TUE, AUG 8, 2006 at 11:24 AM



In a move that has nothing whatsoever to do with our staggering weed intake, we at Sub Pop Records have taken steps to become entirely green-powered. What this effectively means is that, through our purchase of Green Tags, we are paying the difference between the cost of renewable energy and that of fossil fuel-generated energy, and in doing that, helping to shift the overall energy mix toward more renewable resources.

Here’s the somewhat interesting story behind how we became such hippies:

The guy there on the right is our own Andrew Sullivan. Like many recent college graduates, Andrew lives in what might charitably be referred to as a “shithole,” with 5-7 roommates, ranging in degrees of familiarity from life-long pals to “who is that sleeping in the tub?”. He enjoys late nights, loud rock music, street wrestling, world travel, the company of the fairer sex, and donkey shows. More often than not, dude sleeps in a pile of beer and/or Sparks™ cans. Completely unrelatedly, he also works here, explaining the internet to his benighted and slow-witted elder co-workers. Makes sense so far, right? Here’s the thing: Though money is forever tight at the squat, about a year ago Andrew opted to start paying extra on his electric bill every month to offset the additional cost of renewable energy (which is not subsidized up the proverbial wazoo by our government the way that fossil fuel and nuclear energy are).

What’s more, our own Kelley Stoltz did a very similar thing with the energy used to record his Below the Branches album earlier this year. And, Below the Branches not only shows off Kelley’s chops as a progressive thinker, but as an artist as well: “In concise, perpetually tuneful songs, his voice echoes the Kinks’ Ray Davies, while the sun-dazed reverberations of the Beach Boys meet the music-hall bounce of the Beatles” (The New York Times). The press release about Kelley’s album being the very first recorded using 100% renewable energy, as certified by Green-e, is right here.

Kids do the darnedest things, right?

Right! But, Andrew didn’t stop there. Further motivated by Kelley’s example, he went on to persuade the powers that be here at Sub Pop that we should do the same. And, with the help of the exceedingly nice folks at the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (who we’d say very nice things about solely for their seemingly inexhaustible patience in explaining all of this stuff to us) and Green-e/the Center for Resource Solutions, Sub Pop is now the first record label in the US to be 100% powered by green/renewable energy.

We are surpassingly proud of both Andrew and Kelley (to say nothing of our increasingly high opinion of ourselves…). But, the real take-home on this one is like so:

If a very-nearly starving punk-rock Bohemian like Andrew, AND an incredibly talented, though as-yet-not-exactly-a-household-name musician like Kelley, AND a somewhat dysfunctional, medium-sized record label like Sub Pop can all manage some small effort at promoting climate recovery (and not hastening really scary stuff like this), what, exactly, is your excuse?

The official press release is here. You should read it and, shortly thereafter, you should do something about it.

Posted by Harry Dean Hudson