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Taken from Rock the Earth (Jan 26, 2006)

Rockin’ the Boat: Jam Cruise 4

by Rock the Earth

It was a pretty dauting task – green a six-day music festival at sea. By all accounts the team of RtE Staff and Volunteers who headed up Greening Jam Cruise 4 were wildly successful in not only reducing the ecological impact from the ship itself, but also in educating passengers about environmental issues, offsetting emissions from the cruise through tree planting, and in raising much needed funds for RtE. After blanketing the ship with donated, organic products such as Green Mountain Coffee, Guayaki Yerba Mate, and soaps from Pangea Organics and Dr. Bronners, the Green Team strategically placed environmental tips throughout the ship. The Greening Headquarters became a hub of environmental activity, education and activism, with environmental displays from Green Mountain, 7th Generation and Rock the Earth.

The largest task of all, however, was to bring a recycling program to a cruiseline that normally does not engage in recycling practices. For this massive undertaking, RtE called on our friends in Clean Vibes, a concert and festival waste management and recycling company. For all six days of the cruise, Clean Vibes had four volunteers working 'round the clock in the trashroom in the underbelly of the ship, sorting, crushing and separating glass, aluminum, steel and plastic. In the end, over 10 tons of glass was recycled! So immense was their task, that with only a little prompting, musician Michael Franti, guitar in hand, visited the trashroom for a midnight mini-set for the Clean Vibes volunteers and the ship’s midnight trash shift, who were completely thrilled and inspired by the performance.

In addition to recycling, RtE also created and implemented a linen/towel re-use program to reduce wastewater discharges from the ship. This entailed the design of educational cards to prompt passengers to reuse their towels and linens, and then training the housekeeping staff as to the use of the cards, as this particular ship did not have such a program.

To offset carbon emissions from the cruise and from travel to and from port, RtE formed a partnership with Trees for the Future to plant trees. CO2 is produced from burning fossil fuels; trees absorb CO2 and produce oxygen through photosynthesis. Planting trees is the most cost-effective way to take CO2 out of the atmosphere. At last count, passengers from Jam Cruise 4 donated $5,200 which will allow for 52,000 trees to be planted in Jamaica and the Yucatan Peninsula!

To pay for the greening of Jam Cruise, RtE undertook several activities. The first night of the cruise featured a RtE private welcome party, with wine tasting and panel discussion on "Social Change Through Music," featuring Victor Wooten and Futureman (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), Michael Travis (The String Cheese Incident), Matt Butler (Everyone Orchestra), David Weissman (Musical Earth), Bo Carper and Jeff Miller (New Monsoon). The panel was moderated by Marc Ross, Executive Director, Rock the Earth.

Photo by Dave Vann
Twice during the cruise the Everyone Orchestra performed and held a raffle benefiting RtE, to select a guest conductor for part of the performance. Congratulations to Burton, Frank and Molly, winners of the EO Guest Conductor Raffle-- all did an outstanding job conducting a dream orchestra made up of some of our favorite performers!

The largest fundraiser to pay for Jam Cruise 4 Greening operations was the annual silent auction. Auction items included four guitars generously donated by Musicians Friend (and signed by artists on JC4), coffee makers donated by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, posters from Drowning Creek and Stanley Mouse, festival tickets from Langerado, 10,000 Lakes Festival and Gathering of the Vibes, and even an African Safari donated by African Eyes Travel. There were over 60 items in the auction and the auction alone raised a new Jam Cruise record of nearly $18,000! Thank you to all of those individuals, artists, managers and companies that donated items to this year’s

All in all, Jam Cruise 4 was an incredible experience. We’re very grateful to our volunteers and to our greening team: Ann Kenworthy, Bob Frankel, Lori Gray, Sean McNamara, Marc Ross, Brian Funk and Brett Hendricks. Special thanks to AnnaB at Clean Vibes for putting together a recycling program in less than six weeks and to Clean Vibes volunteers, Casey, Jason, David and Elise for all of your hard work and dedication to the protection of the planet. Thanks also to our Greening Sponsors: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Pangea Organics, Fuel Bars, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, 7th Generation, Nature’s Gate, Guayaki, Merry Hempsters, Horizon Organic and Musician’s Friend. Lastly, we’d like to thank Jam Cruise for caring enough to bring in Rock the Earth to green the cruise and for supporting our efforts to reduce the impact that this festival has on the planet.


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