Podcasts of 2020
It isn't enough just looking for the quality in the products we buy,
we must ensure that there is quality in the lives of the people who make them."
-- Orsola de Castro
Dec 31, 2020
I found my way into the world of ethical consumerism through sustainability podcasts that kept me company while working on at Fortunate Farm in Northern California. Farm work can be pretty solitary. Vegetables aren’t big talkers. I relied on podcasts to keep me company. Not only did the hours pass easily, but I was adding words like “biodynamic” and “nematode” to my vocabulary and incorporating concepts like ethical consumerism and food forests into my worldview.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that the sustainability community is massive! One podcast in California referred me to another podcast in Melbourne, which led me to yet another in London. Leaders in all areas of the ethical consumerism movement have continued to step up and actively use their platforms to support one another. In every corner of the world, I found people committed to creating a society that was not just thriving and diverse, but one that was rooted in empathy.
Scattered throughout this big, blue rotating planet are millions of strangers who -- like you -- “know better.” They know that a kinder, more sustainable world is possible. And they understand that with that knowledge comes responsibility. Something that artificial intelligence researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky once said has always stuck with me ...
“You are personally responsible for becoming more ethical
than the society you grew up in.."
-- Eliezer Yudkowsky
You’re reading this because you know that society can thrive without using unethical or unsustainable practices. I now want to introduce you to some other people who believe the same thing. Below is a list of some of the best sustainability podcasts I found during 2020. Links and descriptions are included for each podcast. I hope you find inspiration from the fact that you are part of a huge, diverse community waiting for you.
Eco Chic is probably my favorite podcast because of how down-to-earth the host Laura Diez is. She seems like someone you would grab coffee with. Laura describes Eco Chic as a lifestyle podcast about climate change, sustainability and eco-conscious lifestyles. The website explains that the “show aims to feel like hanging out with your cool, smart [friends] … educational, approachable and encouraging you to do what works for you.”
One of my all time favorite podcast episodes is her interview with blogger Leah Thomas (also known as Green Girl Leah). Their discussion was incredibly insightful, authentic and they never once avoided tough issues. Check out their interview here: Episode 111: "Intersectional Environmentalism - How Race and Culture Impact Your Identity.”
I love all TED Talks, but this is one of my favorites. I was so moved when Hamdi Ulukaya (founder of Chobani yoghurt) defended consumer buying power as one of the most potent forms of political power.
“Every single one of you is in the … [position] to make changes today. If you don’t like [what] a brand or company is doing with their business, you can … [stop buying from them.] And when you see [brands] that are doing right, you can reward them [by buying from them instead.] In the end, this is all of our responsibility.” -- Hamdi Ulukaya
Eco Warrior Princess is the brainchild of writer, activist and organic farm owner Jennifer Nini. The direction of her life took a huge turn when she and her partner chose to abandon corporate, city life in Melbourne and move onto her partner’s family’s land in rural Queensland. She says the experience changed how she viewed the land, her food, even her neighbors. She began to see everything more holistically; as though everything somehow played a role in the existence of everything else.
Each episode of Eco Warrior Princess features an interview with a different activist in the ethical consumerism movement. The podcast covers a wide range of topics, ranging from green technology to feminism, environmental conservation and sustainable fashion.