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October 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Rock the Earth Newsletter: October 2010
Rock the Earth Cruises Along
Meet the New Boss
A Fun Night to Rock the Earth
Key of Green: Tips For Living Green!

Rock the Earth Cruises Along

Its not new news that Rock the Earth has been working hard over the last 5 years to protect our oceans, aquatic life and the aquatic ecosystem. From protecting the Northwest Hawaiian Islands to working to persuade the cruise industry to clean up their act, Rock the Earth has been an effective voice for sustainability and environmental protection in this critical area. As the Greening partner to Jam Cruises 4 & 5, we became acutely aware of the significant environmental impacts that cruise ships have on our aquatic ecosystem as well as on coastal communities and global warming. To that end, our experience on Jam Cruise also educated us as to the minimal impact that low-level greening operations ultimately have on the overall environmental impact from a cruise ship. In fact, the largest sources of pollution, namely air pollution, carbon emissions, and discharges of minimally-treated wastewater and sewage, are not affected at all by standard greening activities.

Our long-time partners, Reverb, had similar revelations working to green cruises such as the Barenaked Ladies' Ships n Dips, Mayercraft and Cayamo cruises. Recently, Reverb and Rock the Earth joined forces with music cruise promoter Sixthman to start to move the ball on this complicated issue. In late September, representatives from Rock the Earth, Reverb and Sixthman met in Miami with Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL), to discuss NCLs environmental practices in advance of the 2011 Ships n Dips Cruise, on which Reverb Co-Founder, Adam Gardner, will be rocking out with his band Guster.

The initial meeting with senior NCL officials, including the companys world-wide VP of Environmental Affairs went well, allowing us to fully explore complex issues such as ways to improve wastewater discharges, discharge monitoring programs, cleaner fuels, slower ship speeds and shore power. We anticipate that this is just the first of multiple meetings to come as we continue to educate Sixthman, and each cruise line, about improvements that can, should and must be taken to safely insure that operators of cruise lines are responsible corporate citizens.

For further background or to read more about Rock the Earths work on this issue, go to our Cruise Ship Project Page.

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Meet the New Boss

Its no surprise that Americans are hurting in the worst economy since the Great Depression. With official unemployment rates hovering around 10% for over a year (and unofficial rates over 20%), small nonprofits that rely heavily on individual donations are struggling. Rock the Earth has not been immune to the economic downturn and significant drop in individual and corporate supporters over the past two years has taken its toll on our young organization.

Since the departure of our last Executive Director Shawn Kilmurray in August, the Board has been actively involved in the recruitment of a new ED. Several, very qualified and enthusiastic applicants applied for the position and went through our interview process, but ultimately in the end, the state of the economic health of the organization has forced us to evaluate some very grim options. We would hate for us to extend an offer to a new Executive Director only for us to need to move that person to part-time in the very near future, said Board Vice President Stacey Plant. Not only would it be the wrong thing to do, but it would not be good for the future of the organization.

So, after much deliberation, we are very excited to announce that our Founder and former Executive Director, Marc Ross, will be returning to the Executive Director position effective November 1. With the return of Mr. Ross to the ED position, it will allow our organization to once again focus on building our resources to a stable state as once existed before the economic downturn. Said Mr. Ross: I am very excited to take over the reins of Rock the Earth once again and believe that by rededicating myself to this organization that I love, we will see both financial prosperity and effective advocacy over the next year.

We at Rock the Earth welcome the return of Mr. Ross to the ED role and believe that it will only be temporary in nature. Already, cost cutting measures taken by the Board in 2010, have resulted in much better bottom line finances than we experienced in 2009. As of the date of this newsletter, the organization carries no debt and with Mr. Ross donating his time, with the re-engagement of our generous donors and the improving economy, the organization is poised to return to full financial health in 2011.

But, in order for the organization to take full advantage of these hard cost cutting measures, we need YOUR help! If you are not yet a member of Rock the Earth or if your membership has lapsed, please join (or renew) TODAY. If you have already donated to us in the past year, we would ask that you please consider making another donation before the end of the year to insure our viability going into 2011.

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A Fun Night to Rock the Earth - Denver

On Saturday, November 6, 2010, the Rock the Earth Board and Volunteer Staff will be gathering in Denver and YOU are invited. During the evening, youll have your chance to hear what the organization has been up to, meet the Staff and well also be introducing our new Executive Director, Marc Ross (see above).

Thanks to the generosity of New Belgium Brewing Company and some local restaurants, well enjoying some wonderful beverages and food. Rob Drabkin, Denvers Best Singer/Songwriter (Westword 2008, 2009, 2010) will be setting the mood with some acoustic music. Well also be conducting a Silent Auction, featuring rock memorabilia, concert tickets, outdoor gear, artwork, gift certificates to local restaurants and shops, video games, and other fantastic items, so dont forget to bring your checkbook! Its going to be a very exciting night, so we hope that youll join us!

Date: Saturday, November 6
Time: 7 to 10 p.m.
Where: Community Space, 2705 Larimer Street, Denver

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Key of Green: Improve Your Garden and Planet by Making Your Own Compost

Do you typically throw out leaves after raking them up? Consider trying something different this Fall. Putting your leaf bags in the trash only increases the strain on landfills, which are already overloaded with yard clippings. According to the EPA, decomposing yard waste acidifies other garbage and produces the greenhouse gas methane. Burning your leaves leads to environmental and health hazards even worse.

With just a little effort, you can turn your leaves into mulch or compost instead, doing wonders for your garden! Just follow a few simple steps:

  1. Chop up the leaves to help them decompose. This can be done with a shredding machine or lawn mower. After this step, the shredded leaves may be added to your garden as mulch--a defender against weeds and harsh weatheror carried on to the next step if you wish to make compost.
  2. Include grass clippings or other sources of nitrogen (such as alfalfa meal or manure) in your compost bin or pile. Regularly add water to preserve moisture and flip it over at least once a week to keep the ingredients properly mixed.

The process doesnt happen overnight and takes at least a few months. But in the end youll save a lot of money on compost, help the environment, and greatly improve your garden with this nutrient-rich soil additive.
If you are not a gardener, check with your local government for alternative yard waste collection and recycling programs.

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Rock the Earth Member Benefits: Live Nation Store

The Live Nation Store is an online store selling music and merchandise from100s of artists, including many RtE band partners: Bonnie Raitt, DaveMatthews Band, Jackson Browne, Ozzy Osbourne, String Cheese Incident, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and more. The online store even has an entire section dedicated to Green Gear. Check out

*Rock the Earth members receive a 15% discount on merchandise purchased at the online Live Nation Store.

To see a list of all Rock the Earth membership benefits, click here.

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

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Volunteer Jam

Volunteer Jam provides an outlet to thank non-staff volunteers and supporters who have rocked it big time during the past month, and who have gone above and beyond in generous support of the Rock the Earth cause.

We want to sincerely thank each of you for giving so generously of their time, and applaud you for your contributions: Susan Honig, Shira Newmark, Ivon Jorrin, Tara Mulvaney, Melissa Hans, Gregory Hans, Kevin O'Donohue,Heather Nelson, Brandi Honeycutt, John Mehringer, Danny Rosen, Rob Hillard, Susan Beam, Jenni Coopersmith, Andrea Browne, Erin Tracey, Mimi Clayton, Liz Lundy, Lynda Kaufman, Jen Kaufman and Devon Strauss.

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What Rocks Your Earth -- Rob Drabkin

Rob Drabkin is a singer, songwriter and guitar player from Denver, Colorado. He was voted Colorado's Best Singer/Songwriter by Westword Magazine 2008-2010. He gathered enough votes to earn his turn on stage at The Mile High Music Festival with artists like The Fray, Widespread Panic, Tool, and Ben Harper. Rob has opened for The John Butler Trio and has done short tours with Carbon Leaf and Tea Leaf Green as well as a national tour with Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam. "On These Heavy Feet" is Rob's first full length release.

What environmental issue(s) do you consider to be the most critical at this time?
I think it's safe to say I've never seen a happy human being at a gas station. No one is happy there, at all, ever. Certainly myself included. Even if you have the money to spend, It's one of the least rewarding places to visit. After doing my taxes for 2009, I tallied up about 25,000 miles on my car from touring as an active musician. That was about $3000 dollars in gas money. Part of my travels this year was 6 week supporting tour on beautiful Prevost tour bus. Each time we filled up the tank, it was $500. The factors problems surrounding petroleum usage extend well beyond a musician's checkbook: burned carbon fuel in the atmosphere and global warming, the cruelty drilling has on land and water, and simply the corruption of the industry itself. It was thrown right in our faces this year when we saw how one single oil company actually has the capability of destroying an entire ocean.

What has inspired you to combine environmental activism with your art?
It looks like this spring, I will be part of a 6 week tour on a bus powered by vegetable oil! It'll be my first time running a diesel engine and really interesting to learn how effective it is. The bus will sleep about 10 people. From what I've researched the cost can be anywhere from a dollar a gallon for filtered oil, $ 0.50 a gallon to unfiltered oil, free depending on the restaurant, and if you make it a regular stop, then you can actually earn money by taking oil off the hands off of restaurants. My gas station blues might be forever eliminated :). That I am looking forward to!

Where is your favorite place in nature to go to find solace or inspiration?
Just outside of Fraser, CO, about 10 miles of getting lost on unnamed roads, eventually I arrive at "Miles Behind," my family's cabin. My mom and dad named it after a favorite Miles Davis record, "Miles Ahead." We've had for about 15 years and music has filled that place ever since we built it. Usually my Dad (saxophone) and I go on the small deck and just wail! Deer and even moose come out and say hello.... or they hear us and run away. It was almost destroyed by the forest fire this past week (it was about a half mile out), but we lucked out. I've written a number of songs there and a number of songs in the city. A friend of mine listened to a song last week and said, you wrote that at the cabin, didn't you? I guess it's starting to show. We'll be recording drums for the next CD there!

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