Environmental activist Brett Edwards is envisioning a nation-wide school tour for his sustainability-representing alter-ego, Mr. Eco — but not before finishing up his last quarter at Cal Poly as a business administration senior.
Edwards released his debut album, “Get Green Or Die Trying,” this past spring, which featured parody tracks of rap songs embedded with energy-saving wisdom. One track, “Save So Hard” features Edwards rapping over a Kanye West and Jay-Z beat, with lyrics “Save so hard in the Redbrick dorms. Come on SLO. Save some mo’.”
The idea for Mr. Eco originally started during Edwards’ sophomore year in hopes of the alter-ego generating an outreach program for elementary school kids.
Two years, 13 videos and 32 elementary school performances later, the senior has been an active networker throughout his years at Cal Poly.
“I feel like I have created a legacy that will last at Cal Poly, but I’m ready to move on,” Edwards said. “I have been thinking national for about a quarter now. My hope is to empower the future leaders of America in the environmental movement.”
And Edwards is having no problem moving from a local to a national level. Edwards has been sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) for some time as Mr. Eco, and PG&E Marketing Program Director Debora Wilhelm said his work has allowed them to support sports as well as the Green Campus Program on Cal Poly’s campus.
“Mr. Eco has driven grassroots support for energy conservation, by producing Energy Saving Tip videos that play at home sports games,” she said. “In fact, Mr. Eco videos are now running at home sports games at San Jose State and Fresno State universities too.”
Edwards said he is also in talks with the people in media distribution for Whole Food Markets, and is hoping to release Hybrid Hip-Hop for sale in stores nationwide, he said.
“They are fans,” he said.
The homegrown superhero is also continuing work on his environmental-based parodies.
Edwards will release his next album titled “Hybrid Hip-Hop” this summer. The album will feature all original songs including his upcoming video for the single, “Recycle Robot.”
“When you recycle you do a little robot dance move,” Edwards said of the new video. “But you program robots, and when you do that little robot dance move, that is actually me programming you to be a ‘Recycle Robot.’”
The power-saving campus intern has run an energy competition in the redbrick dorms every year, in which he has the six residence halls compete against one another to see who can save the most energy in one month. He also created a video for Campus Dining called “The Clean Plate Club,” which he calls “an act of environmental activism and an attempt to reduce food waste.”
But now that he is moving on from Cal Poly, Edwards has had to spend some time figuring out his alter-ego’s future after college. Edwards spent fall quarter working on his senior project with a team of his colleagues to create a business model to turn Mr. Eco into a fully branded business.
Business administration senior Jake Disraeli is a self-declared Mr. Eco fan. Disraeli worked as Edwards’ teammate on senior project to create Mr. Eco’s business plan.
“You have to go to a Mr. Eco assembly to see it, but he’s a rockstar in the eyes of the kids,” Disraeli said. “Everywhere he goes, kids swarm around him asking for autographs on everything from baseball cards to T-shirts. It’s pretty remarkable.”