Why did we release Burnt Tapes’ Grower on a tree?

Let’s talk about our latest release. Grower by Burnt Tapes came out last week. Instead of releasing their upcoming EP on a CD or vinyl record, the 4 tracks are available alongside a tree. 

Music… on a tree… Yep! Unusual, but if you’re reading this that means it grabbed your attention. Mission accomplished! 

Most music releases are swimming in plastic. From the material used for pressing, to packaging and merchandising. Since our revamp in 2018 we’ve focused on reducing the amount of plastic in our releases i.e CD’s can be released in digicard packaging rather than the widely used digipacks, an easy switch that lessens our impact greatly. At Lockjaw Records, we are always looking for ways to minimize our footprint by innovating and adjusting our day-to-day business and personal lives.

In the past we’ve had a lot of fun with new ideas, releasing music on coffee, frisbees and hot sauce. After a brainstorm session with Burnt Tapes, possibly inspired by the single ‘Greek Wood’ and our ever growing love of plants, we decided on trees. Why?

As guitarist, Phil, explains: “We wanted to do something a little different, more sustainable and planet-friendly. Something you can plant and nurture, and watch grow. Don’t get me wrong, we love a good band t-shirt! But we need more green spaces in order to tackle the climate emergency, and hopefully, we can raise more awareness about this through this initiative. And most of all provide you with some wholesome family fun”.

To help tackle the climate emergency

Let’s plant some trees and save the world? Well, unfortunately it’s not that simple. Planting trees has its benefits and is a great way to raise awareness of the climate emergency and to create a positive ripple effect in those around you. Much like music, trees and forests have a way of bringing people together. 

Along with oceans, wetlands and other habitat types, forests and trees are key in absorbing the excess CO2 from the atmosphere. As much as we should try to capture from the atmosphere, we should be reducing our emissions even more drastically. 

There are many individual actions we can take to do our part. And there are many things we can ask our governments to change. From the food we eat, what we wear, how we transport ourselves, where our energy comes from, how we organise our economy and so much more. Music Declares Emergency provides a great list of actions and resources to start with as music lovers, artists and industry professionals. 

There is so much to do apart from creating more green spaces. But it’s a great place to start.   

Trees and green spaces play an important role in temperature regulation in cities and urban areas. Stone and concrete buildings retain so much heat that it can make city life unbearable during the summer. Remember that heat wave a few weeks ago? Planting more trees and creating more green spaces can literally bring a much needed breath of fresh and cooler air. Interested in other ways trees in cities are beneficial? Read more here

To improve the local environment and biodiversity

In urban or industrialised areas, and even farmland, trees and hedges can act as stepping stones for local wildlife. They provide food and create safe pathways to move from one space to another without the risk of being spotted by predators or get hit by traffic.

When it comes to planting trees and creating new green spaces, it’s important to consciously choose native species to plant. These are better adapted to the local environment in various ways

  • They will grow better
  • They are more resilient and can withstand drought better
  • They are crucial for local biodiversity: they are a link or thread in the web that is the ecosystem. Local wildlife thrives on native species. 

This is why we’re choosing to get our trees from the Woodland Trust, a UK’s largest Woodland Conservation Charity. They protect forests and strive to create new, sustainable green spaces. Most of the trees you can purchase from them are native to the UK and most of Europe. 

Stuck on how to find out what species are native to your area? Get in touch with a local nature and wildlife organisation! They often have resources on their websites or even organise workshops that can help you rethink your outdoor space.

To improve mental health 

As for mental health, there’s no quick fix. It’s not as easy as saying “go outside and you will be happy forever”. If you are struggling, we highly recommend seeking professional help. There has been lots of research in the past few decades on the positive effects of nature on (mental) health. Spending time in nature has many benefits. A recent study by the National Trust showed that people who spend time outside actively noticing nature are happier than those who just use the outdoors for activities such as exercise. 

“Everyone’s been affected in very different ways by Corona. We are fortunate to have been healthy during this time, and we have tried to use it to reflect on ourselves and the world around us.” said Phil.

What can we do?

Sometimes the smallest of actions can create a world of change. 

Planting a small sapling may feel seemingly futile in a world where the climate emergency seems inevitable and the tides of change so great. 

But did you know that throughout it’s lifespan a beech tree will produce 6,600 kilograms of oxygen for living creatures. Which is enough oxygen produced for 10 people each year.

The climate problem is not going to be resolved in our lifetime, so we must look at actionable long term solutions. Taking small incremental steps regularly will help improve our environment, our future and our own physical and mental health. 

Planting a Grower Tree? Let us know and feel free to tag us in a picture! We are planning on planting more trees, so join the mailing list if you’d like to join us.

Let us know if you have any suggestions on actions or initiatives that we can take to help tackle the climate emergency. You can find more resources on environmentalism, climate emergency & nature conservation on our Social Justice page.