While Earth Day is recognized on April 22, here at The Orchard we know it should be instilled every day — after all, how can we keep sharing music if we can’t protect our planet? In between shows on the road, singer-songwriter and environmentalist Ziggy Alberts (Commonfolk Records) answered a few of our questions about how he has created a sustainable, Earth-friendly lifestyle even on tour and how everyone can do their part. Ziggy’s fifth album Laps Around The Sun charted #2 on the ARIA Australian Artist Album Charts and his World Tour to follow officially sold out all 37 dates before the Australian/New Zealand leg kicked off. Ziggy’s music is honest and personal — with just one listen to his songs you’ll understand what his surrounding world means to him.
Tell us a bit about your history with environmentalism. Why does it matter to you and why should it matter to everyone?
I grew up by the ocean, and I think the first time I stood up for something was regarding a desalination rig that was proposed to essentially go out the front of our local beach. I must have been maybe 13 years old. Since then I’ve gone through various steps of learning about my impact, and am trying to share what I’ve learnt as accurately as possible.
It matters to everybody because we rely on a healthy, functioning planet for our physical existence, and as it turns out, for our emotional and mental wellbeing also.
How has this mentality influenced your music?
Its heavily ingrained in my personal values, which are heavily involved in my songwriting. Touring has a massive footprint, and so I see it as a basic responsibility to try to limit my touring footprint as much as possible. I don’t try to be “in your face” about it in my songs. I just try to drop subtle hints here and there, with catchy lyrics (haha!).
Most musicians work off a shoe-string budget in their day-to-day or, while touring, are in a different location every day. This can make maintaining an environmentally aware lifestyle difficult for some. Do you have any tips being sustainable and environmentally friendly on the road?
Fantastic question. My tip would be, first and foremost, just do what you can with the resources you have. I’ve been in this position — and still face many, many challenges with my team now — I think my most important tip is to factor in time. Time to not have your food and drinks takeaway. Talk to the venue before you arrive and see if they can go straw free for the night. Carry a water bottle, a reusable coffee cup, and ask for no straw when you order your drink. Take small, attainable steps at first, then go from there.
How about those that listen to your music? If you could have one lyric or message resonate with your fans regarding love for the Earth, what would it be?
Be kind. Everyone is at a different place of learning about their impacts, so don’t just presume they are careless. Some people care so much about the environment they forget to be nice to the other humans.
Want more Ziggy? Ziggy performed at The Orchard Presents a few months ago — watch his acoustic performance here.