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Martin's Green Journey in Celebration of Earth Day

Posted by Martin Guitar

Martin’s commitment to the environment is deeply ingrained in our core values. As CEO and Chairman, Chris Martin, has said, “Protecting the environment and all of its precious resources has been at the forefront of my family’s business since its inception. 

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For example, in 1965 the 35-style, three-piece back was created in response to the desire to minimize waste, and maximize responsibly harvested tonewoods. In addition, the factory has been recycling string waste, soundholes, sawdust and more for decades. Today, 85% of the wood Martin purchases has been sustainably harvested.  

In celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd, we’re spotlighting a few of Martin’s green initiatives from the past year. 

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Reducing Single Use Plastic
Annually in January, the world’s musical instrument industry gathers for the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) tradeshow in Anaheim, California, drawing thousands of visitors.

To drastically reduce the amount of single use plastics at this four-day event, Martin partnered with REVERB  (reverb.org) and NAMM to provide free water-fill stations throughout the convention center. Attendees were encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles or purchase them at the NAMM gift shop. To help promote this effort, Martin gave away 1,000 water bottles the first day of the show. Read more about our partnership with Reverb here.

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Sustainable Tonewoods 
Since 1997, Martin has been purchasing tonewoods from certified sustainable sources. What’s more, Martin has continued to literally “walk the walk” of sustainable tonewood sourcing, when in 2019, our team of Sourcing Specialists ventured deep into the Republic of Congo to meet timber suppliers, government officials, and researchers. Read the full story here. 

String Recycling Program 
In August 2019, Martin announced an official partnership with D’Addario on the Playback string recycling program. This program was developed by D’Addario as a means to recycle guitar and orchestral strings which are not accepted through municipal recycling programs. This extremely successful program has already recycled millions of strings. 

Playback is powered by TerraCycle, an international upcycling and recycling company that aims to transform waste into new materials and products. With over 330 string recycling centers across the US, it’s easy for any musician to repurpose their strings responsibly. Learn more about the Playback String Program here. 

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Biannual Wood Summit
In June 2019, Martin organized the 7th Biannual Wood Summit to discuss sustainability in sourcing raw materials. Attendees included representatives from National Resources Canada, the World Resource Institute, the US Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Investigation Agency. The mission was to provide a multi-faceted view of the current state of responsible and sustainable sourcing of raw materials, and specifically address the exotic woods from which Martin and other manufacturers craft guitars. To read more about the Biannual Wood Summit, click here 

Martin makes every effort to treat every day like Earth Day. For more of our green initiatives and partnerships supporting sustainability, visit our Sustainability page. 

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