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Pearl Jam – the band featuring lead vocalist Eddie Vedder – has launched a new initiative to offset the carbon footprint of their 2009 US tour.

The band has donated $210,000 to be used to plant trees in Washington, which band members hope will soak up the estimated 7,000 tons of carbon dioxide created by the 32-date tour.

“Pearl Jam is a band but we are also a business,” said guitarist Stone Gossard, who wants to create urban similar forests in Seattle, Kent, Kirkland and Redmond. “We’re seeing ourselves as a Washington business, a regional business that is acknowledging its carbon footprint and hoping to inspire other businesses.”

The guitarist thinks that most businesses can do something to slow climate change, and hopes to encourage other musicians to follow.

“The idea of a celebrity is fantastic in terms of raising awareness for a day or a week, but it needs consistent business policy in the long term,” he told Reuters. “It’s not going to kill your company and if anything it will enhance your company’s ability to sell whatever it is selling by being good stewards of the land.”

The band is known for its environmental work – in 2003 it donated $150,000 to help offset the carbon footprint created by the manufacture and distribution of their 2002 album, Riot Act.

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