From walking to class to driving cross-country to the many long plane rides that lay ahead of me, I have found that music can only entertain for so long. The written word, visual art and photography are often used to inform and educate on environmental issues facing us today, but what about audio? On my many a journeys where music wasn’t quite cutting it, I turned to podcasts. Here are a few of my favorite environmentally focused or nature oriented podcasts. So with the podcast app and earbuds in hand, take a listen!
Yale Climate Connections: Climate Connections effortlessly mixes stories, research and news, bringing together researchers, journalists, individuals, scientists, teachers, writers and so much more. From how story time can increase our appreciation of nature to green alternatives to burial and cremation, the podcast covers a range of topics that are sure to incite curiosity.
She Explores: I normally turn to She Explores when I am seeking adventure inspiration or a dose of women empowerment. The podcast is a gold mine of stories about incredible women who have broken off from the conveyor belt of a typical life and call the outdoors a second home. Take creativity, throw in a dash of adventure and a touch of feminism and you’ve got She Explores. The other day I was listening and I even found myself dying of laughter in the car as a woman detailed her experiences with her so-called outdoorsy boyfriend, conveniently named Leaf. Yes, Leaf. Comedy is also interspersed throughout the podcast. From renowned rock-climbers to environmentalists to women on the road to travelers, the podcast focuses on what lies in the core of all of us—an appreciation for nature and a desire to explore.
Costing the Earth: Costing the Earth is a podcast put on by BBC detailing our impact on the environment and how the environment reacts. Episodes focus on reasons to be optimistic, policy commentary in an age of Scott Pruitt, dialogue about where our waste goes, small town farm permaculture and so much more! The blog is a perfect example of the relationship between human and the environment and delves in to all the ways our actions affect our surroundings. One of my favorites detailed the effects of mass tourism and the potential resulting environmental destruction. For all the inquisitive and environmental humanities people out there!
The Adaptors: This is one is for those who like to mix things up and go beyond the practical or pragmatic. As I was driving through New Mexico last month, I couldn’t help but think of Taos, New Mexico, home of the Earthships. Sage brush deserts and intense sun provide a home to the community of solar homes made of up-cycled materials, tires, glass bottles and water collection systems. The off-the-grid houses are featured on an episode of The Adaptors and only begin to exemplify the quirky uniqueness of this podcast. Each episode, the host asks different guests what the one thing is that they would do to survive disastrous effects of climate change. Imagination runs wild and talks of ethics, science and innovation are woven into the dialogue along the way. Certainly entertaining!
Direct Current: For all the energy and policy gurus out there, this one is for you. In the same style of This American Life, Direct Current delivers story-telling through a humor, creativity and all things electricity. Run by energy.gov, the podcast covers energy topics from hydropower to the history of the lightbulb to clean energy. One of my favorites is the story of Ruth Huddleston who shares her once classified stories about her time at an Army facility in Oak Ridge.
Sustainability Defined: The Stuff You Should Know equivalent for environmentalists. Each episode details a concept or topic and features an interview with a sustainability professional. It’s a crash course for any burning environmental questions you may have and helSet featured imageps translate information that may be far less enjoyable if not in an entertaining podcast!
A few others to check out that are also great listening are Outside/In, Terrestrial and Living Planet. Enjoy diving into the world of audio!