The Pulse of Radio reports that PEARL JAM is spending $210,000 to plant trees in the band's home state of Washington as part of an effort to offset the carbon footprint left behind by the band's 2009 U.S. tour, according to Reuters. The money will cover the band's own travel and hotel contributions as well as emissions made by fans traveling to shows. The group wants to continue planting trees in additional areas in Seattle, Kent, Kirkland and Redmond.
Guitarist Stone Gossard told Reuters, "PEARL JAM is a band but we are also a business. We're seeing ourselves as a Washington business, a regional business that is acknowledging its carbon footprint and hoping to inspire other businesses."
PEARL JAM made similar efforts in 2003 and 2006, donating a total of more than $100,000 to nine organizations working on issues related to climate change, renewable energy, and the environment.
Vocalist Eddie Vedder said at the time that it was important for the band to use its status to bring these issues to the public's attention: "Bringing it up and saying, 'What are we doing to this planet?' — it's an obvious thing to be thinking about these days. And it just so happens that in our job, you know, there's a microphone, and people in front of it, and us behind it, and I guess we're gonna use it for what it's worth."
While many bands have attempted to make their tours more environmentally friendly, Gossard said that a "consistent business policy" was needed.
PEARL JAM has also appeared on several compilation albums dedicated to protecting the environment, including the live "Best Of Bonnaroo" set that pushed for the passage of more climate change-related bills.
Gossard said that being an environmentally conscious business is a good decision all around, explaining, "It's doable. It's not going to kill your company and if anything, it will enhance your company's ability to sell whatever it is selling by being good stewards of the land."
PEARL JAM will hit the road in North America this summer as the band continues to support its 2009 album, "Backspacer".