Green Junction: The Band Coldplay by Julie Peller Ph.D.

Many people and organizations are making the critical changes that are required for a sustainable planet. My students recently brought to my attention the eco-responsible actions of the music group Coldplay on their current world tour. The British band started their eco-friendly world tour this past March in Costa Rica, a country that the band viewed to be working toward environmental sustainability. Overall, the band’s goal is to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent from their 2016 level and to avoid using fossil fuels as much as possible.

Coldplay’s concerts are being powered by solar tiles located on the stage platform. The band has also partnered with BMW in the development and use of the first mobile rechargeable show battery. Manufactured from recycled BMW batteries, it can be recharged using recycled cooking oil. Another advanced technology is the kinetic floor. When the audience jumps up and down, the kinetic floor converts the energy of motion to electricity. Another option for the audience is to ride battery-charging stationary bikes during the show.

Additional eco-responsible measures include using 100 percent biodegradable confetti at Coldplay concerts, and ticket discounts for fans who bring reusable bottles and who travel to the concert using low-carbon alternatives. The band members are committed to using electric vehicles for ground travel and to taking commercial flights instead of private planes. Other entertainers are similarly making changes toward eco-friendly concerts. The band for singer Billy Eilish is working with the company REVERB; these musicians are committed to avoiding single-use plastics and are providing water refill stations at concerts. They offer vegan food options and donate unsold food to food pantries. It is an exciting and financially prudent time to reflect on energy and material consumption, and how these can be reduced and improved for the betterment of the earth and one another; these entertainers are great examples of ways this can be accomplished.

Julie Peller, Ph.D. is an environmental chemist (Professor of Chemistry at Valparaiso University ), and she leads the Environmental Ministry at Nativity of Our Savior in Portage, IN. Julie has been writing a weekly column for church bulletins for the past ~6 years called the Green Junction and is helping to move the call of Laudato Si to action forward. Her Research Interests are in Advanced oxidation for aqueous solutions, water quality analyses, emerging contaminants, air quality analyses, Lake Michigan shoreline challenges (Cladophora, water, and sediment contaminants), and student and citizen participation in environmental work.

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