As we face the reality of climate change, many of us are eager to become informed about the past, present, and future of the environment we live in. The climate conversation is more widespread now than ever before, reaching people all over the world through news, protests, social media, documentaries, and books. But that’s not all – people are also taking action via the humble podcast.
All hail the podcast – a saviour for the time-poor, a hero for the audio-inclined, and generally an enjoyable way to learn and be present. Today, there’s a wealth of podcasts related to the environmental movement, from breaking down eco jargon to growing your own food; from racism and the great outdoors to conservation efforts, and beyond.
Here is our round-up.
Sustainable Asia, a Hong Kong-based org that produces eco-related content, hosts three podcast shows: Trash Talk HK, Green Bites, and Sustainable Asia Podcast. Trash Talk HK provides tips and tricks on how to dispose of waste, while Green Bites offers ten-minute episodes on recent environmental news in Asia. The last podcast is perhaps the most informative, consisting of in-depth discussions with other NGOs about environmental health in China and Asia. The company also produced a five-part audio documentary called Eight Million, highlighting the 8,000,000 tonnes of plastic that enter the ocean each year with a focus on China’s waste policies.
Well-researched, accessible, and hilarious, Sustainababble is a comedy podcast about the environment. Led by Ol and Dave – ‘professional tree huggers’ – the show sifts through eco myths and climate confusion in order to get to the truth, all while cracking jokes and keeping things casual with its loose, chatting-to-a-mate style.
Live Wide Awake
We couldn’t compile a podcast guide without including Live Wide Awake from Green is the New Black’s founder, Steph L Dickson. Digging deep into climate change, sustainability, and spirituality, this podcast encourages listeners to wake up and become empowered and conscious about the world around them, as well as their own lives. Exploring the vital link between human wellbeing and planet health, Live Wide Awake emphasises that healing is an inside out job. Each episode features a super conscious guest, from the director of A Plastic Ocean to intersectional activists.
Do you believe that fashion and fairness can go hand-in-hand? So does Kestrel, Conscious Chatter’s host. Kestrel is a style maven, former People Tree employee, and a big believer in the ability to create and purchase clothing that’s ethical without compromising style or standards. Conscious Chatter runs the gamut when it comes to industry topics, discussing our present and our future in a variety of areas (from sustainable materials to racism) with guests from a whole array of professional backgrounds. Its tagline says it all: ‘100% Intentional Fashion. Unlearn, relearn and repeat’.
The Art of Conservation
The goal of this South African podcast is to ‘bring unity and a greater sense of collaboration in global conservation efforts’. Wildlife conservation is a topic of great importance to the country, and through the informed, articulate, passionate discussions on this podcast, it shows. Covering everything from captive breeding to dehorning rhinos, The Art of Conservation is on a ‘relentless pursuit of truth’ as South Africa faces continual changes and obstacles in its conservation efforts.
Brown Girl Green
Hosted by Kristy Drutman, an environmental media host, activist, and digital media strategist, Brown Girl Green interviews change-makers about diversity, inclusion, and creative solutions in conjunction with climate change. From discussing racial equality and the outdoors to exploring self-care in the time of climate change, every episode is imbued with Kristy’s passion for what she does and her eagerness to learn from her guests.
In 2018, Kamea Chayne (a GITNB Green Warrior), the brain behind Conscious Fashion Collective directory and Thrive: An Environmentally Conscious Lifestyle Guide to Better Health and True Wealth, launched her own podcast Green Dreamer. The show connects with listeners who are interested in reaching equilibrium, wellness, and alignment with themselves and the Earth. So far, Kamea has spoken to over 300 changemakers via this inclusive, intersectional podcast, with topics ranging from supporting tribal communities to addressing light pollution.
How to Save a Planet
Bold, brilliant, and badass, this Spotify-original podcast tackles climate’s biggest questions head-on in a bid to help us quell our worries about the future and feel empowered to take action. Hosted by journalist Alex Blumberg and scientist Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, How to Save a Planet dive-bombs into everything from the lack of a climate anthem to ‘the beef with beef’, managing to keep it both real and hilarious along the way.
The Bad Activist
The Bad Activist is a podcast spearheaded by Bad Activist Collective, a space for folks who are passionate about combatting systems of oppression and campaigning for people and the planet. In its own words, the show ‘explores the trials and tribulations of trying to be a perfect activist in an utterly imperfect world’. Instead of telling listeners what’s right or wrong, or talking at them, the podcast focuses on hearing new perspectives and learning new things, all through meaningful conversations with guests and pals.
All The Small Things
Lead by Venetia La Manna (who previously hosted podcast Talking Tastebuds), All The Small Things is a weekly podcast honing in on the rituals and routines that keep us going. Venetia speaks to a variety of guests, from writers to monks, about the little things that provide them with much-needed structure and respite, as well as discussing seemingly small moments in their lives that turned out to be extremely impactful and poignant.
Getting in the Loop
If you’re looking for a broad insight into the circular economy (and how it can progress), Getting in the Loop is a must-listen. Hosted by designer Katie Whalen, this show offers two different episode formats: specific questions (‘What’s the role of marketing in a circular economy?’) and overviews (‘Circular fashion, zero waste, and closing textile loops’). Expect informed, influential expert guests currently working within the circular space.
Climate denialism – it’s very real and very dangerous. Drilled channels the gritty, suspenseful true crime vibe to retell the dark side of the sustainability movement. The investigative show spans five seasons, each with its own theme (including fraud and most recently, of course, lockdown), and aims to explore ‘the propaganda campaign of the century’.
Costing the Earth
This BBC Radio 4 podcast has been running since 2007, taking a closer look at the impact of humans on the environment. You can expect a vast array of topics, from bushfire animal rescues to robots in farming, with each episode featuring expert interviews or a panel discussion with the host asking multiple knowledgeable guests for their thoughts.
A Sustainable Mind
What began as a thesis project for Marjorie Alexander’s degree has turned into a super accessible, informative podcast. The focus of each episode is a ‘mind’ behind the most impactful eco campaigns, businesses, and projects. More than just a podcast about the environment, A Sustainable Mind is also about the diversity in this arena – something that Marjorie found was lacking as a young woman of colour attending conferences and events. Her show manifesto? “Anyone, from a middle school student to a retiree, and everyone that is not necessarily educated on the topics at hand should be able to listen with ease”.
Sustainable World Radio
For budding gardeners and farmers out there, Sustainable World Radio’s got you. This podcast is ideal for anyone looking to grow their own food (we’re loving the Grow Your Own Apothecary Garden episode!) or learn more about permaculture, ecology, urban farming, plants, and beyond. With the help of experts, the show highlights the importance of nature and how we can both live alongside it and learn from it.
With a focus on natural disasters and, more specifically, how different communities respond to them, The Response explores approaches to (and products of) disaster relief in different places and sectors – think everything from structural racism in the Grenfell Tower fires to radical methods of disaster relief in New York. It also hosts Q&A’s with a variety of experts and sensitively retells the stories of those on the ground, many of whom have never been given a platform on which to share their experience.
Practical(ly) Zero Waste
Pratical(ly) Zero Waste is your go-to practical podcast. Whether you’re looking to start a zero-waste journey or you’re eager to take it to the next level, this weekly show hosted by Elsbeth (a ‘regular human being’) offers practical ideas and solutions to our massive waste problem. Geared with the knowledge that small steps can lead to something big, Practical(ly) Zero Waste enables and encourages every listener to make little changes in order to be waste-free.
Bioneers: Revolution from the Heart of Nature
It can be easy to forget that sustainability is about people as much as the environment. Offering something different to most mainstream sustainability podcasts, Bioneers focuses on the stories of grassroots leaders and the people at the heart of the movement. Each episode is brimming with compassion, depth, and empathy, and combines humanity with real solutions (what the non-profit organisation is known for).
The Guardian’s Climate Change Series
In this 12-part series, the Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, enlists the help of his team in order to take on climate change. Straying from the usual format of podcasts, this show is made up of conversations in real-time between the team members. From how they can take steps in their personal lives to the complex relationship between the environment and their role as a media institution, the team strives to make change and engage their readers in a new way.
In this podcast, Doug Parsons, an ecologist and climate change adaptation expert, meets a variety of people around the US – from the LGBTQ community in New Orleans to victims of Californian wildfires – as they deal with the reality of climate change. His reach also goes beyond those on the ground to politicians, therapists, authors, and scientists, with whom he dives into specific concepts including climate fiction, eco-anxiety, and the relationship between national security and climate change.
Anne Therese, a self-proclaimed ‘climate optimist’, is the host of Hey Change, a podcast aiming to find and tell positive stories about the climate movement. Anne, who also founded an ethical modelling agency, recognises that our feelings of anxiety about the planet and our future are on the rise, so she speaks with activists, changemakers, and entrepreneurs in a bid to offer listeners solutions and support.
If bite-size lessons are your bag, try TILclimate (TIL stands for ‘today I learned’). The award-winning podcast, produced by MIT, offers digestible takeaways on weighty topics and concepts such as nuclear power and the difference between electricity and energy. It’s straightforward but informed, featuring an expert (often an MIT researcher or expert) in that arena. Basically, anything you’ve ever wondered about the climate movement but felt too embarrassed to ask will likely be discussed on this show.
The Colour Green
Baroness Lola Young (a British actress, professor, and parliament peer) speaks to people of colour who are creating innovative solutions when it comes to the environment in her podcast, The Colour Green. The show highlights the importance of making the connection between climate justice, race, inequality, and power as we move forward. Guests include writers, activists, musicians, and the former director of the Black Environment Network.
For a wide range of topics under the sustainability umbrella, Sustainability Defined is a great offering. The educational show, hosted by environmentalists and ordinary fellas Jay Siegel and Scott Breen, explains and defines a variety of sustainability concepts, from energy storage to sustainable beer, with the help of a field professional. It’s even included on course curriculums at universities across America.
Examining the how’s and why’s of sourcing food, this podcast is hosted by Aaron Niederhelman, a fishmonger, healthy-eating advocate, and CEO of OneHealthAg (a company aiming to modernise meat supply) and non-profit farm-of-the-future. Each episode features a guest and covers a different food-related issue, from the organic label to food waste.
Help us keep our content free
It seems like you enjoyed our content and are on your way to better understanding how to be more conscious. As you’ll know, we’re on a mission to make sustainability accessible, mainstream and sexy. And we would not be able to do it with you. We would love you to support us even further in our GITNB movement by helping us create even more content to keep inspiring you and the rest of the world. Aside from being able to enjoy even better reads, you’ll also receive a GITNB t-shirt consciously made from upcycled fabrics in partnership with a Cambodian social enterprise supporting women. For a small donation you will make a huge difference.SUPPORT US HERE