Hey, hey, my cotton… but only if it’s organic, says Neil Young

Neil Young
CC BY 2.0 Kim Erlandsen - NRK P3/Flickr

Neil Young may be looking for a heart of gold, but he hopes she is wearing a blouse of organic cotton.

Young recently announced a boycott against non-organic cotton and banned the sale of non-organic cotton t-shirts at his concerts and on his website.

"I vow to speak up & to do what I can to PROTECT EARTH," Young wrote on his site. “Take a personal vow, as I have, to make a difference in any way you can.”

Young began to encourage fans to join his boycott during his last tour of Europe, where he handed out free organic cotton t-shirts.

On his site, he explained the motives behind the campaign, emphasizing the heavy use of pesticides and fungicides in cotton growth.

“Cotton is second for most pesticide use of all crops and it uses 25 percent of all the petrochemical based pesticides, fungicides and herbicides globally,” he worote. “These chemicals absorb in the soil which can affect nearby brops, get into water supplies and rivers and affect many lifeforms downstream.”

Also on Young’s list of concerns was the amount of water that goes into cotton growth. Cotton is one of the most water intensive crops, and we’ve written about it a number of times.

“2,700 liters of water is used to grow the cotton for just 1 t-shirt!!! (and that doesn’t even account for the processing dying etc….),” he added. “That’s enough water for 1 person to drink for 900 days or enough water to flush your (non low flow) toilet 270!”#

This is Young’s second environmental stand in the last month – he recently paired up with the Rainforce Alliance to fight illegal logging. We’ll keep an eye out for his next move.