The A.K.A.s Are Everywhere and Green!
The following was written by our partners in crime over at the band The A.K.A.s. New Dream very much appreciates their support in all our campaign work!
Greetings! This is Mike Ski; I sing in a totally sweet and radical punk rock and roll band called The A.K.A.s! We've been cohorts of the New Dream uprising for a while now, and are excited to have been invited to participate in the New Dream blog to tell everyone a little bit about what we've been up to, and how we've been making some simple changes to inspire new ideas through our music!
We've been on the road since January and have been taking full advantage of the opportunity to reach new and mostly young people every day across the country and beyond. We just completed a 15 stop run from Boston to Portland on the 14th annual Vans Warped Tour. This insane spectacle of a tour includes over 100 bands each day and reaches over 400,000 spectators across the country and Canada. As you can imagine, it leaves behind an incredible mess in it's wake.
We were very excited to be invited on the tour for two huge reasons. 1) It is an incredible opportunity to reach new fans for our band and 2) it is a priceless chance to inspire new ideas for young people. The A.K.A.s has always been a vehicle for change as much as it is a punk rock and roll party, so this summer on Warped Tour 2008, our mission was to make them one and the same. What is so inspiring for me about this mission, and especially our partnership with New Dream is that the simplest changes and acts can have a HUGE impact. Focusing on that... we teamed up with friends to provide some of the following efforts.
1) Together with StayVocal.com, The A.K.A.s debuted a line of ReUse merchandise with our designs. Over 300 shirts, skirts, dresses, jackets, and ties were rescued from thrift stores and lonely closets to live again. Why it's awesome: Not only does the ReUse line cut down on the millions of pounds of discarded textiles that end up in landfills each year, cut down on materials and energy.... it creates a one of a kind item that is as unique and individual as the lucky kid to find it. Get stoked. 2) Recyled/Organic Reusable Tote/shopping Bags: After pledging to bring your own bag, we provide our own designed shopping bag made of recycled soda pop bottles.
3) Rock for Reuse! The A.K.A.s recently won a brand new guitar which we put back into the world for a lucky winner to rock. How do you win? By signing up and taking up to six easy eco pledges including: bring your own bag, break the bottled water habit, wash in cold, downshift your driving, eat locally, and junk your junkmail. We signed up over 1200 individuals.
Why it's awesome: Whether their motivation is strictly based on free shit or not, the chance to engage someone, even for a moment, is priceless. The most inspiring part is watching people discover how simple some of the steps are, or realizing that things they already do have an impact. As we calculate the overall impact and deliver the news, everyone who signed up will see how their simple actions combined to have an overwhelming effect on us all.
4) Eco-Aggro Clean ups: The Warped Tour flaunts it's own Eco Initiative which we had the privelege to work closely with. These fine ladies organized daily volunteers on MASSIVE clean ups, collecting hundreds of bags of bottles and cans daily. Inspired by their hard work, The A.K.A.s and other bands on the tour joined the cleanups on a daily basis. Why it's awesome: My personal favorite things about the daily clean ups are the looks, questions, and comments. Many people are shocked to see people doing it for "free" or "just because." In a sea of otherwise lazy-ass, spoiled kids, the cleanups evoked several people to join in along the way just for fun and to get involved. Check them out: Warped Eco Initiative
5) Soul-ar Powered Rock and Roll: The Vans Warped Tour boasts one of the only stages run completely on solar Power. We had the honor of playing this stage everyday and were excited to bring attention to the innovation.
While we have also accumulated a collection of pretty ugly farmer tans, we're excited to have made some new fans, new friends, and hopefully to have inspired some new changes and ideas!
Check out our video below about our experiences on Warped, and let us know what you think!
Thanks for reading.
Xo, Mike Ski and The A.K.A.s