They say seven is a lucky number. For Seven-Star, a green event-planning firm based in Asheville, winning the contract to “green” the Live Earth concert series is a lucky break—and a major task. They’re charged with ensuring that concerts in Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai and Tokyo, expected to attract more than a million people all told, will be soft on the planet.
Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis will feature nine shows staged on seven continents on July 7 (that’s 7/7/07). Spearheaded by former Vice President Al Gore and Kevin Wall, who produced an antipoverty concert series called Live 8, Live Earth aims to raise global consciousness about climate change and inspire mass audiences to lessen their impact on the planet.
“The South Africa event will be one of the most unique,” notes Matt Dufon, greening manager at Seven-Star. Compost tumblers that will be brought in to manage food waste will later be donated to 15 small villages in the area to support existing farming projects. Other green services the firm offers include helping venues switch from petroleum-based plastic to corn-based, biodegradable alternatives; recycling; and consulting with hotels on water and electricity consumption. Seven-Star staffers will also buy carbon offsets for their travel-related emissions.
Seven-Star won’t be the only star making the trek from Asheville to Live Earth in early July: The Smashing Pumpkins, whose nine-show residency at the Orange Peel has Asheville atwitter, is part of the New York Live Earth lineup. But you don’t have to travel far to see Live Earth—or to learn what you can do to lessen the blow of global warming. “Sometimes it seems so big and overwhelming that people just become paralyzed,” says Bruce Mulkey, who organized a Live Earth event here in Asheville after completing a training to present Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth slide show. “But it starts with each individual. What we want to do at this event is give each individual one simple, yet effective thing they can do to prevent global warming.”
Sponsored by WNC Friends of the Planet and other local nonprofits and businesses, Asheville’s free Live Earth party will take place Saturday, July 7, at the Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company—located, interestingly enough, at 77 Coxe Ave. A live broadcast of the concerts will run from 1 p.m. until closing time. Local environmental groups such as the Canary Coalition and the WNC Green Building Council will be on hand to provide information about sustainable living, and there’ll even be a door prize.
Asheville’s Live Earth party and concert broadcast are free. The pizza and beer are not.