On Monday, I wrote that I am declaring it Jack Johnson Week. It appears that everyone was so floored by the idea that they couldn’t muster the finger energy to compose a single comment. I didn’t realize it was that amazing until my wife said she read and liked the article.
(Sometimes I wonder if my wife reads 10% of my writing. If I sneak some kind of mention in future articles that I had an affair with Scarlett Johansson you now know why.)
I won’t rehash all the details of the previous article because this is likely to be a long article. Quickly, Jack Johnson is a musician, mostly known for a song or two in the early 2000s. That article tried to explain why I think he deserves a lot more attention than what he’s received.
When I became a fan of Jack Johnson’s music, I didn’t realize how much work he’s done as an environmentalist. It feels like being a fan of Michael Jordan’s baseball skills only to find out he also played basketball.
Side thought: Bialik, McKellar, and Johnson were born in 1975. What a magical year, right? (Wife, are you reading this?)
The environment isn’t a typical focus for this blog, but it is something I cover a few times a year. What better time than the week around Earth Day to cover it? Saving the environment is a cause that I deeply believe in. You can read about our solar panels here. Or you can read my article in 2008 about how the Enviromoms limit their garbage to a one can a year. I’m not nearly an extremist like them. Heck, we have two SUVs. I think it’s all about balance and mindfulness.
On Monday, I was driving my 4-year old to school and he saw the ocean. He asked me if Jack Johnson cleaned it up. He said that it was his job along with singing Curious George songs. (He also thinks Tom Brady is my boss because of this alarm I wake up to). He’s so much more intelligent than I am.
I tried to explain that cleaning the ocean isn’t Jack Johnson’s job, it’s all of our jobs.
Jack Johnson and the Environment
Where did my son get the idea Jack Johnson cleans up oceans? I must have told him about the Smog of the Sea documentary. The 30-minute film has Jack Johnson, scientists and environmentalists showing that there’s bits of plastic in the middle of the ocean. It’s everywhere… and hence the smog of the sea name. It’s eye opening, because I thought there was a plastic island where all the garbage goes.
How did I learn about the documentary? I just went to his official website looking for tour information.
That’s when I fell down the Jack Johnson environmentalist rabbit hole. For example, he created a charity, All at Once with the idea of creating global change one person at a time. That seems secondary to his Johnson Ohana charity which focuses on the environment, art, and music education. It appears that they are related in some way.
It’s one thing for a celebrity to create a charity. It’s another to see them put their career into it. Jack Johnson rarely tours. I couldn’t find the last time he came to the Boston area. However, 100% of his 2008 tour went to the Johnson Ohana charity. As All-at-Once explains 100% of Jack Johnson’s tour profits from 2010-2013 went to charity as well. Maybe he decided he needed to eat in 2009, but I’m inclined to think that only 99% of the profits were donated to charity. Or maybe he didn’t tour in 2009. Since 2013, it seems his money has gone to matching contributions to All at Once non-profit partners.
Of course his albums were produced at his Brushfire Records studio that is 100% solar with walls made up of 100% post-consumer waste (Source). Some musicians demand special colored M&Ms (or a story) before they play. Johnson demands that the concert venue adhere to strict environmental guidelines such as purchasing carbon offsets and LED light bulbs. Because of these “demands” all LiveNation venues have a Resusable Pint Program.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.
I’m going to one of his concerts this summer and I’m considering wearing a burlap sack… just to play it safe. Hmmm… check that… does anyone know if burlap is sustainable? I presume the only food available will be organic golden rice. Organic golden rice may be impossible (by definition), but Jack Johnson will find a way.
I originally thought I’d share lyrics from various Jack Johnson songs about the environment. Instead, I’ll share this video:
Yes, 3 is a magic number… especially when you are referring to kid songs.
I apologize for the lack of personal finance in this article. My next article will be more topical. I also realize I let my fanboi come out. I hope this inspires you to do something meaningful outside of your core career.
Finally, I wanted to highlight some good news in the world. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there’s a lot of negative news out there. Celebrities shouldn’t be role models, but sometimes there’s an overlapping of two in the Venn diagram. Jack Johnson is a rare individual in that overlap.
Not all heroes wear capes, but some wear sandals and guitar straps.