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Green Record Labels 

Music publishers reducing their carbon footprints

With the music industry tanking and independents picking up steam (Vampire Weekend's latest, Contra, recently took Billboard's No. 1 spot), it should come as no surprise that record labels are thinking of new approaches. One label, New York's Green Owl, is thinking sustainably — the label releases albums digitally and uses post-consumer paper packaging for its record sleeves. Its compilation supports the Energy Action Coalition, a group of more than 40 youth organizations fighting for clean energy in the U.S. and Canada. The small contingent of label artists travel via biodiesel, and the label offers CD recycling. To reduce its carbon emissions from publishing, the label works with Native Energy, a carbon-offset company that builds wind farms and community-based energy projects. Other indie labels are following suit. Sub Pop claims "zero emissions" through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, and tiny Minnesota label Earthology Records runs its operations on geothermal energy from its organic farm, built from reclaimed wood and recycled materials. — Alex Woodward

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