the stand I’m taking. Again, so be it. What’s the price to my children in the future if I don’t act responsibily about our Earth now?

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