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January 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Rock The Earth Notes: January 2009 A:hover { TEXTDECORATION: none }
Rock the Earth Notes: January 2009

» RtE's New Executive Director
» Thank You For Your Support in 2008
» Wally Ingram Rocks Joshua Tree National Park
» Still Rockin’ the Boat
» Rockin’ Thanks to the Grantmakers!
» Volunteer Jam

» Planet Defender Awards Return
» Calling All Businesses - Help us Rock Earth Day!
» Key of Green: Green Computing

» RtE January Auction: Signed Jim Pollock Summer Camp Limited Edition Print
» Last Chance for Holiday Memberships
» Free Rockin’ Tickets for RtE Members ONLY
» Rock the Earth Member Benefits: EcoExpress
» Volunteer With Rock the Earth
» What Rocks YOUR Earth?!?!?!
» What Rocks Your Earth: Michael Travis

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself:
Rock the Earth’s New Executive Director

Saving the planet is the most important issue we face in our lifetime. Most people fear global warming and want a healthier planet; however, as a society we have become too comfortable with our lives, making it a challenge to get people to focus on caring about urgent issues that seem so far away from them. Whether it’s climate change, chemicals in our food, water issues, deforestation, air pollution, extinction of species or the lack of government action, few of us truly take ownership and act on these issues, foolishly believing others will do it for us.

Music has the power to open the heart and touch the soul. Artists have always been at the forefront of social change - sort of a “canary in the coalmine” for the public on social issues – most artists understand the importance of taking action. I have worked in the music business for the past 18 years, as an executive at SONY BMG, Universal and the Warner Music Group, and have led or supported global marketing & promotional campaigns across all genres of music. I have had the pleasure of working with artists as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Alicia Keys, Willie Nelson, Jay Z and U2, among others; and I am proud to be a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (Grammy Awards), the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Museum of Popular Music.

To read more about our new Executive Director, Shawn Kilmurray, GO HERE.

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Thank You for Your Support in 2008

Our Volunteer Staff is working hard putting together our 2008 Annual Report, and we want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you who became a member of Rock the Earth, bid on an item in an auction, dropped a few bucks in a donation jar, or even just spread the word about our growing organization. It is only through generous grassroots support from kind donors and volunteers like YOU that we were able to accomplish so much in 2008!

To read more about our 2008 accomplishments, GO HERE.

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Wally Ingram Rocks Joshua Tree National Park

Percussionist Wally Ingram loves the earth around his home near Joshua Tree National Park. While out on tour last summer with Sheryl Crow, Wally let us know about a threat to the Park and the surrounding area, posed by a project with a name straight out of George Orwell’s “1984": Project Greenpath.

The plan, conceived and promoted by the Los Angeles County Department of Water and Power (“Forget about it, Jake–it’s Chinatown” – THAT Water and Power Department) is to build a 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission system designed to bring electricity generated from renewable resources, such as geothermal, solar and wind, from Imperial County to the LADWP power grid.

To read more about this important issue, GO HERE.


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Still Rockin’ the Boat

In our continuing efforts to inspire musicians and promoters to hold the cruise ship industry accountable for their impacts on the environment, in December RtE took its next step by sending over 300 letters to artists, promoters and music cruise producers, outlining the damaging impacts from cruise ships. In the letters, RtE offered our assistance to interested artists and promoters who might wish to have our help and expertise in forcing cruise ship operators to operate more sustainably. It is our hope that with added pressure, cruise ship companies will implement operational changes that result in greater environmental protection and ecosystem sustainability. Sadly, the response to date from artists and promoters has been less than we had hoped and we are already planning our next incremental steps to ratchet up the pressure as the EPA continues to go through their very slow process to regulate discharges from cruise ships. To read a sample letter sent to artists and promoters go here.

For more information about this important topic, see the Rock the Earth Cruise Ship Project Page.

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Rockin’ Thanks to the Grantmakers!

In December, we received several grants from traditional foundations, marking a new turn in funding for Rock the Earth. The month began with RtE first being notified by the Educational Foundation of America (EFA) that RtE was the recipient of a two-year, $50,000 grant to assist in underwriting our Education and Outreach activities for the 2009 and 2010 touring seasons. The EFA exists as an advocate for progressive change in our society, funding nonprofits in the areas of the Environment, Arts, Education, Health & Human Services, Peace & Security, Democracy and Reproductive Rights. This grant is the first multi-year grant of significant dollars to our organization!

Close on the heels of the EFA grant, we were notified that the George and Miriam Martin Foundation was awarding RtE $5,000 in support of our litigation against the National Park Service for their mismanagement of the stretch of the Colorado River that runs through Grand Canyon National Park. The focus of the George and Miriam Martin Foundation is river and watershed conservation.

The same day that we were received the Martin Foundation grant, we were notified by the Compton Foundation that we were being awarded an unsolicited grant of $5,000 for our “work with Michael Franti & Spearhead.” The Compton Foundation focuses most of its grantmaking in the areas of Peace & Security, Environment & Sustainability, and Population & Reproductive Health, with a special emphasis on projects that explore the interconnections between these categories.

2008 was truly a turning point in our organization’s history in terms of recognition from the grant community. Our most sincere thanks to the Educational Foundation of America, the George and Miriam Martin Foundation, the Compton Foundation, and RtE Advisory Board Member Michael Franti for helping Rock our Earth and supporting our work to defend the planet one beat at a time!

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Volunteer Jam

A new addition to the newsletter, Volunteer Jam will provide an outlet to thank non-staff volunteers who have rocked it big time during the past month and have gone above and beyond in their support of the Rock the Earth cause. We want to sincerely thank each of you for giving so generously of your time and in the value of your contributions: Susan & Martin Beam, Andrea Browne, Kat Carver, Shannon Clark, Deanne Herman, Topper Johnston, Jason Lipps, Sara Lodwig, Libby Olson, Sean Omeara, Liz Patterson, Raphael Schiffmann, Lisa Shara and Marty Walsh.

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Planet Defender Awards Return

Rock the Earth is thrilled to announce a call for nominations for our fourth annual Planet Defender Awards. Last year, Rock the Earth members and friends sent in dozens of nominations in three categories: Artist, Community Leader and Grassroots Activist. Our Volunteer Staff settled on three winners – Musical Artist: Dave Matthews Band; Community Leader: Winston Eco-Strategies's Andrew Winston; Grassroots Activist: Riverlink’s Karen Cragnolin. [Read the article.]

On Earth Day - April 22, 2009 - we plan to recognize three more individuals or groups who are working to protect some of our nation's most precious natural areas. As with last year, each winner will receive our gratitude along with a one-of-a-kind award created by artists Joe Benvenuto, Rodman Miller and J. Garrett.

To find our 2009 nominees, we once again need your help! Rock the Earth will be accepting nominations from its friends and members between now and March 2nd. Help us identify those people who have advanced the cause of environmental protection. Nominees should demonstrate a strong commitment to defending the planet within the realm in which they work. Take a look at the categories below, and send us nominations from the music world, your local community, or prominent leaders who have made a broad impact in environmental protection.

From the list of nominees, Rock the Earth's Volunteer Staff will vote on the three winners. Please send your nominations to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . With your nomination, please include your reason for nominating the individual or group. Rock the Earth will include some of your comments when we present our awards in each category.

You may nominate individuals in the following three categories:

  • Musical Artist - an individual or group
  • Grassroots Activist - a community activist or grassroots organization
  • Community Leader - a leader in government, business or another high-profile position

Rock the Earth's members are increasingly stepping forward to help us Defend the Planet One Beat at a Time. Please nominate someone who inspires you!

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Calling All Businesses - Help us Rock Earth Day!

RtE is seeking businesses to collaborate with on the 39th anniversary of Earth Day - when events and celebrations take place throughout the week of April 18-25th. By participating in a coordinated campaign, our impact can be more significant. Please consider donating a portion of your business' sales throughout the week to Rock the Earth, or pick a specific donation day, to let your customers know you are committed to doing your part in helping create a sustainable environment. In addition to cash donations, there are other ways that you can be a part of this effort-- please call our office at 303-454-3304 or write to Scott at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information. As always, RtE will be a good steward of your contributions, and by working together we can all be part of the solution.

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Key of Green: Green Computing

While a lot has been said about the energy consumed by the massive scope of worldwide computer manufacturing, and more recently, the ecological impact caused by the disposal of computer waste, the question we should all ask ourselves today is: How does my personal computer use harm the environment?

If you’re an online gamer or a heavy computer user, you are definitely leaving a negative environmental mark. Depending on when it was made and how it was designed, your standard desktop PC’s energy consumption ranges from 60-300 watts when in use, while a newer gaming PC with a powerful graphics card, multiple hard drives, optical drives, flash memory reader and a LCD screen can consume as much as 750 watts – the amount of power a typical refrigerator uses.

Until July 2007, the government Energy Star requirements only measured a computer’s energy use while in standby mode, which allowed the majority of brands to carry the label. You can use the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) to help set up your system to operate more efficiently, and assist you in the purchase of a greener computer.

One of the easiest ways to save on computer power is to use technology that automatically rests when you do, and shuts your computer down when not in use. Windows XP allows users to configure power management settings, and Vista Ultimate lets you configure power-saving options in even more ways. Vista actually throttles power consumption for some tasks and even powers down automatically at other times. For instance, if you’re typing a Microsoft Word document, performance will back down, whereas if you are editing video in a program like Adobe Pro, Vista will use all the processing power available.

Bear in mind that screen savers are not energy savers. In fact, power-down features may not work if you have a screen saver activated. It’s also worth noting that LCD color monitors do not need screen savers. While PCs use a small amount of energy when they start up, it’s considerably less than the energy used when they’re on for long periods of time. Consider turning off the monitor if you aren’t going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes, and both the CPU and monitor if you won’t be using it within the next two hours.

It is also worth noting that a laptop uses about 15 – 45 watts less than a desktop PC’s CPU, before you take into account the monitor, printer, modem, router, speakers, etc., which also use energy even when they’re not in use.

For more information:

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RtE January Auction: Signed Jim Pollock Summer Camp Limited Edition Print

RtE kicked off its fifth Education and Outreach Tour with a return to Summer Camp in Chillicothe, IL. Featuring moe., Umphrey’s McGee, and many other great bands, Summer Camp has been a perennial fun stop on our annual tour.

In honor of Summer Camp and as a special bonus ONLY available to those who purchased VIP packages, famed concert poster artist Jim Pollock cranked out 200 limited edition prints. We were fortunate enough to get one donated, and it’s SIGNED by George Clinton, members of Blind Melon, Flaming Lips, Cornmeal, Umphrey's McGee, Hot Buttered Rum, moe., Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, O.A.R. and G. Love! This signed print is up for auction to benefit Rock the Earth HERE.

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Last Chance for Holiday Memberships

Over the last two months, Rock the Earth has bundled some of our more popular thank you gifts into cost-saving packages. This next month is your last chance to receive these gifts at a reduced donation level. In particular, our limited edition posters by noted concert poster artists Justin Hampton, Jeff Wood, Jim Pollock, and Gary Houston will be available as gifts with all new and renewing members at the $65 level, or as part of our holiday packages for only a short time before returning to their normal membership level of $100 - so please make your tax-deductible donation to Rock the Earth NOW!

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Free Rockin’ Tickets for RtE Members ONLY

Throughout 2008, we offered our members the chance to win FREE tickets to shows at Denver’s Gothic Theatre and Boulder’s Fox Theater. Now, we’re very excited and happy to announce that thanks to AEG Live, we’re expanding our free ticket program to certain shows at Denver’s Ogden and Bluebird Theaters as well! Remember – you can only win these tickets if you are a current member of Rock the Earth, so make sure your membership is up to date before entering.

Rock the Earth will be tabling at the following upcoming shows, educating and activating fans about important local and national environmental issues:

FREE TICKETS: If you are already a Member of Rock the Earth, you can win a pair of FREE TICKETS to one of the above concerts. To enter, email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ; include the name of the band / show of your choice in the subject line and your name in the email. Please check back regularly as more shows added weekly. To volunteer at these shows contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information or for a full list of concerts for which RtE can receive FREE tickets, GO HERE.

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Rock the Earth Member Benefits: EcoExpress

Should the gifts you buy help protect the environment and support independent businesses? EcoExpress thinks so. EcoExpress creates unique natural and eco-friendly gifts by selecting items from companies that support work for the environment, contribute to rainforest preservation, and help make the world a better place.

In addition to selecting environmentally sound products, EcoExpress uses packing and shipping materials that are recycled, recyclable and reusable. EcoExpress is a member of the National Green Business Network of Coop America and has met the standards for a socially responsible green business. EcoExpress aims to raise consciousness about the benefits of "green" products and promotes their usage. Many products come from small family-owned and woman-owned companies that share our commitment to the environment.

If you care about supporting socially responsible businesses, you can check out to see their eco-friendly gift options.

Rock the Earth members receive a 20% discount on all EcoExpress gift baskets! Or donate 20% of all full-priced orders to Rock the Earth by designating a donation in the comments section of each order.

Go here to see a list of all Rock the Earth membership benefits.

To find out how you can take advantage of these members-only benefits, write to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Volunteer With Rock the Earth

If you are looking for ways to get more involved with Rock the Earth, now is the time to step up and make your voice heard. Here some ways you might volunteer with Rock the Earth:

  • Participating in environmental education, membership solicitation and outreach at events
  • Providing regional coordination of events and volunteers
  • Supporting our fundraising & membership drives
  • Offering legal & technical assistance to RtE projects
  • Assisting with data entry & mailings in our Denver office
  • Writing press releases

Please drop a note to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and a let us know how you wish to get involved. Be sure to include your name, geographical area, and the best way in which we can contact you. We look forward to rocking the earth with your help in 2009!

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What Rocks YOUR Earth?!?!?!

It’s said “a picture says a thousand words,” and here at Rock the Earth we have a lot to say! With environmental issues looming in virtually every city in America, we want to know what rocks YOUR earth so we can help broadcast the message!

Over the coming months we will be sending out a call to action to music fans everywhere, to capture their concerns on film and video so we can put faces to the projects we are undertaking. If you want to get involved with this new campaign early, please send us a photo (like the one below) listing your personal environmental cause on a white board, and we will post it on our website! The person with the most creative photo will win a free Rock the Earth T-Shirt and SIGG bottle! You can send your photos of What Rocks Your Earth to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Also look for our new Photo Lab at our booth on tour later this year! We look forward to Rockin’ the Earth with you throughout 2009!

What Rocks Your Earth: Michael Travis

Michael Travis is best known as the percussionist/drummer in The String Cheese Incident, but lately he’s been playing percussion, bass and guitar in his own organic, electronica bands EOTO and Zilla. Blending bass, guitar, keyboards and hand percussion, as well as live mixing and re-mixing, Travis creates the spacey flavor capturing listener’s senses. Travis was born in Southern California. He graduated from University of California at Santa Cruz with a degree in Environmental Science in 1989, and moved to Crested Butte, Colorado. Michael was a founding member of SCI and has written a number of songs for them, such as "Time Alive", "Swampy Waters", "Rainbow Serpent", "Diggin' In" and "Samba DeGreeley".

1. What environmental issue(s) do you consider to be the most critical at this time?

The use of gasoline and carbon-based fuels seems to be the biggest issue to me. At some point there will be just too much carbon in the atmosphere and trees will start dying in mass. At that point our days here will be short. Gas companies own us all, and are holding our planet for ransom. There is no need to use gas ever again. Starting now. But the solutions are being made vague by petroleum companies. Free energy devices exist and are being suppressed. Nicola Tesla was right. And short of that, wind and solar could take care of our energy needs.

2. What has inspired you to combine environmental activism with your music?

I was an environmental activist before I was a musician. I studied environmental sciences in college …went to jail for protesting nuclear weapons production, etc. before ever playing my first gig. So I’d say that the environment helped me be more inspired to be a musician. The two seem to go hand in hand for a lot of folks somehow.

3. Where is your favorite place in nature to go to find solace or inspiration?

My favorite place at this point in my life is the hills near Boulder, Colorado where I live. I can walk out of my house and be in the wilderness in less than a minute ….so enriching. When I lived in Santa Cruz, the hills there were the be-all end-all. I’ve gained a lot of peace from the areas right around my place of residence over the years.

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Fri, Jan 30th 2009
State Radio
Fox Theatre

Boulder, CO
Sat, Feb 7th 2009
Amy Ray
Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO

Fri, Feb 13th 2009
Sat, Feb 14th 2009
Disco Biscuits
Ogden Theater
Denver, CO

Fri, Feb 20th 2009
Bill Kreutzmann (of the Grateful Dead)
Bluebird Theater
Denver, CO

Fri, Feb 21st 2009
Bill Kreutzmann (of the Grateful Dead)
Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO

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