Saving the planet comes with getting to know the people who working hard to do that and one of the best ways to get to know them is to listen to Environmental Podcasts. These top 10 will inspire you to live more sustainably, I promise.
I've chosen Environmental Podcasts that cover a wide range of topics, from ethical fashion to fair trade, minimalism, climate change, diversity, eco-justice, solutions and so much more. I am sure you will find one you love from this list.
The best environmental podcasts
David Suzuki is my hero. I've had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing him many times over my 20-year career as an Environmental Journalist. He' always has so much to say and always leaves me so inspired. His new environmental science podcast focuses on the pandemic, how it uprooted our lives but at the same time has forced us to slow down and think about how we can live more sustainably for human health and the betterment of the planet and all its species.
If you have ever watched The Nature of Things on CBC, hosted by Suzuki, you know how engaging he is. You will hang onto every word of his podcast. The first five episodes are simply beautiful, each one focuses on a specific element, fire, air, water, air and spirit, with Suzuki narrating how each one of these concepts plays an integral part in our survival. All interlaced with thought leaders, indigenous leaders, conservationists and celebrities like Jane Fonda and Neil Young.
In Episode #3 Suzuki talk about how water is life. He chats with Jeannette Armstrong of the Penticton Indian Band about the importance of language when it comes to farming our world viewers. Armstrong says that "the water....is what we are". Learn about how the water cycles illustrate how everything is connected and when one part of the system is broken, the entire system is at risk.
He also chats with Autumn Peltier and Allie Rougeot, two young Canadian activists who are on the front lines of the water fight in Canada. They chat about what's at stake for young activists like themselves, as well as the importance of understanding environmental racism when it comes to water. With Peltier saying:
“Seeing that there were other kids my age and younger…never experiencing what it’s like to drink clean water from their taps. They weren’t able to do daily things like brushing their teeth or washing their hands or even taking a shower. This affected me. And I was like, ‘I need to do something about it,’ because I didn’t like that there were kids my age who were going to have to live like that.”
Allie Rougeot (Friday's For Future Toronto) tells us why intersectional environmentalism is more important than ever.
It was really hard to choose just one, Jane Fonda and Neil Young are both excellent listening too. I am sure you will enough his eco podcasts as much as I did. It's beautifully produced too.
If you know me well, you know I am obsessed with animals. Since I was a child I've been saving them, talking about them and writing about them. I actually think I chose the wrong profession, I should have been an animal activist or a marine biologist. Wild Voices Project, one of the best environmental podcasts on Spotify, and hosted by Matt Willimas, focuses on "the stories of people saving nature", I mean with a tagline that, how can you not love them.
Matt chats with filmmakers, conservationists and photographers. What I love most about this is the focus on people who are really invested in solutions to our current climate crisis
As someone who grew up in South Africa my love for elephants (well, all wildlife really) knows no bounds. When I see images of poaching I feel like someone is ripping my heart out of my body and stomping on it. It's unbelievably tragic and hard to bear.
Wild Voices: from horror movies to the plight of the Asian elephant, Ashley Bell is a powerful and sometimes gut-wrenching look at the realities these animals face. She talks about seeing deforestation firsthand and how that changed her. She also highlights the many threats Asian elephants face, they are endangered and are used for almost all business in Asia, kike logging and entertainment. Did you know there are unemployed elephants? What happens to them? And what is being done to help? This is a riveting, eye-opening look at the life of an elephant. Ashely Bell is a filmmaker and creates environmental podcasts and documentaries.
Wild Voices: revolutionizing our understanding of chimpanzees, Dr. Jane Goodall
One of my favourite episodes from Wild Voices is Kate Snowden's chat with another earth hero Jane Goodall. If you have not been blessed to hear her speak, I highly suggest you give this a listen. They talk at length about Roots and Shoots, a Youth Advisory Council that brings together passionate youth leaders from across Canada all working together to raise awareness around conservation and the important role it plays in our survival.
Goodall is inspired by how the younger generation is taking steps to reduce global warming. She also talks about her works with chimps and we can look to them for examples of our own survival.
Hosted by Julia Carr-Catzel this podcast about the environment is a fascinating look at sustainability topics through an intersectional lens. She covers tips about waste, wealth, and really digs into the impact of consumption. This is an excellently produced podcast. I've enjoyed every episode so much.
#120 Climate Conflict and Mass Migrations illustrate first-hand accounts of global warming on people in parts of the developing world. What do higher temperatures mean for these communities? How will the migration of millions of people affect the globe? "When people have nothing to eat, they take up a gun to survive" this is one example, one that is happening right now in parts of Africa. In this episode, Carr-Catzel talks about bloody clashes in Nigeria between farmers and nomadic herders both looking for viable farmland. It's a riveting look at this topic.
Carr-Catzel also covers topics like #117 Periods and the Environment. The show opens with her on the street asking men if they know what a menstrual cup is! It's a hilarious beginning to this environmental podcast. In this episode, she chats with a range of excerpts about the impacts of period paraphernalia on the planet and taboos surrounding it.
This was one of the first podcasts about the environment that I ever listened to. We go way back. The Green Divas (and green Dudes) have been around for over 10 years and have so many topics to choose from. Most of them are presented in a humorous way by host Megan McWilliams. Find topics about current events, green living tips, and climate concerns. Some of the topics that stand out are:
Sexy tortoises, hugging trees & eco-travel
Giraffes, death & climate optimism
The Art Of Change
One of my favourite episodes is: Wildlife: threats & hope For 2019. There is so much good stuff in here. Megan chats with John Platt, the editor of The Revelator. An award-winning environmental journalist, who chats about the year ahead for wildlife around the globe. The experts predict three major threats, the news isn’t all bad. Even though it's from 2019, there are many lessons still to be learned. Coral bleaching, melting sea ice and extreme weather. But what really stood out to me is how all of this is driving the illegal wildlife trade. Give it a listen!
Hosted by Clare Press, an Australian Sustainable Fashion Journalist this is one of the best eco podcasts for everything related to ethical and sustainable fashion. From fashion to culture, active and the environment each episode offers something poignant to dig your teeth into.
Back in 2016 Press wrote a best-selling book called Wardrobe Crisis, How We Went From Sunday Best to Fast Fashion, it's a really great read if you want to know more about fashion and climate change.
Podcast 104, Adam Minter - reuse, recycle & the second-hand economy
Getting people to think about buying second-hand is more important than ever. In this episode Press talks to the author Adam Minter, author of Junkyard Planet. They talk about all the stuff we buy, where it ends up when we are done with it and why there are issues with all of this. Press collects fashion books and chats about what would happen to those books if she was no longer here. Minter tells us that we are all intrinsically hoarders. It's a very candid chat on the waste we create!
Podcast 116, Animals Have Feelings Too - Compassion in World Farming's Philip Lymbery
Dives deep into the ethics of industrial farming and poses the question: Is being vegan the answer?
Lymbery is the CEO of Compassion in World Farming and author of Farmageddon. This was a very confronting episode as we know that the facts about factory farming are not pretty. But it's important to know where your food comes from and how it's "manufactured'!
Globally, meat consumption has quadrupled in 50 years. “We rear and slaughter 74 billion farm animals every year. For every 1 person on Earth that’s 10 animals,” says Philip. Let that sink in!
Hosted by Jay Siegel and Scott Breen this eco podcast is their words "Sustainability is too ambiguous. Our podcast defines it." I love that! Each show focuses on a different topic and features a wide range of great experts. They are a funny duo that offers some really great insight into each topic.
Episode 54: Racism and the Modern Environmental Movement with Faith Briggs (Global Works Community Fund)
There is probably no more important issue than Environmental racism. The modern-day eco-movement is traditionally very white, or at least that's what we have been forced to believe based on what we see on mainstream media. But BIPOC has been walking the walk and talking the talk for generations. And if you are an environmentalist like me, you simply cannot talk about a viable planet without addressing the issue of racial inequality.
In this eye-opening episode, Jay and Scoot talk to Faith Briggs, a racial justice advocate and trail-blazing filmmaker. The episode begins with the history of racism in the environmental movement. Throughout the show, they talk to BIPOC leaders about their perspectives and how to dismantle racism within environmental organizations.
The candid conversation with Briggs is amazing. She talks about how the social justice movement exists outside of inter-sectionalism. And the origins of how certain movements have done more harm than good for people of colour. It's MUST see or in this case, must listen.
Is presented by Water Savvy Solutions, policy research and communications strategy firm. Each week they present a topic related to voices that have historically been underrepresented environmentalists, from Trans, Black, Queer and Indigenous each episode promotes a more diverse and inclusive environmental movement. Subjects range from wildlife conservation to youth education.
Episode 25: Reclaiming Indigenous Rights to Food Sovereignty
Host Sapna Mulki interviews Dr. Mariaelena Huambachano, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Society and Community Studies and Director of Biodiversity Protection and Indigeneity at the University of Wisconsin, about public food policies for food sovereignty and the role of Indigenous knowledge to improve food security and environmental policies.
Dr. Huambachano talks about how salmon in Canada is a crucial part of food sovereignty for Indigenous cultures and how this is now at risk of overfishing. She also touches on water pollution and provides tips on what we can do to better stewards of the earth. We have so much to learn from BIOPC. We need to start LISTENING more.
I had the chance to meet and talk to host Brooke McAlary when she stopped by CTV (my day job) to talk about her new book SLOW. Which BTW is really good, I highly recommend it.
McAlary's podcast and book have an underlying theme, that we are all over-worked (yep), over-stressed (yep) and always trying to keep up with the Joneses. Her podcast is all about getting back to what really matters, family, time spent with loved ones and most notably getting rid of all the stuff that bogs us down thanks to our obsession with consumption.
Each episode is so lovely to listen too.
The most current episodes offer candids chat about COIVD, how to cope with kids and solutions like meditation to help. I love them all. The older ones are my favourites.
Permaculture in a crisis with Robyn Rosenfeldt
In this episode, Brooke and her co-host (hubby) talk to Robyn Rosenfeldt about permaculture principles in the time of COVID. They chat about three main pillars people care, earth share and a fair share. They talk a lot about community and how many people are choosing to reframe what community looks like and how they establish and maintain it in a rapidly changing world. I love their chat about teaching kids that are older about sustainability and leading a more eco life. They note that it's easier when kids are younger.
It's a candid, honest conversation about eco-guilt and how kids are coping. It's amazing! And if that was not enough, get tips on how to grow your own food and much more!
I chat a lot about non-toxic living on The Eco Hub so of course, this eco podcast is on my list. Hosted by Alexx Stuart each episode tackles questions about the health of our bodies and minds. Like her book Low Tox Life, it's all centred around reducing our exposure to unwanted chemicals. Each episode will make you think and re-evaluate some of the items you have in your home.
Show #133: Professor Alfred Poulos on The Secret Life of Chemicals
In this show, they talk about Poulos' research on the health effects of plastic packaging, why we need to care about pesticides in our food and toxic metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury and how these nasties have made their way into our food stream. How to spot the symptoms and solutions.
Is a Canadian environment podcast hosted by Elsbeth Callaghan. Shows range from slow food to slow fashion and everything in between. Get practical tips on how to live a low waste life and how to apply those changes to your community. I love the podcast about Stay At Home Activins and what that looks like right now. Also tips on how to raise eco kids.
063 • Urban Composting
Because composting is one of the BEST things you can do to live more sustainably. In this episode, Elsbeth chat with the owner of Bennett Compost Tim about how to set up a compost bin at home, how to turn your food waste into viable soil and what actually goes in your green bin! It's a very educational chat on everything you need to know regarding composing. And since the average Canadian household waste over 300 pounds of food a year, it's time to get listening, eh!
The bottom line when it comes to environmental podcasts
Listen to them all, there are probably more than 50 that I could have added to this list. I wanted to give you a well-rounded bunch to explore, each of them offering something unique. I love to learn about people's stories, it's why I became a journalist. A podcast is something we can listen to no matter what we are and it's FREE!
What are your favourite environmental podcasts, please share in the comments below.
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