Stone Gossard Talks Green Seattle Day

by Kathy Davis on November 4, 2010

Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard, a longtime supporter of environmental and conservation-related organizations, doesn’t just throw money at causes and call himself involved – he’s a hands-on volunteer who works to inspire others to participate.  He thinks global and acts local…case in point, this Saturday November 6th’s Green Seattle Day.

The Green Seattle Partnership has coordinated Green Seattle Day 2010, which takes place Saturday November 6th at 20 parks across the city.  Mr. Gossard recently spoke with Seattle’s Q13 Fox News about the event, and here’s what he had to say:

He’s the rhythm guitar behind one of the Northwest’s most popular bands, and has played to millions of fans worldwide. But Stone Gossard says the message he really wants people to hear isn’t on your iPod. He’s hoping to inspire people and businesses to get involved in a conservation event called “Green Seattle Day,” which takes over the Emerald City’s parks this Saturday.

Reflecting on a music career that spans four decades, Stone Gossard knows how lucky he is. “Pearl Jam is really fortunate,” he says. “We’ve sold 60 million records, and we’ve toured all over the world. We have a large organization.” And it’s that organization, or business side of the band that started to weigh on Pearl Jam about seven years ago, when they started to measure their carbon footprint. From bus exhaust to plane travel, Pearl Jam figured out they were releasing two to five thousand tons of carbon on each one of their three-month tours.

That’s when the band changed their tune and started helping offset the carbon they release by planting new trees in urban forest areas with the Cascade Land Conservancy. So what’s it like having Pearl Jam on your side? The Conservancy’s Gene Duvernoy says, “It’s cool. But it’s also a very big responsibility.” Duvernoy says Pearl Jam expects the best with Green Seattle Day. The event organizes hundreds of volunteers to plant trees and remove invasive plants to preserve urban forests. And Duvernoy says even with high-profile rock stars like Pearl Jam involved, there’s plenty of room on this stage. He says, “We all have a role to play. We can be careful where we drive, careful with what we consume, and we can also give  back a bit by volunteer activities like this. We can all do this.”

The way Stone Gossard sees it, we have to do this. “It’s a moral imperative.” The Conservancy says Seattle could lose 70% of its forests in just 20 years if this work doesn’t happen. Gossard says he hopes Pearl Jam can inspire other people to get involved. He says about his band, “If we’re not leading in terms of showing businesses how to operate, then… all is lost. Being a socially conscious business is something we’ve strived for, and I think this is a continuation of that.”

Gossard plans to volunteer at either Woodland Park or Seward Park this weekend. If you’d like to volunteer as well, follow this link for more information. For more details on the work of the Cascade Land Conservancy, click here.

Environmental Rock!


Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.

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