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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Green Never Sounded So Good – The Giving Tree Band

The Giving Tree Band makes green living sound so sweet. Their new record and the accompanying tour have been called the greenest in the world.

The Giving Tree Band performing at FARMBloomington

Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU

The Giving Tree Band is dedicated to living the green life and also making the greenest music possible.

In addition to loving food and the earth, we’re also music lovers here at Earth Eats. It’s especially handy then that Chef Daniel Orr’s restaurant also doubles as a live music venue. The Giving Tree Band recently passed through, and they are a band dedicated to living the green life and also making the greenest music possible.

Their new album, Great Possessions, has even been called the world’s greenest record.

100% Recycled Materials

Todd Fink spoke with Earth Eats about all the ways in which they made their new album carbon-neutral, “We just need to do it as green as possible with the resources available to us.” That includes using 100% recycled materials for the CD cases, printing with veggie inks. Also, instead of using plastic shrink-wrap, their CDs are wrapped in corn cellulose. “We also plant trees to off-set pollution created from shipping this CD.”

The touring process can be very environmentally costly, and The Giving Tree has made plants to carbon off-set the entire tour, from the emissions of their tour bus to staying at hotels and the electricity generated there. “It’s not easy, but we accept the challenge,” Todd said. “That’s part of the green adventure we’re on, too, so we enjoy it at the same time.”

A Family Affair

Todd is not the only member of the Fink family making music with The Giving Tree Band. Eric Fink is also a member of this septet. He mentioned how the band seeks out vegan and underground restaurants at which to eat while on tour. “We love to support independent Mom and Pop places.”

Part of what he enjoys so much about touring is exploring the diversity of food offered all over the country. “It’s nice to go to LA and get something that you can’t anywhere but in LA.”

It has been mentioned many times on Earth Eats that living sustainably is actually the most economically intelligent way to live and Todd echoed that. “It may not seem (economically best) in the short run, but in the longer term it’s actually healthier for your business practice.” So, they made the decision to approach their business in the most sustainable way possible.

We asked Todd for some of the band’s favorite eateries they’ve come across on their tour, and he said Bloomington ranked right up there among their favorites:

Places the band likes to eat around the country. Below is a list of some of their favorite eateries they ate at while touring:

  • Borrowed Earth – Chicago, IL
  • FARM – Bloomington, IN
  • Isadora’s Wonderful Things – Joplin, MO
  • Roots – Bloomington, IN
  • Ubuntu – Napa, CA
  • Willy Street Co-op – Madison, WI

Not Preachy

But their music is not preachy! Todd Fink emphasized that they wanted to make good, old-fashioned rock and roll, and at the same time expose to their audience the way they live. “We just wanted to lead by example, and have a message that’s very gentle, encouraging, and inspiring to other people.”

Check out their music and their green philosophy on their website or listen to an extended interview with Todd Fink.

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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