Going green has become top of mind for artists big and small in the past few years, via everything from carbon offsets to philanthropy. Below, Billboard spotlights 10 acts that, through their actions in the past 12 months, are making a major difference with environmental issues and inspiring their peers to do the same.

1. JACK JOHNSON
"In this new eco-green world, every issue is a green issue," says Jack Johnson, who's taken steps to reflect that reality in his recording and touring choices. At the Los Angeles headquarters of his Brushfire Records-a cozy single-family home on warm-and-fuzzy Larchmont Boulevard-this Live Earth veteran and his business partners recently oversaw construction of a new recording studio insulated with used denim and powered in part by solar panels located on the roof. "It was an investment for sure, which will take a good number of years to get a return on financially," Brushfire managing director Josh Nicotra says. "But in terms of environmental impact, the returns are immediate, so we were happy to do it." (Recent bookings at the studio include Neil Halstead, Mason Jennings and Vampire Weekend.) Johnson, a lifelong surfer who splits his time between homes in Oahu and Santa Barbara, Calif., says that he inherited much of his ecological awareness from his dad, who viewed recycling, reusing and repairing as simple facts of life. Johnson also describes his activism as the natural outgrowth of spending his downtime in two of the world's most gorgeous locations. He will continue giving back to Hawaii with his April 19-20 Kokua Festival, at which he will perform with Dave Matthews. Proceeds benefit the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports environmental education in the state's schools and communities. And for his 2008 tour in support of "Sleep Through the Static," Johnson has updated his so-called "EnviroRider," requiring venues to reduce waste and recycle. In addition, the tour's trucks and coaches will run on biodiesel, while catering will emphasize locally grown and organic foods. This guy means business: "You will be required to notify the Jack Johnson organization no later than 60 days prior to the event if there is any possibility of noncompliance with these requirements," the rider reads, before threatening to withhold 5% of payment from venues that fail to produce documentation of cooperation by 10 days after Johnson's concert. Just call him the jolly green giant.

2. WILLIE NELSON
Willie Nelson's BioWillie biodiesel fuel, which is already sold in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, California and Tennessee, will add a key location when Willie's Place at Carl's Corner, Texas, opens this summer. The truck stop, built on the site of the first outlet to carry BioWillie, is located just off busy truck route I-35, which runs from the Mexican to the Canadian border. Billed as the biggest green truck stop in the United States, the facility will include 13 islands and 26 pumps, and all fuel sold there will have some percentage of biofuel, ranging from 5% to 85%. The facility will feature two restaurants, a saloon, gift shop, a 750-seat performance hall and an XM Satellite Radio studio. Nelson, who does an XM radio show every Wednesday with legendary trucking DJ Bill Mack, says biodiesel is catching on with truckers. "I talk to all the truckers going up and down the highway, and they tell me they use it, they like it, it's good for the engines and they get good gas mileage," he says. "Truckers have been the ones who have spread the word about biodiesel as much as anybody."

3. MANÁ
In 1993, Mexican rock quartet Maná released "Vivir Sin Aire," a song that likened not having a loved one to living without air. It was a deliberate parallel that few people got, even when the song became a regionwide hit. "We were already talking about global warming, but no one understood," frontman Fher Olvera says. "Now they understand perfectly." Long before being green was cool, Maná was a tireless advocates for environmental causes through its nonprofit Selva Negra foundation, launched in 1994. Selva Negra's projects range from saving endangered species like the sea turtle to massive reforestation efforts, in tandem with programs that seek to change the way entire communities live and use their land. But the group's most ambitious and potentially far-reaching endeavor is a proposal to make environmental and ethics classes part of the curriculum for all of Mexico's schoolchildren. The project, developed with government officials and Mexico's Universidad Autónoma, was put before Congress last year, and included the development of textbooks and special teacher training. This March, it launched in 5,000 schools with plans to go nationwide by year's end. "This is what's needed to raise a generation that sees things different. That understands that one thing leads to another," Olvera says.

4. DAVE MATTHEWS BAND
Dave Matthews Band doesn't want to go green alone: It is willing to go green for everyone else, too. The band, through environmental nonprofit Reverb, has calculated the CO2 emissions from every stop on its upcoming extensive summer tour and has purchased the renewable energy credits through NativeEnergy to make up for the footprint left by each venue, hotel, flight, tour vehicle and even fan travel. But DMB devotees can make their own contributions by signing up to a carpool service online. Tour buses and trucks this summer will run on biodiesel and, backstage, the band plans to feast on local and organic foods on their reusable catering products. The five-piece plans to continue erecting an "eco-village" at each show to inform concertgoers of ways they can help save the environment. Bassist Stephan Lessard also told Billboard recently that the band wants to integrate issues of water conservation into the mix. His interest extends from his contributions to scoring the recent IMAX documentary "Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk," which brings to light water economy and ecology in the United States.

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