Green-themed Podcasts

Jon has discovered there are a number of green-themed podcasts you can listen to. He has found it is a good way of keeping informed, a way of finding inspiration and getting some every day tips to help the planet.

Here are a selection of green podcasts that are worth a listen:

Mothers of Invention

This is a podcast on feminist climate change solutions from (mostly) women around the world. Former Irish president Mary Robinson joins Maeve Higgins, a comedian and writer, and series producer Thimali Kodikara. The podcast has a serious theme of course but it is a lot of fun to listen to. They dig into the biggest climate issues of our time but do it in a way that will make you laugh with memorable storytelling.

Women are on the front line when it comes to climate change. Guests are inspirational women from around the world. Jon enjoys the way it focuses on climate justice and talking to indigenous communities who are impacted the most.

The Knepp Wildland Podcast

Jon read about Knepp in the book Wilding last summer. It is an area in West Sussex which has been rewilded. On the podcast you can experience some of the wildlife wonders encountered there. The latest episode is about the purple emperor butterfly. Talking about their lifecycle and what they are learning about them.

Green-themed podcasts

What Planet are we on?

A newly launched podcast where Liz Bonnin from Radio 5 live discusses environmental issues with guest. Jon listened to ‘We have to believe it’s possible’, an insightful discussion with Sir David Attenborough. The second part of the episode talks about 10 tips for tackling climate change. They are every day tips that everyone can follow from Project Drawdown’s Crystal Chissell.

The podcast is just starting out but it seems like it will be well worth a listen!

Here are just a few green-themed podcasts but we hope they give you a taste for what’s out there!

An Ocean full of microplastics!

UN environment programme animation on how microplastics affect our health

The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimated that between 15% and 31% of all plastic pollution comes from microplastics. So, we now have an ocean full of microplastics. Some research estimates that every week we eat the amount in weight of a credit card of microplastics. It is also raining down on us from the clouds even here in cities like London. How is this possible?

Microfibres and the food chain

An ocean full of microplastics. Photo by Elle Hughes from Pexels

Photo by Elle Hughes from Pexels

Synthetic microfibres, which clothing releases during every wash, account for roughly a third of plastic in the ocean. They are so tiny that they can seem like food for zooplankton. These are microscopic living organisms which drift or float in water. One of them is called krill and is a tiny shrimp-like crustacean which lives in cold seas. Some of the zooplankton eat algae but due to the ingestion of microfibres they are no longer able to digest it. These animals are at the base of the food chain in the ocean, bigger zooplankton, fish and marine mammals like whales eat them. So, we shouldn’t be surprised if they might end up on our dinner plate.

An ocean full of microplastics. Photo by Silvana Palacios from Pexels

Photo by Silvana Palacios from Pexels

What can we do in order not to have an ocean full of microplastics?

Buy less, buy better

Buying fewer clothes and fewer new clothes is still a good aim for the environment as the fashion industry is a big polluter. Stop wearing man-made fibres is also better so check the label before buying any new item.

Some brands like Fjallraven and Patagonia are trying to reduce the number of microfibres in their products. Some other companies or small start-ups are now producing clothes made from recycled plastic. Patagonia actually started using recycled plastic bottles to make their garments back in 1993. Since 1985 they have pledged 1% of their sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment!

Also, manufacturers make many other items out of synthetic fibres like cushions, carpets, bags, dog beds or even sheets and covers. So, be mindful about what you buy and see if you can find items by manufacturers which make them more sustainably.

Washing machine

An ocean full of microplastics. Guppyfriend bag for your laundry

Guppyfriend bag for you laundry

Ludo bought a Guppyfriend bag to put her synthetic clothes in or you can get a filter to catch the microfibres in the washing machine. Hopefully, in the future, these filters will be compulsory for new machines. There is one which Mermaids developed, through a project funded by the EU. You can wash clothes less frequently and on shorter washes. Also, at lower temperatures and make sure your washing machine is full. Clothes in full machines get agitated less and therefore shed fewer fibres.

Microbeads

An ocean full of microplastics. MPCA Photos

MPCA Photos microbeads-plastic-particles

Microbeads are manufactured solid plastic particles of less than one millimetre at their largest dimension. Tiny beads of plastics are contained in some toothpastes, sun cream, make-up, face and hand wash and body scrub. When you wash after using these products the small beads go down the drain and in the end, they reach rivers and waterways. The beads can absorb and concentrate pollutants like pesticides. Animals still eat them thinking they are food.

In some countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, New Zealand, Sweden, Taiwan they have banned their use and some brands have stopped using them in their products. The UK approved the ban in June 2018. So, if you still find a product which includes microbeads please report it to the owner of the shop so they can take them off the shelves.

[Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbead and “How to Give Up Plastic: A Guide to Changing the World, One Plastic Bottle at a Time” by Will McCallum]