Your commute needs entertainment, maybe you’re chairing your company’s next Green Team meeting at lunch, or you’ve agreed to a date with a climate activist after work. Well, we’ve got your curious ears covered and we salute you for self-educating on behalf of the planet - whatever the motive! Now, get your finger poised over that app icon and pick from the juicy bunch of environmental podcasts below.
How to save the planet by Friends of the Earth - for the basics
This climate change podcast is a great place to start. From explaining the green economy to what actually happens at COP, it demystifies British climate news and discusses relevant ways of reversing climate change, both personally and collectively. In short, it’s informative and down to earth.
Outrage and Optimism - for hearing from the horse’s mouth
Hosted by Christiana Figueres and the team that brought the Paris Agreement, you can’t get any closer to the source than by listening to this. Whilst informing on all the politics you need to know, including interviews with the people making global decisions, it is also (surprisingly) upbeat, engaging and motivating. Win, win.
The YIKES Podcast - for all-rounded learning
Edinburgh-based duo, Mikaela Loach and Jo Becker, tackle the issues in this world that make us go Yikes! Breaking down topics such as racism, oppressive systems and the climate crisis, it is informed yet relatable, challenging yet supportive. Ultimately it guides positive change with the understanding that these topics are often inextricably linked. I highly recommend Episode 2: ‘Can lifestyle change save the planet?’.
Who cares wins - for balanced debate
Remember Lily Cole, who juggled modelling for Tim Walker with getting a double First from Cambridge University? Well she’s here to impress again. In this thoroughly-researched environmental podcast series, Cole interviews the leading voices in technology, food, gender and politics on how we should be moving towards a healthier climate. From Elon Musk to Patti Smith, David Attenborough to the Amazonian Chief Nixiwake, it sheds light on all sides of the climate crisis, giving space to divergent perspectives and breaking down the complexities and tensions found around this issue. One for concentrated listening.
Sustainababble - for lols
Green doesn’t have to mean glum. In fact, as proven by Sustainababble hosts Olly and Dave, comedy and climate conversation can go hand in hand. So, if you need a pick-me-up but still want to learn about sustainability, there’s over 200 podcast episodes to choose from. Topics range from fireworks to football, COP26 to who owns England.
Mothers of Invention - for a female perspective
With the tagline, ‘Climate change is a man-made problem with a feminist solution!’ you know you’re about to listen to some badass female movers and shakers. With a massive dollop of humour included too. Season 1 unravels climate justice, Season 2 gives the mic to climate leaders of colour and Season 3 turns to our regenerative future. With UN figures indicating that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women, this podcast couldn't be more pertinent.
The Knepp Wildland Podcast - for a plunge into wildlife
From the Knepp Estate of Isabella Tree’s book Rewilding, this nature podcast will surround you with nightingale song or the sounds of rutting deer. It gives listeners a front row seat to the changing flora and fauna of the Knepp project, with informative explanations of animal behaviours and wildlife wonders. If you’re feeling at all disconnected from the natural world, this will certainly transport you to the wilds.
Wardrobe Crisis - for the curious consumer
Hosted by Clare Press, Vogue’s first Sustainability Editor, Wardrobe Crisis unzips the power of sustainable style (see what I did there?). In five seasons and with an impressive lineup of fashion thought leaders, it explores why what we wear is political as well as playful. Aside from responsible fashion, indigenous clothing and thrifting, it covers topics such as ocean plastics, modern slavery, biotech and creativity. So whether you’re designer-only or a practical purchaser, there’s no judgement. This is a real goodie.
Talking Tastebuds with Pattie Gonia: Bringing Drag Outdoors - for understanding the LGBTQIA+ climate community
Talking Tastebuds by Venetia La Manna (which has now evolved to the series All the Small Things) has several insightful interviews around plant-based diets, sustainable living and eco anxiety. This interview with queer environmentalist, Pattie Gonia, is a must listen. Discussing toxic masculinity, environmental activism, drag and their love of hiking, it is fresh, interesting and full of fun.
Invisibilia: The Last Sound - for an interesting story
Invisibilia is a great podcast surrounding the unseeable forces that control human behaviour and shape our ideas, beliefs and assumptions. It is not necessarily environmental, more founded on quirky human stories, however, this episode is one of my favourites. Telling the tale of Bernie Krause, a successful musician who played with the likes of Jim Morrisson and George Harrison, and then turned his sonic skills to recording the sounds of nature. His subsequent research over the last 50 years is fascinating, if a little heartbreaking, and poses the final question, would nature benefit or be impaired by environmental tourism?