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The Green Life: Start a Green Band with Sustainable Gear

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December 11, 2013

Start a Green Band with Sustainable Gear

The Mada guitar is made of organic hempFancy yourself a musician? Then play a tune for the environment while marching to the beat of a different drum with these eco-friendly axes and drum kits.

And remember, the only thing that sounds better than saving the environment is giving a gift. So keep these eco-instruments in mind when you're shopping for that niece who just decided she wants to be a rock star when she grows up.


Mada Series
Sing the praises of the hemp revolution accompanied by a guitar or bass with a body built entirely out of organic hemp, instead of rare or endangered wood. 

The Mada Caimes and Mada Sab are Austrian-made semi-acoustic guitars and basses made of 100 percent organic hemp pulp. The pulp is processed without milling (unlike standard wood guitar production) into "hempstone" and then turned into a guitar body with a signature fluid design. 
They don't sound too bad either.

Hemp based Mada guitars

Simon Lee's Cyclotron Guitars
Not so into hemp? Well how about a guitar made from old industrial pipes? Or tossed-out coffee cups or yogurt containers? Maybe you want to stick close to the music and get one made out of old CDs? Simon Lee's guitar bodies come in crazy, sometimes psychedelic colors determined by the recycled materials he uses. Don't forget the eco-picks to go with his awesome guitars, and watch this aspiring guitarist test one out.


Green Acoustics
Not trying to start a punk band? Well, classic acoustic instruments are typically made from high-quality woods, so look for eco-friendly guitar companies that harvest wood approved by the Forest Stewardship Council. Companies like Walden have entire guitar series built around using more sustainable practices.  

San Francisco's Blackbird Guitars, however, has come up with a plant-based composite called Ekoa, which it hopes to use to build light, sustainable, and durable instruments that it claims will last longer than standard wooden instruments. Currently, Blackbird has only a ukulele made out of this sustainable material, but Ekoa guitars are in the works. Find out more about the Clara Ukulele and Ekoa here in this video and check out Blackbird's Facebook page for news on its future sustainable instruments offerings.
Balckbird Clara Ukulele


DW Eco-X
Drum Workshop's Eco-X drum kits are made from sustainably sourced bamboo and birch. With an eight-ply construction, they not only look good but sound good. Plus, the kits are finished with water-based stain rather than typical oil-based stain used on conventional drum shells. While you're at it, get some matching bamboo drum sticks from BOSO or maybe even some biodegradable sticks made from wheat at Wheatware. Rock on, Sierra reader.


--Photos courtesy of Mada, Blackbird Guitars

James RogersJames Rogers is an editorial intern at Sierra. He graduated from Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, where he studied a combination of environmental studies and journalism. While at Western, he was the editor in chief of The Planet magazine, and he has written for Conservation Northwest QuarterlyPublic Eye Northwestand The Western Front.

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