Mother Earth Living

"etown" Brings Sustainability to Radio Airwaves

Radio hosts bring sustainable lifestyle practices to the airways.
By Helen Forster
January/February 2004
Add to My MSN

Photo by Lewis Geyer

Content Tools

Related Content

Natural Stress Relief: Link Body and Mind

Consider one of these mind-body approaches to help manage your stress.

Concerned About Electromagnetic Fields? Here’s What You Can Do to Minimize Risks

There’s plenty you can do to protect yourself—inside your home and out—from the potential risks of e...

Music Saves Mountains: Dave Matthews and Patty Loveless Sing for the Hills

The Natural Resources Defense Council is teaming up with popular country, bluegrass and folk musicia...

Round Robin: Herb Music

Find out how colors and sounds collide harmoniously in an herb garden.

Making airwaves

Husband-and-wife team Nick and Helen Forster mix diverse music with an environmental message on their lively radio show, “etown.”

The message

The weekly hour-long “etown” show reaches listeners on more than 150 public and commercial stations nationwide. “We’re a vehicle for information and entertainment,” says Helen. “Instead of sermonizing about the environment, we let others tell their stories.”

Power of music

Thirteen years ago, while on tour in post-Soviet Eastern Europe with his Grammy-nominated bluegrass band Hot Rize, Nick was inspired by how concerts unite people. He decided a radio variety show could bring people together around issues affecting the environment and the health of communities.

Playin' our song

Rock, folk, jazz, world, country and bluegrass musicians visit “etown.” Guests have included Ani DiFranco, Arlo Guthrie, Barenaked Ladies, Beausoleil, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, David Crosby, Indigo Girls, Greg Brown, Loreena McKennett, Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett, Michelle Shocked, Natalie Merchant, Randy Newman, Shawn Colvin and Willie Nelson.

Folks talkin'

Between tunes, Nick and Helen interview authors, scientists, policymakers, activists and other environmental thinkers, including Jimmy Carter, Jane Goodall, Julia Butterfly Hill and Ralph Nader. Each week, an “e-chievement” award is presented to an ordinary citizen who has done extraordinary things. One winner is Larry Warnberg, an ­oyster farmer who developed an organic method of raising the shellfish.

Back stage

“Etown” tapes before a live audience at the historic Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colorado. To find a local radio station that broadcasts the show, check

Post a comment below.


Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.