Seven years ago, Sammy Bananas realized he was flying a lot—and he realized that flying a lot meant he was increasing his carbon footprint. So he decided to do something about it by launching DJs for Climate Action, an annual drive that asks DJs and fans of DJs to donate money to a charity that helps offset carbon emissions.
Bananas, a DJ and producer on A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold label that also includes artists like Run the Jewels and Chromeo, wasn’t always a big flyer but once he began touring, it became a necessity. “All the flying I was doing actually put me above average,” he told EW, referring to his carbon footprint, “and I was trying to figure out some way to justify that without finding a completely new job, because I was enjoying what I was doing—still am.”
The money the DJs for Climate Action make doesn’t go to the same place each year, but each charity relates to the environment in some way or another: Last year, the money raised benefited Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts while this year, the donations will go toward MyClimate, a non-profit with a mission of protecting the climate.
Those who wish to donate can, of course, give as much as they’d like, but Bananas provides some guidelines for those who want to offset the amount of flying they do as precisely as possible. Attended one music festival this year? Donate $15. Flew 100,000 miles or more this year? Donate $500.
These amounts are based off of calculations made by sites included MyClimate, where you can plug in which cities you flew to and from to find out the volume of carbon dioxide emissions your flights gave off and how much you can donate to help offset those emissions. On MyClimate, the contributions go toward climate change projects like building energy-efficient stoves in Kenya and distributing solar and energy-efficient cookers in Madagascar.
Part of the appeal of DJs for Climate Action is that doesn’t tell anyone to stop what they’re doing, but just to do something additional to help balance out the negative effects of some of their actions. “It really is hard to tell someone, ‘no, no, you have to stop flying,’” Bananas says. “I can’t tell that to any of the other DJs I know who traveling is a huge part of their livelihood.”
Bananas continues to make changes to the drive each year in hopes it’ll gain more and more traction. After last year’s drive, he changed the name from DJs Against Climate Action to DJs for Climate Action—a small alteration, but one that conveys a much different message.
“It’s better to be for something than against something,” Bananas says. “So, you know, we’re for doing something as opposed to being against something that’s kind of hard to imagine its full scope.”