Earth Hour Playlist

Photo: istockphoto.com/illo
Pop in our green album—featuring 14 great tracks by eco-conscious musicians—to accompany your hour of tribute to the planet.

Chill out with friends or go dancing in the dark to Green Living’s Earth Hour playlist, comprised of songs from 14 top musicians who are living by the green creed. Click on a track to get listening, then read on to learn about each artist’s commitment to sustainability, whether on the road or in the studio. You’ll be rewarded with a whole lot more than a good tune.  

Escarpment Blues – Sarah Harmer  4:01

Wreckage – Ben Jelen  3:34

Honey Honey – Feist  3:43

Better People – Xavier Rudd  3:07

On the Road Again – Willie Nelson  2:30

Fake Plastic Trees – Radiohead  4:51

Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell  2:16

Satellite – Guster 4:34

The 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) – Jack Johnson  2:54

When Water Comes to Life – Cloud Cult  3:47

Mother Nature (Natural Anthem) – Neil Young 3:48

No Sleep Til Brooklyn – Beastie Boys 4:07

Lights Out – Mojave  3:34

Suddenly I See – KT Tunstall  3:21

Sarah Harmer - As if her sweet cooing vocals and gentle guitar picking weren’t enough, this Canadian indie darling is an environmental activist and this blue song speaks out against the Niagara Escarpment gravel development. Harmer is also committed to offsetting her tour emissions while on the road. sarahharmer.com

Ben Jelen - This New Yorker created the Ben Jelen Foundation to support green initiatives around the world that battle climate change, and also writes an enviro blog. His song “Wreckage,” off his latest album, Ex-Sensitive, is dedicated to the earth. benjelen.com  

Feist – She does much more than count to four. Feist is involved with the NYC-based label Green Owl, known for using green technology in its studio. She was also featured on Green Owl Comp: A Benefit for the Energy Action Coalition, along with other indie starlets. All proceeds from the album go towards Energy Action Coalition, a project that encourages youth involvement in clean green movements. listentofeist.com

Xavier Rudd – This Aussie songster, who partnered with Clif Bar’s GreenNotes program to reduce the environmental impact of his tours, created the “Better People Campaign,” a project profiling people making positive environmental change. His song of the same name is off the album White Moth and is an acoustic salute to individuals making a difference. xavierrudd.com

Willie Nelson - You have all his albums, have vowed to see him live and have even crafted your hair into braids. But are you using his biodiesel, BioWillie? Along with developing his own alternative fuel, this American country star is a founding father of Farm Aid, an annual concert that raises awareness about the loss of family-run farms and the threats to keeping agriculture sustainable. willienelson.com

Radiohead - Not that we need more reasons to love Thom Yorke and Radiohead, but the U.K. band is also striving to reduce carbon emissions. When touring overseas, band members transport their gear via sea and avoid chartered flights. Recently, they stayed home and telecommuted to Late Night with Conan O’Brian rather than flying. Yorke is also a long-time vegan and his solo album, The Eraser, speaks directly to climate crisis issues. radiohead.com

Joni Mitchell - The mother of Canadian folk has spoken out against clear cutting and uranium mining for nuclear weapons. And there cannot be an environmentalist playlist without including the classic hit “Big Yellow Taxi.” Nature lovers everywhere can’t help but break out into song at the sound of the iconic lines, “That you don’t know what you’ve got, till it’s gone, they paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.” jonimitchell.com

Guster - Known for their folksy sweet songs, Guster means business when it comes to environmental issues. Guitarist and vocalist Adam Gardner and his wife, Lauren Sullivan, co-founded Reverb, an organization dedicated to helping artists green their tours. Guster also created the Campus Consciousness Tour, playing shows at colleges across the U.S. and educating students about the environment.

Jack Johnson - Voted the #1 green musician by Billboard magazine, Johnson is clearly all about organic banana pancakes. He uses biodiesel-powered tour buses, strives to be 100 percent carbon neutral and records his albums using 100 percent solar energy. This Hawaiian-born surfer singer-songwriter also co-founded the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii, and has a partnership with 1% for the Planet. jackjohnsonmusic.com

Cloud Cult - For Minnesota band Cloud Cult, indie pop means green: Lead singer, Craig Minowa, is a scientist for the Organic Consumers Association, the band’s CD cases are made with post-consumer recycled paper and compostable shrink wrap, and its tour van runs on biodiesel and solar power. Cloud Cult also started Earthology Records, a studio located on a small organic farm, powered by geothermal and wind power and built from recycled and salvaged materials. cloudcult.com

Neil Young - Environmentalists and folk-rock lovers can all pledge allegiance to Neil Young. The Canadian singer-songwriter has such a passion for electric cars that, in partnership with LincVolt, converted his classic 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV convertible into a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle. His upcoming album, Fork in the Road, was inspired by the process of transforming American gas guzzlers into the cars of the future. neilyoung.com

Beastie Boys - It’s no sleep ’til environmental change for these eco-conscious New York rappers. The Beastie Boys work to lessen their environmental impact on tours by offsetting their carbon emissions, using biodiesel in tour vehicles and leading cell phone recycling collection programs. beastieboys.com

Mojave - As a small-time indie band from Vancouver, Mojave is making big strides in being green. Their debut album, Stories, is only available online to avoid packaging, the band’s travels are offset through Tree Canada and they’re affiliated with 1% for the Planet. mojavemusic.ca

KT Tunstall - This Scottish songstress is involved with Cape Farwell, a U.K.-based project that raises awareness about climate change. Tunstall lives in a green home, wears eco-fashion and she and her fans have planted 5,000 trees as offsets with the help of the Carbon Neutral Company. kttunstall.com

Read more stories in our special Earth Hour series:

Dinner Tips for Dining in the Dark: entertaining advice and recipe ideas from Lindsay Evans

Off-the-grid Gadgets: 10 must-haves for generating your own power

The Big Picture: Making Earth Hour matter all year long

For a detailed list of times and locations for events happening in your community, please visit www.EarthHourCanada.org.