Blond:ish has a deep and spiritual take on house music, which blends earthy percussion with uplifting melodies and melodic progressions released on labels such as Kompakt, Diplo’s Mad Decent, and her own ABRACADABRA imprint.
More than just a musician, Vivie-Ann Bakos (aka Blond:ish) is also an environmentalist who pushes for social and environmental change, using her high standing within the music industry as a platform to influence others.
As the founder of the Bye Bye Plastic movement and an active campaigner against climate change, we asked Blond:ish to give her top tips on how we could all make small changes that will have a big influence on the world we live in?
Blond:ish: As an artist, I’m travelling all over the world on a regular basis. You see the best of the world, but also some of the worst too, and you witness over time how places are changing, as technologies develop, and the population evolves. The final straw(!) for me, was in Brazil when I was playing at Warung. The view; a crowd all with their hands in the air, the most epic sunrise coming over the horizon. But as the party finishes around 8am, the crowd quickly dissipates and the site that was left was what ultimately changed my life forever. Between me and the sunrise stood a huge mountain of plastic water bottles, being swept together by the cleaning staff, like it was normal and just another day at work. Something didn’t add up, and 2 years later I started Bye Bye Plastic, which consists of a team of 10 women currently, and we’re working hard. Our mission is to remove single use plastics in the music industry by 2025. We just announced that over 1500-2000 DJs have signed up to the Eco-Rider, and the news went viral at the end of last week, even The Grammy’s got behind it! So, it’s happening! And this is just the beginning…
Growing up and until this point we’ve been thinking in a linear way, now we are forced & with good reason to “reimagine” our thinking again back to the way nature intended, which is the circular way 🙂 With a growing number of humans on the planet, the key question really is how can we make more efficient use of the renewable resources we have?
On this journey I’ve come across some super helpful info and amazing initiatives and movements that I wanted to share with you, so each and every one of us can play an integral part in building a positive future.
Flights – Reduce your footprint:
Whether you’re a DJ or not, if you fly, drive, train or breathe — you can offset your carbons. If you’re a corporation or company, Climate Neutral Group is a good one, or Green Seat who is the same company, catered for individuals. At Bye Bye Plastic we’ve actually vetted these two initiatives ourselves, so as far as our research shows we can trust them that the money is going to the proper places. The idea of just donating money to offset carbons not knowing really really where it goes, is an odd concept to swallow honestly and a big reason why we (as the electronic music industry) want to upgrade this process , so we are currently working on our own unique program designed by DJs/artists so that we can feel more attached to the projects we’re supporting to offset carbons whether with our time or money, that will be installed into the booking process in mid 2020, a cost that will be shared across promoters, agents and DJs. In the meantime, while all this offsetting is happening, were figuring out ways to motivate innovation to the use of biofuels & renewable energy / solar powered planes.
Educate your inner circle:
Educate yourself and other people on the current situation and the way that things are developing. Follow people on Instagram that live and breathe this stuff, like Eco-Age founder Livia Firth: https://www.instagram.com/liviafirth/. Also keep up to date with The Ocean Cleanup, who are developing technologies to rid the oceans of plastic, then there’s inventions like The Great Bubble Barrier, which is an oxygen barrier that intercepts plastics in rivers, so it stops the plastic before it gets to the ocean, without harming fish or wildlife. Also, don’t believe everything you read, a lot of the information put online is to make you believe that all the solutions are there, so you don’t have to do anything! It’s called Greenwashing, and it’s a real thing. It’s also always a good idea to look a little deeper than the flash news, FB, Google etc are primary sources of info, but their algorithms only make you see certain things that you might already agree with, so it’s good to be open to doing research in areas you don’t always look at.
Switch to a Renewable Energy Company:
It’s the simplest thing you can do — 100% renewable energy companies are in most major countries now. All you have to do is call them and make the switch, it’s just administrative. We’ve done a little research, here are a few companies we’ve vetted to be 100% renewable, including Ecotricity, Engie and Good Energy.
The fashion industry emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined. You can make a massive difference with little effort, just by picking eco-conscious clothes that you will love and wear for life. You can go find local stores or independent brands where you know clothes are made locally and sustainably and find that one piece of timeless clothing rather than buying ten items from a big brand in a sale that you’ll never really wear. Also, you can be smart with fabrics that you’re choosing, like picking organic hemp, or there is also this fabric called Tencel Lyocell made from Eucalyptus that seems to be a super sustainable option for basics clothing based on our research. I was at the Plastic Museum popup in Miami last week brought to you by Lonely Whale, and Heron Preston is well on his sustainable journey and spoke about his collaboration with HP the printer maker, they developed a polybag (the plastic bag that every single t-shirt and article of clothing is shipped in across the world) made out of wood pulp! super coooool innovations coming
And one more important than ever – Join a Movement!
I’ve outlined some of my favourite movements below. You can get involved in all of these in one way or another.
Bye Bye Plastic – https://www.byebyeplastic.life
Bye Bye Plastic is a positive, exciting and easy way to dramatically downscale single-use plastic within the dance music industry. It’s all about solutions! DJs are joining our movement each week, via the #plasticfreeparty campaign which is launching imminently, asking clubs to use solutions for disposable plastic in the booth – then they can simply contact the Bye Bye Plastic Hotline for alternatives. Let’s move towards a greener, cleaner future through sustainable raving! If you’re a DJ or industry figure you can get involved – if you’re a raver, you can join the movement as an eco-warrior too, just check out the website or Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/byebyeplasticlife/
Extinction Rebellion – https://rebellion.earth
This is a movement which aims to use nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action. Celebrities such as Ellie Goulding, Chris Packham, Simon Amstell are ambassadors, calling on the government for action.
Project Zero – https://www.weareprojectzero.org
This global non-profit aims to put 30% of the ocean under protection by 2030, rebuild coral reefs and restore fisheries. It’s supported by renowned scientists, business leaders, campaigners, culture makers and ocean experts, and they’re calling out for change NOW.
Trash Pirates – www.trashpirates.org
I LOVE the Trash Pirates! They make sure events are as sustainable and waste free as possible by recycling and composting – they also ‘wear’ the trash they collect as opposed to hiding it, to make a statement and show the extent of the problem visible on their clothes and bodies.
Greta Thurnberg – Fridays For Future – https://www.fridaysforfuture.org
Greta’s international movement for school students to strike and demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change. There are strikes happening all over the world too, and you can always start your own!
#PlasticFreeJuly & #Veganuary
Social media-geared movements such as these are also great and spark discussions and habits that you can carry on after the month is up!
Music Declares Emergency – no music on a dead planet
MDE is a group of artists and music industry professionals standing together to act against climate change and calling on the government and powers that be to better protect our future as a society and our future generations. If you’re involved in the music industry in any way you can get involved with them!
Positive action starts with individual ones. Tackling climate change as a movement starts by re-injecting confidence in the power of the collective. LET’S EVOLVE TOGETHER!