If the world population continues to pollute water, in less than 35 years, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. It’s a startling statistic, but it’s based on today’s rate of consumption. The more people learn about and invest in sustainability, the less true this will become.
Sustainability is more than a buzzword — it’s a way of negotiating the precious world we inhabit. Fortunately, there are people making sure everyone understands the consequences of their daily actions. Knowledge can provide incentive that no other tool can.
Here are some documentaries and podcasts that shine light on our resources and provide ways to live with an eye to conservancy.
Films About Food Sustainability
Netflix is a treasure — one thing it has become really good at is offering entertainment that educates. Films that discuss sustainability and what we eat are important — the industries selling those commodities won’t be forthcoming, and the FDA’s involvement doesn’t consider the global consequences of food choices. “Forks Over Knives” (2011) is a great example of how a film can teach us to eat more environmentally.
Some other films to screen about food and sustainability include:
- “Cowspiracy” (2014)
- “Food, Inc.” (2008)
- “Fed Up” (2014)
- “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” (2010)
Films About Environmental Impact
Environmental sustainability is about connection. Scientists have recently discovered that honeybees are in trouble globally. Though many blame this on pesticides, researchers think there is a link between the decline of honeybee colonies and agricultural practices. “More Than Honey” (2012) tackles this issue and explains how vital honeybees are to life on earth.
Known for its beautiful natural photography, National Geographic’s work in film has been similarly amazing. In its 2013 documentary, “Chasing Ice,” photographer James Balog installed a time-lapse camera in the Artic to document how fast glaciers are changing. What he finds isn’t surprising, but we can see how important it is to take global warming more seriously.
Don’t worry if you’ve screened those already. There are more films and series that explore both social sustainability and environmental.
Though a series rather than a film, “Planet Earth” (2006) should be on your list of documentaries to watch. Some films about sustainability can be challenging to watch — their job is to focus on serious problems and encourage everyone to change their habits. Planet Earth is an extremely hopeful look at the world around us.
Created by the BBC and filmed in high-definition, this 11-episode documentary won four Emmys. The cinematography is stunning, and it will make you love the miracle of earth all over again.
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Fashionable Podcasts About Sustainable Clothing
If you’re on the run and can’t sit still for a full-fledged movie, there are many podcasts you can listen to while raking leaves, going on a jog or cleaning the kitchen.
One important podcast concerning sustainability is “Sense and Sustainability.” The semi-weekly podcast is devoted to the exploration of diversity as it concerns sustainable development. With different guest speakers from a range of fields, the creators are working to provide a more holistic idea of sustainability. Educational but also clear and accessible, this podcast will spark thought and conversation.
Though fashion isn’t the first word that comes to mind when people talk about sustainable awareness, most of the clothing people purchase in the U.S. is made through non-sustainable practices, making them harmful to global industries, animals and the environment. A few podcasts that explain how to dress more ethically are available and free. Here are three of the most popular:
- “The Creative Giant Show.” This podcast is led by sustainable fashion strategist Shannon Whitehead. She explains how to marry business success in the fashion industry with sustainable clothing choices.
- “Conscious Chatter.” Started by Kestrel Jenkins, who spent years in the sustainable fashion industry, this podcast focuses on garments “made in the USA.” Some discussions include outsourcing and NAFTA, localized manufacturing and independent brands.
- “Bootstrapping It.” Also run by Shannon Whitehead but hosted by Vince Carter, the podcast includes interviews of entrepreneurs who have bootstrapped their businesses instead of engaging in venture capital funding. Expect honest talk about strategies and finances.
Podcasts for Understanding Environmental Sustainability
To understand what is happening in the world today, tune into “Sustainable World Radio: Permaculture & Ecology Podcast.” With news, commentary and interviews that tackle issues ranging from natural building to regenerative farming, this podcast offers positive solutions to issues of sustainability.
Another one to listen out for is “The Energy Gang.” Perhaps the most popular podcast regarding the renewable energy landscape, Energy Gang is a touchstone for professionals who are working to engage in environmentally sound and sustainable practices. Topics include regulatory policy, solar industries and energy efficiency.
Don’t have a lot of time to devote to an hour-long podcast? Try “The Climate Minute.” Though longer than a minute, it offers 20 minutes of climate news, discussions of renewable energy and local climate issues. From fracking to activism, the podcast doesn’t shy away from the challenges of sustainability.
Once you’ve listened to these, there are many other podcasts that can keep you updated on global initiatives regarding sustainability.
Find Fun Ways to Understand Sustainability
No matter how you learn, understanding sustainable practices from food to fashion will change your life and keep the earth rotating longer.