“I have taken the steps to remove sales of non-organic t-shirt and other products that damage the Earth from my concerts and my web stores.”

Well, you heard the man; Neil Young says no to non-organic cottons!


This already environment-loving rock star made the exciting announcement, at his European concert, that he would be boycotting non-organic cottons in order to help the planet. He even created a list of facts about cotton production for his website in the hopes of persuading fans to follow his lead.

There are multiple problems with conventional cotton products, one of which being the fact that cotton crops are pesticide-intensive. About 25 percent of pesticides, 16 percent of insecticides, and 6.8 percent of herbicides worldwide are used to grow cotton–on only 2.5 percent of the world’s agricultural land. These toxic substances wreak havoc on the environment by polluting groundwater and even damaging the health of non-targeted animals and humans.

Seeing that it can take approximately one-third of a pound of fertilizer to create a single t-shirt, it seems we’ve got a whole lot of cleaning up to do if we wish to continue making cotton products.

To make matters worse, cotton requires up to 2,700 liters of water for production alone. According to Young’s website, that is enough water to quench one human’s thirst for up to 900 days! With those numbers, water should be considered a main ingredient in cotton production.


Fortunately, there are many alternatives to cotton that get an eco-friendly seal of approval. You may also want to consider transitioning away from conventional cottons to organic cottons and even hemp products. You can go an extra step by modifying the efficiency of your daily clothes-washing routines, helping to reduce further water waste. If you want to go all-out as a Green Monster, you could also start using clothes lines instead of drying machines in order to reduce your carbon footprint.

In the end, Neil Young asks that we, “take a personal vow…to make a difference in any way you can. Share the information you find here and elsewhere that illuminates the threats and the solutions to PROTECT EARTH.”

Rock on, Neil.

Image source: Per Ole Hagen / Wikimedia Commons