The Campus Consciousness Tour (reverb.org/project/CCT) is half music, half environmental & social consciousness campaign. A project of environmental non-profit group Reverb, the CCT began in 2006 with the goal of inspiring college students to take action toward a more sustainable future. Each year of the tour focuses on a different cause, with this year's events emphasizing sustainable food and water for all. Genre-blurring singer/songwriter/producer Janelle Monáe headlines, with support from indie pop band fun. The tour stops at 12 campuses throughout the East Coast and Midwest. The CCT partners with innovative artists, companies, and programs, in an effort to leave as much of a positive impact as possible on each community that the tour reaches.
Past headliners of the CCT include ASCAP artists Drake, Ben Harper, Guster, and O.A.R., covering a wide array of causes and actions including: setting up community service learning projects, holding Town Hall Forums on campuses to discuss leveraging universities' endowments to make sustainable changes with partner Sustainable Endowments Institute, and focusing on voter registration with the organization Headcount and the Trick or Vote campaign. CCT has also partnered with Green For All and Green the Block to empower communities of color to be a driving force in the clean-energy economy through education, awareness, and service.
Reverb has a long history of educating artists on environmental issues and supporting them as they put sustainable practices into action on their tours. The artists become leaders by example for their fans. The CCT is no exception, and brings this stewardship one step further to college campuses.
A focus on every CCT is to support the campus groups and individuals who are already engaged in making their campus more aware and sustainable. As Monáe says: "CCT has the right formula by combining music and activism and delivering it a fun and appealing way to students around the country. I look forward to being part of this unique tour."
The tour itself is powered by a partnership with Brita FilterForGood and has been for the past three years. Brita FilterForGood contributes to increased concert sustainability by using filtered water and reusable Nalgene bottles instead of bottled water both backstage and amongst concertgoers. As a testament to the partnership's effectiveness, a recent Jack Johnson tour saved more than 50,000 plastic bottles through the use of reusable bottles and Brita Hydration Stations. Hydration stations at each stop of the CCT make it easy for fans to take the first steps towards a sustainable future, reducing their plastic bottle waste almost immediately.
The CCT features an interactive Eco-Village at each of the twelve tour stops, a key aspect of the tour that reflects Reverb's overall goal of educating and engaging music fans to take environmental action in a fun and inspiring atmosphere. Here, students can get involved on the spot by filling out their "Action Cards"which enter them to win a bevvy of prizes from a trip to the Dominican Republic to a meet and greet with Ms. Monáe.
Student calls-to-action include writing a post card to the president of their school rallying for Fair Trade products on campus (hosted by tour partner Fair Trade Universities, FairTradeUniversities.org), signing a petition with OxfamAmerica's GROWcampaign for sustainable food legislation and fair pay for farmers (OxfamAmerica.org), learning about issues with genetically engineered food and signing up for the Non-GMO Project (NonGMOProject.org), and supporting their campus environmental groups, which often thrive on increased awareness and membership.
Brita FilterForGood, Silk, and Ben & Jerry's also have a presence within the Eco-Village that reflects each company's ventures into environmental and social consciousness and a chance to sample their products. Oxfam America and Fair Trade University inform students of how their food choices impact their campus and the world around them, also providing tips for how they may better their food system. All products from Silk and Ben & Jerry's are certified Non-GMO.
Further, Reverb and other tour partners and event organizers have taken many greening actions for the tour itself. These include: Sustainably sourced B20 biodiesel for buses & trucks; Extensive recycling of paper, plastic, aluminum and batteries; Free Brita Hydration Station for fans to reduce plastic water bottle waste; Biodegradable catering supplies backstage; Eco-friendly cleaning supplies backstage and on buses; Organic, local food in catering wherever possible and much more.
Other water-related issues that Reverb and the Campus Consciousness Tour have been advocating for include the Save The Delaware campaign. The Delaware River Basin, a vital part of the interconnected watershed system that provides water to 15 million people in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York, is facing the most serious threat in its history from the toxic wastes of Hydraulic Fracturing. Learn about the issue and see what you can do to save our water here:
- Save the Delaware (savethedelaware.wordpress.com) - Take action to prevent allowance of thousands of fracked gas wells in upper Delaware.
- Don't Frack With NY (dontfrackwithny.com) - "New York has the best drinking water in the world. Let's not frack it up."
- A Million Fracking Letters (amillionfrackingletters.com) - Ordinary citizens speaking out against hydrofracking in New York State.