Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. See main page for full contents

September 25, 2009


Tree Hugger - Fender Musical Instruments Corp and Goodrich Aerostructures Group were both fined by the US Environmental Protection Agency for improper storage and handling of hazardous waste. . . In total, Fender received fines of $78,861 and Goodrich was fined $66,500 for several charges related to their improper storage and handling of hazardous wastes on their property. . . While guitars might seem pretty innocuous - just take some wood, cut it into a guitar shape, pull some strings tight over wooden frets and you're ready to rock. But actually, guitars go through quite a bit of shellacking and coating before they hit the stage, which often involve nasty chemicals.

Elizabeth Seward, Green Change - Some girls melt when they smell roses. I, on the other hand, melt when I walk into an acoustic room in a music store. The myriad smells from the collection of guitars is overpowering. Those intoxicating smells are, of course, particular to each wood used for each guitar. And no matter how good they all smell, some of these types of wood aren't good to use for guitar-making.

Frankly, there are a whole lot of guitars being sold each day that are made with wood from trees that are not sustainable. I don't care if you're Jimmy Page or the girl playing down the street at the coffee shop-you should be buying guitars made from sustainable materials. . .

Martin, one of my favorite guitar companies, recently released one of the greenest guitars on the market. It's called the D Mahogany 09. It's an acoustic guitar and it's made from wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The guitar is made of mahogany and spruce. While both types of wood are a challenge to find certified, Greenpeace joined up with Martin a few years back to make this possible. . . Gibson is another guitar company with FSC-certified woods-but most of their certified guitars are electric. Other guitar companies, like Modulus, Sound Wood, and Eco Timber are experimenting with alternative wood that are more sustainable than treasured tropical wood, like mahogany or rosewood, for their guitars. They're using non-endangered wood, like granadillo, chechen, red cedar, chakte, kok, and soma.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please to take exception at the notion that 'grenadillo' is non-endangered.
Grenadilla, or more correctly Mpingo, is very much threatened.
Once prized for its density, machinability, and sonic qualities, grenadilla had been the wood of choice for flutes, clarinets, oboes, as well as many other musical applications.
It has been harvested at unsustainable rates and there've not been adequate yields to meet demands for over three decades, now.

September 28, 2009 9:09 AM  

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