Written by: Bradlie Morgan and Alyssa Mahoney
In a world that provides easy access to all sorts of information by just the click of a few buttons, it can be overwhelming to try and seek out important information we truly care about. So to get you started, we’ve organized a list of some sustainability-themed educational resources, including documentaries, books, articles, and podcasts to help ease you into complex environmental topics and help bring knowledge to the curious mind.
1) Mission Blue
Mission Blue is a 2014 documentary on Netflix that follows marine biologist, Sylvia Earle, and her goal to save the world’s oceans. The film talks about important environmental issues like plastic pollution and overfishing, and inspires others to take action in protecting the ocean. With a contagious and unrelenting passion for marine life, she reminds viewers the urgency of these issues, while giving hope for the future: “This is the moment. Our decisions. Our actions will shape everything that follows.”
2) Chasing Coral
Chasing Coral is another Netflix documentary, made in 2017. The film looks at the journey of scientists, divers, and photographers as they attempt to understand why coral reefs are disappearing and what can be done to conserve them. After watching, viewers will have a greater understanding of the uniqueness of corals, what life they support, and why their protection is critical.
3) Being the Change: Live Well and Start a Climate Revolution by Peter Kalmus
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to embark on a sustainability journey that completely shifted the way you lived - from the food you ate to how you traveled? In his book, Climate scientist and suburban father, Peter Kalmus, explores science, spirituality, and sensible action as the forefront for sustainable change. He addresses the interconnections of climate change and offers a response to help change our mindset. By partaking in his own specific journey, Kalmus reduced his climate impact to one tenth of the US average. The result? He was happier for it.
4) The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative by Florence Williams
Mind, body, spirit. These are three important factors that can influence health. However, countless studies, scientists, and even the great poets and philosophers will convey the health benefits of the simple exposure to nature. In this entertaining and adventurous book, Florence Williams seeks out research to explain the health benefits of nature to our mindset, all the while reconnecting with nature and people in her travels around the world.
Can’t get enough sustainability-themed book resources? Follow along our Seaside Sustainability Book Club’s “What We’re Reading” posts and join the discussion:
5) How Nature-Based Solutions Can Help Tackle the Climate Crisis by Adele Beardmore
Nature-based solutions (NbS) are types of ways researchers, policy makers, and activists can reduce emissions, increase environmental services, and achieve environmental goals. Beardmore highlights three types of NbS that are essential to protect ecosystems: 1) Restoring natural ecosystems, 2) Creating a restoration plan for ecosystems, and 3) Developing ecosystems that can capture and store greenhouse gases, also known as carbon sequestration. Find out about the goals and challenges of NbS here.
6) The Ocean is Running Out of Breath, Scientists Warn by Laura Poppick
This article explains how a warming ocean is losing oxygen: one way being that when liquids get warmer they are not able to hold gas as well, and when polar ice sheets melt, they create a buoyant layer at surface level, which prevents oxygen from going deeper than surface level. The article also discusses the dangers to marine life as oxygen becomes less abundant, including effects on their sensory function, physiological changes, food disruptions, and other issues. The ocean is on a pathway to serious danger. To address these concerns and raise awareness to global governments, the United Nations, and the general public, read more here.
7) Speak Up For The Ocean Blue
Speak Up For The Ocean Blue is a fun, casual, and informative podcast that focuses on issues of marine life and conservation. The host, Andrew Lewin, educates listeners on types of marine life, relevant news and research, and how people can take action themselves. Topics range from cuttlefish behavior, coral mapping, and the ocean conveyor belt, to the Paris Climate Accord, ocean-friendly clothing, and sustainable food shopping. Take a deep dive into marine life and sustainability without becoming overwhelmed and give this podcast a listen!
8) A Sustainable Mind
A Sustainable Mind is the perfect podcast to go to for inspiration and activism! Passionate about the environment and sustainability, Marjorie Alexander hosts a different guest each episode to talk about their work in businesses, projects, and campaigns as environmentalists. This podcast focuses on how listeners can make a difference, providing resources and tips to use in their lives going forward. Inspired? Check out this previous blog post for more inspiring podcasts to help you learn about sustainable living.
We hope this list of hand-picked resources helps jump start your own educational journey beyond Earth Awareness Month! Whether it’s listening to a podcast while driving, reading an article over coffee, diving into a book before bed, or watching a documentary after dinner, there’s something for everyone! So try what piques your interest and discover the best way for you to learn. Let us know what you’ll try first in the comments below and share some of your own favorite resources!