Listen to these podcasts if you want to help save the planet

Living Well | Megan Whitfield | Posted on 15 August 2019

Use your ears to help save the planet by tuning in to these eco-friendly podcasts.

If there’s anything that can make your daily commute pass in a flash, it’s a good podcast. From comedy or true crime, to a show entirely focused on bringing inanimate objects to life, there really is something out there for everyone. 

As more of us try to find ways to lead more environmentally friendly lives, we’ve hunted down five podcasts to spice up your commute and help you help the planet. 

Set of headphones on a desk

Chewing the Fat

It’s time to talk about food. The Chewing the Fat podcast is produced by the Yale Sustainable Food Program, and in each episode students sit down with guests from around the world to discuss food and agriculture as it relates to society, education and health. From the relationship between food and science to changing eating habits in China, get insights into what goes on behind the scenes before your food hits your plate.

Recommended episode: A chat with organic farmer Jack Hedin 

Think: Sustainability

Think: Sustainability is about exploring the practical action needed to create a better planet. It dives into the impacts of climate change and consumption that we’re already experiencing in Australia, and looks ahead to the technologies and discoveries making way for a more sustainable future.

The curiosity of the reporters is front and centre, and lets listeners feel as though they are learning alongside the hosts, making what might seem complicated topics approachable.

Recommended episode: #109 – Life after coal

Wardrobe Crisis

Clare Press is Vogue Australia’s sustainability editor but decided that wasn’t enough of a workload. She started a podcast throwing the fashion industry’s relationship with the environment into the spotlight. Each week she invites designers, academics, fashion insiders and more onto her show to discuss ethics, sustainability and the changing face of the fashion industry. 

From a model-turned-sustainable designer to human rights lawyer-turned-ethical fashion entrepreneur, the podcast aims to celebrate positive enterprises while showing listeners how to re-evaluate their relationship with their wardrobe. 

Recommended episode: Citizen Wolf, a tech company with a fashion problem

The Slow Home Podcast

In a busy, bustling world it’s easy to get caught up with deadlines, self-comparison and constantly moving from one task to the next. Hosted by slow traveller Brooke McAlary, this podcast is about learning how to slow down and simplify your life. Brooke interviews like-minded individuals and explores how work and life changes -- including your impact on the environment.

Recommended episode: Christine Liu on how to green up your workplace

Direct Current

Produced by the US Department of Energy, this podcast is all about energy. Where we use it, how we generate it, and what it means for the planet. But don’t fear, Direct Current is anything but dry, exploring questions like ‘why does anything exist?’ (that’s a big one), ‘what happened to acid rain?’ and how the development of a sponge could help prevent catastrophe next time there’s an oil spill. There’s even an episode about the history of air-conditioning and how personalised robots could change how we fight climate change.

Recommended episode: S3 E4: This Episode Stinks

Phone on a desk next to a computer with headphones connected
Woman wearing headphones

Honorable Mentions

While these podcasts may not focus specifically on sustainability, they’ve each produced great episodes tackling a related topic.

The Few Who Do

The premise of this podcast, produced by SBS, is simple. Combine two hosts (the very talented Jan Fran and Marc Fennell), one problem, and two people offering different solutions. In episode two, the hosts dive into the world of fast fashion. It will leave you googling your nearest op shop.

Recommended episode: Sustainable style and the price of fast fashion

99% Invisible 

If you’re a big podcast fan, you’ve probably heard about 99% Invisible, which investigates the ways architecture and design influence how we interact with the world. This episode delves into China’s new waste and recycling policy, and its impact on the rest of the world when it stopped accepting recyclables from other countries, Australia included.

Recommended episode: National Sword

Science Weekly

Produced by the Guardian UK, Science Weekly is - you guessed it - a weekly science program. From looking back over 150 years of the periodic table to the trustworthiness of artificial intelligence, there aren’t many science topics this podcast hasn’t touched on. However, they’re particularly good at breaking down issues connected to climate change, from heatwaves to how our diet affects the planet. 

Recommended episode: Communication climate change: a psychoanalysis