Happy Earth Day 2013!

Happy Earth day to all our fellow Earth citizens! Today is the perfect day to pick out some tunes that deepen our appreciation for this great blue/green planet.

What music inspires you to think about nature? What music ignites your environmental activist flame? What music makes you think of flowing waters, fields of flowers, and happy squirrels?

Here’s what our Murfie staffers have to say!

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Steel PulseAfrican Holocaust
Kayla: The song “Global Warning” is a smash hit. It points out the harsh reality that a lot of environmental problems are created by humans. But it is hopeful, calling us towards a common goal to re-arrange.

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Earth – Pentastar: In the Style of Demons
Jeff: A wall of slow, crushing sludge-rock from the forefathers of doom. How could this album not make you think about the Earth, especially its immense size, and how it would feel if it rolled over you?

1dbb9dc8-e007-11e1-af0b-12313d184814Ani DiFrancoRed Letter Year
Noah: The song “The Atom” is almost a hymn, calling for taking care of the Earth and disparaging the use of nature to destroy.

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R.E.M.Green
Matt: Look at the title and cover. Need I say more?

MI0000392903Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack
Matt: Best experienced while sailing on a windy night, listening to this soundtrack really puts me in the groove of the ocean.

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Yo La Tengo I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One
Glynnis: “Green Arrow” has always perfectly encapsulated a lazy, aimless summer evening for me. Follow it up with “Autumn Sweater”, and you’ve got me longing for all my favorite kinds of weather, ready to go outside and enjoy a nice evening breeze.

e1d4cafe-85cb-11e1-9f65-1231381d530bBen Sollee 
RJ: My pick for Earth Day is any album by Ben Sollee. The reason I picked this wonderful musician is because he travels by bicycle when he tours. You can’t get any more earthy then Ben!

Bob DylanThe Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan6840-large
Tiffany: Bob Dylan hails from Minnesota and his music always seems to come straight from the agricultural heart of the Midwest. This album was the one that put Dylan on the map as a folk protest singer.

MI0001645112Nick Drake Fruit Tree
Pete: Fruit Tree by Nick Drake is my choice. As well as being a great song in itself, it’s also the title of a four-disc box set featuring all three of Nick Drake’s studio albums. His music always reminds me of the English countryside. 6748-large

 

Midnight OilDiesel and Dust
Preston: The track “Dreamworld” in particular makes me feel all warm and full of hope.

MI0001767347GojiraFrom Mars to Sirius
Keith: Not many people know this, but a lot of metal can be spiritual. Many of Gojira’s songs are about getting energy from the Earth and from nature. This is a great album, although it’s not for those who are new to the traditional death-metal sound.6351-large

RadioheadHail to the Thief
Henry: Stick it to the man.

We’re hoping that everyone gets a bit of sunshine today, and a chance to think about the great planet that we call home! Maybe one of these albums will become your top Earth Day pick too!

Overwhelmed by 99 probs?

10 ways to be nice to our planet

In sharp contrast to my typical devil-may-care ‘tude (“Dream on, Ashley”), I’m gonna get a little heavy here. The world’s got >99 problems. There’s no way around it. Sustainable development, climate change, poverty, species extinction, energy security…the swarm of social, political, economic, and environmental issues can get a little overwhelming. What’s more distressing is the feeling that we are powerless to do anything, that individual action would be ineffectual, that no one is actually capable of making a meaningful difference. That’s a little scary. But you know what? I don’t think that’s an accurate representation of our capability and willingness to force change. I mean, nobody can do everything, BUT everyone can do something. And small steps can make great strides. “If you think you’re too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito” (Betty Reese).

So to get the ball rolling, I thought I’d brainstorm a few easy, painless ways we can all (all!) help out:

1) Recycle, including old electronics (no explanation needed).
2) Buy in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging waste.
3) Unplug electronics when you’re not using them to kill standby/phantom power.
4) Use reusable drinking containers, instead of disposable coffee cups and plastic water bottles.
5) Turn off the lights when you leave a room to reduce energy use.
6) Don’t take 10 minute showers – consider cutting your shower short by a few minutes to conserve water.
7) Lower your home thermostats, including water heater, to conserve energy.
8) Buy energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs to save energy.
9) Use a reusable rag or towel, instead of napkins and paper towels.
10) Use reusable lunch bags and shopping bags to cut down on paper and plastic.

Obviously, there are a ton of other ways to help our planet, so we’d love to hear your suggestions. A good idea goes a long way, so have at it! @murfiemusic