Jul. 3rd, 2009

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I'm probably going to go somewhat incommunicado for the next week or so; the big national pastoral music convention that's been sucking up my time and energy and life-force begins Sunday afternoon and goes until the following Friday, and I have multiple hats to wear, so there will be little time to blog (let alone sleep or think.)

So I go off to sing and play and smile and schmooze (lots of schmoozing!) and listen thoughtfully and tell people they are amazing (usually quite truthfully) and spend money and make money and conduct and run around like a crazy person...and hopefully I'll survive and be back in good spirits and health when all is said and done.

From a "green" perspective these conventions are a nightmare.  Every year there seems to be some conversation about greening the convention, but since the whole thing is volunteer-run (by people with day jobs), there hasn't been anyone who could really take it on. There is paper being handed out, given away, thrown out, etc. all the time--sample copies of music handed to anyone who will take them, and then almost all of it probably winds up in recycling (as a best case scenario) after the fact.  Because here waste meets copyright and just compensation--if someone were to collect thirty tossed out copies of something someone handed out as free promotional material, gave it to their choir, and sang it in church, that would be depriving the publisher of just compensation for those copies and the composer of the royalties.  And there are enough of us who wait for those annual royalty checks so we can buy our kids school shoes that that is no small justice issue.  Then there's the bottled water...remind me to post about bottled water someday...

To their credit, I do know that the core committee made a conscious decision to go to local vendors for everything they could, especially where hospitality and catering are concerned, rather than big corporate weenie types.  Which took some extra work--when you're trying to arrange box lunches for 2000 people, it's probably a good bit easier to make one phone call to a giant megagroup who can do it all than to contact 7 or 8 smaller local caterers who'll each provide the lunch for maybe 3 or 4 tour buses worth.  So I applaud that...it's such a challenge, though, and at this point to do anything in a less wasteful, more mindful way is swimming upstream to the extent that it's easy to see why most people just don't have the energy. 

Speaking of energy--In the meantime, anyone who reads this is invited to check out one of my favorite green blogs (though she's WAY more hardcore than I am!)-- lavidalocavore.org/ . She's very serious, has time to write as much in a day as I manage in a week, and in general has some good ideas.  Plus she gives me the chance to read and absorb some of the righteous indignation I don't seem to have the energy to muster up myself, but that I'm glad someone's out there expressing. :-) (EDIT: Actually, looking more closely, I think that is a whole bunch of bloggers all working on the same site, which could explain how prolific the place is...)

Have a great week, everyone!
--J

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