Environmental rap superhero spreads clean energy message

The battle to clean the air and water is expected to be a great challenge, testing the mettle of all who partake.

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization crossed paths with one superhero who may turn the tide. Mr. Eco, aka Brett Edwards, attends California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. He came to our attention in 2011 after we spotted his video "Turn Em Out (Official Parody)." At the most recent count, Mr. Eco has 31 videos on his youtube channel that have racked up about 21,000 views.

"You Can't Find Me in the Tub: Official Mr. Eco Parody" is his latest. It unveils his new costume and ecomobile. "You Can't Find Me In The Tub" is done to 50 Cent's "In Da Club" and is off Mr. Eco's parody album, "Get Green Or Die Trying."

Here's how Mr. Eco describes his most recent work: "The song encourages water conservation by using low flow shower heads instead of taking baths. The video was filmed in San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach and Cayucos. It features cameos from Mr. Eco's sidekick 'Lil Nico' and Matt Damon as well of a lot of Brita raising in da club."

Here's a question and answer session Mr. Eco so kindly agreed to:

SJVCEO: What got you interested in green issues and green energy specifically?

Mr. Eco: My AP Environmental Science class my junior year of high school at Clovis West. Without Mr. Mirigian there would be no Mr. Eco! I had a passion for wildlife before that, but I was awakened to the environmental issues in that class.

Mr. (Michael) Mirigian: As a teacher (now retired) we all dream of the day when we discover that a former student has taken to what we expose them and develop it into something of their own interpretation and interest. That is Brett "Mr. Eco" Edwards. While enrolled in my AP Environmental Science course, Brett always demonstrated his ability to "make connections" between all of the topics we discussed. He is a true critical thinker.

SJVCEO: Is there anything that what you’re learning now that could be translated into furthering green activities in the San Joaquin Valley?

Mr. Eco: No doubt what I am learning now could be translated into furthering green activities in SJV. There is a ton of improvement toward sustainability that needs to be made in the Valley, and I hope Mr. Eco can do projects there in the future.

SJVCEO: You come from an area with generally the worst air in the nation. Does that influence what you do as Mr. Eco?

Mr. Eco: It influenced my video Prince of Fresh Air. "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csbu4wXFwWY." I remember only being able to see certain mountains from Fresno after rainy days growing up. That is ridiculous. The air quality sucks and is going to take a change in the way people commute to make a difference. Asthma amongst children is horrific and it is prevalent in the Valley.

SJVCEO: What’s your major?

Mr. Eco: Business, Entrepreneurship concentration. I plan to make the green "money" to save the green "environment."

SJVCEO: What high school in the Valley did you attend?

Mr. Eco: Clovis West Eagles! I graduated in 2009.

SJVCEO: Who came up with the idea of Mr. Eco?

Mr. Eco: I did with the help of my sister, who is my biggest supporter musically. I used to rap in high school with the persona Mister E. My sister said, "You should rap about going green," after I became an intern for the Green Campus Program at Cal Poly, and I ran with the idea from there.

SJVCEO: Does Mr. Eco have a support team? If so who are they and what are their opinions of this green energy movement?

Mr. Eco: My family is my biggest support team. They support the green energy movement, but I there is a lot of room for improvement at my parents house in Fresno. Mikhail Sarkhosh is my film director, we work really well together and he is a part of the team. He has adopted some sustainable habits; I at least have him thinking about it now especially when we are filming because I make us be as sustainable as possible.

SJVCEO: What is your take on the green energy movement?

Mr. Eco: If I had a million dollars, I would invest it all in wind and solar. I truly believe they are going to take off. We need to get rid of our dependency of coal, oil and natural gas. Period.

SJVCEO: How important is this issue to your generation?

Mr. Eco: Vitally. We are at the point in time where we are on top of a mountain. If we continue our path, we will fall down and kill the earth. If we rethink our path, we can safely travel back down the mountain. We have to learn how to do more with less resources. This Earth can't support 7 billion people with our rate of consumption and resources.

SJVCEO: There’s been a lot of hoopla surrounding green jobs. What are you seeing out there? Are any friends getting hired or internships in the sector?

Mr. Eco: Yes, a lot of friends I have met through the Green Campus Program have graduated and been hired into green jobs. Two examples, one is a sustainable program director for a school district in Long Beach and the other is a consultant and a green engineering firm in San Diego.

SJVCEO: What’s Mr.Eco planning in the coming months & this summer?

Mr. Eco: I am going on school assembly tours this spring! They are part of my "Get Green Or Die Trying" parody album release on Earth Day April 22. http://mrecomusic.com/getgreenordietrying. This summer, I am traveling to Costa Rica with International Student Volunteers. Also, if I win America's Next Eco-Star I will be traveling to Austria for a sustainability conference.

SJVCEO: What job do you plan to pursue upon graduation?

Mr. Eco: An environmental rap superhero, I shall call him Mr. Eco.

Editor's note: See more about Mr. Eco at mrecomusic.com.