8 Best Environmental Podcasts About The Wild & People Trying To Save It
With climate change and biodiversity loss happening at an alarming rate, it’s high time we tune in to conservation issues…
What better way than to start subscribing to some inspiring, educational and environmental podcasts out there.
These podcasts focus on a number of different topics, particularly wildlife conservation efforts, biodiversity, and various natural places and creatures.
Basically anything that expresses the value of the natural world and the importance of a more sustainable lifestyle.
WHY ENVIRONMENTAL PODCASTS?
We LOVE podcasts (especially environmental podcasts and it’s not just because we host one, we promise!).
They’re a fantastic (and FREE!) medium for disseminating and digesting hard hitting information (and entertainment) in a pretty easy way. Easier than say sitting down to watch environmental films.
You can listen to them on your commute to and from work, on family road trips, or even if you just need some quality “me” time.
They’re also a great learning resource.
Unlike many books and scientific journals, podcasts speak to these same conservation and environmental experts but break down complicated ideas into understandable and relatable terms.
Many of them also include epic stories of the wild, which we love!
Here are some of the best environmental podcasts (we think so anyways!).
This multi award-winning podcast so far has two themes seasons.
The first season, which we devoured while appropriately traveling through Yellowstone National Park, focuses on the American Bison and its key role in American history.
We were so inspired that we later interviewed co-producer Nick Mott on our podcast.
Season 2 takes listeners north to the Arctic (of both Alaska, Scandinavia, and Russia) and examines the startling realities, impact, and implications of climate change from the front lines.
Threshold is as much an informational and environmental science podcast as it is a story-telling one.
With professional audio quality and sound design, it seamlessly blends the facts and stats with real human and animal stories.
Absolutely compelling, start to finish. One of the best produced podcasts out there.
“We don’t lack data. Loads of facts and figures on environmental change can be found with the click of a mouse. What we lack is context and perspective. If we don’t absorb the meaning of what we’re taking in, the data is almost worthless.”
- #1.3 Born Free: This episode contains the core of season one: the bison debate. Do we let them roam free outside Yellowstone National Park or contain the population? Hear both equally valid sides of the conversation, that both come from a care for animal welfare. This episode highlights how sometimes, conversation is anything but black and white.
- #2.8 Oil & Water: This heartbreaking episode tells the story of two native Alaskan whalers in Utqiuagvik, Alaska who are slowly losing the ability to live the lifestyle their culture has thrived in for hundreds of years. Utqiuagvik is the northernmost settlement in the U.S., on the same shore as Prudhoe Bay from which the Trans-Alaska pipe pumps millions of gallons of oil each year. This oil simultaneously enriches the community and threatens to destroy its culture.
Hosted by Colin and Avinash, Protect Your Wild gives you ways to do just that, with a healthy dose of humor and games that make fact presentation fun.
Their range is impressive.
Aside from wildlife conservation stories, they cover everything from sustainable business profiles and product reviews to interviews with activists and other outdoor influencers. Especially great if you’re an avid lover of outdoor sports and activities.
For a podcast with a little bit of everything, this is a great and highly binge-able option.
“[I]f celebrities are running for president, and using the term ‘climate change’ is banned in the EPA then we need some voices of reason damn it!”
Protect Your Wild
- #34 Saving the Asian Elephant with Dr. Ron Chandler: Founder of the Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant, Ron Chandler is a truly inspiring protector of biodiversity. This episode dives into how the legend got his humble start in fighting for a more sustainable world.
- #69 The End of Coffee: Yes, you read that right! We hope you didn’t spit out that mouthful of morning joe in surprise either…because it may be in precious supply. This episode talks about the shocking discovering that 60% of wild coffee species are threatened by deforestation and land development. If you rely on that black brew to get you going every morning, you may want to hear this.
The Sustainable Jungle Podcast is a mission driven show, focusing on solutions for the world’s sustainability and conservation challenges.
Hosts, Lyall & Joy (that’s us 🙂 talk with some of the most interesting and inspiring people working to future proof our planet.
Join us as we create a place to encourage and galvanize positive change.
Yes, this is our very own podcast so we’re probably a teensy bit biased (#shamelessplug).
However, as objectively as possible, we do believe our podcast is a good source for hearing some amazing stories of animal activism. And that has nothing to do with us!
It’s all to do with some great people we’ve interviewed on the show and the inspirational work they’re doing.
While we cover a lot of different sustainability topics, our ones that focus on conversation and biodiversity are among some of our favorites.
- #23 Bonné De Bod · Journey Into The Rhino Horn War: A gripping story of how two filmmakers set out to tell the true story of the rhino horn poaching crisis in their multi-award winning film S T R O O P: Journey into the Rhino Horn War, a film that is both fascinating and terrifying as the two women even go undercover!
- #19 Danelle Murray – Owl is Not Lost: Aside from a title we’re quite proud of, we spoke to Danelle who runs an owl sanctuary with her family in South Africa. By rehabilitating and releasing injured owls, this organization embodies wildlife rehabilitation. Their dedication to owls is unparalleled (go check out their Facebook page!). Plus they have a bunch of other sustainability projects, including plans to save the world… with a giant ship. You’ll just have to listen to find out.
- #27 Ricardo Murillo – The Importance of Butterflies: Little known to many, but butterflies and moths are feeling the effects of biodiversity loss more heavily than most. In this episode, Ricardo (Costa Rica’s butterfly guru) reminds us that even the smallest of creatures play a vital role in our ecosystems.
- #37 Kate & Michelle – Let’s Go on a Safari… And Saving Africa’s Wildlife: Get ready to feel inspired (if only because you’re being bested by a 9 year old). Kate wrote a book about her African safari experience when she was only 8. It’s okay; we felt like major underachievers, too. Now aged 9, the published author is a vocal animal activist.
- #13 Jenny Golding & George Bumann · Choosing To Live Deliberately: If we can be so bold as to sneak in one more of our own episodes, this was one of our absolute favorites. Jenny and George live on the edge of the Yellowstone National Park, a decision they made very deliberately so as to allow them more time in nature. They write about and make videos of their incredible experiences in the park (highly recommend following their Facebook page for these stories) and George creates incredible sculptures of animals he sees in the park. These two humans reminded us of why we should even care in the first place… truly magical!
Conservation Uncut is an environmental podcast run by scientist, writer, and conservationist Gianluca Cerullo, primarily known for his popular blog for which he won the Terra Incognito Blogger of the year award in 2018.
He focuses not only on conversation as a whole but practical guide on how we as individuals can support biodiversity. This “occasional podcast” is an outgrowth of those efforts.
While it only has five episodes thus far, each one interviews a fascinating conservationist and dives into the gritty, often ignored aspects of conservation.
- Boots on the Ground (A Conversation with a Park Ranger): An interview with Selous National Park (Africa’s largest wildlife reserve) ranger Apollo Kwilabya. Aside from some pretty fun bush stories, Apollo gets real about his job, including the reality of the modern poaching war in one of the worst hit locations.
- The Dark Side of Conservation: Gianluca dives into a more neglected topic with Francis Masse. Conservation has its own areas of questionable ethics, such as military employed to defend against poaching and other impacts of anti-poaching methods.
Their wonderful videos are often as short as five minutes.
The Eyes on Conservation Podcast was born for those who want more. More information about global conservation efforts, more research regarding the impacts, and more ways to get involved.
With a new episode released every Wednesday, they have almost 200 episodes, all in the form of a conversation with an inspiring expert or just passionate conservationist.
A well-oiled environmental podcast machine!
- #129 The Human Wolf Packs of Scotland with Doug Gilbert and Lisa Marley: Make no mistake, this isn’t a podcast about wild reintroduction in Scotland (though that is the eventual goal). It’s actually about a group of activists that are wandering the country acting like wolves. You have to hear it to believe it!
- #91 Public Lands – How They Became Publicly Owned, and Why They Should Stay That Way : We’ve all heard the phrase, “Protect our public lands.” Or in Trump’s America, “Keep your tiny hands off our public lands” (which became somewhat of a catch phrase during the Bear’s Ears reduction). But what is a public land? How does it become that? If we’re vying for more protected public lands in the name of conservation, we should probably know the answers to these questions!
Hosted by Matt Williams, the Wild Voices podcast tells “the stories of people saving nature” whether they be conservationist, filmmakers, photographers, volunteers, or “guano collectors”!
You never know what crazy concept will be their next subject, but you can bet it’ll feature someone who cares a whole lot about the natural world and how they take action to protect it.
- Ashley Bell: From horror movies to the plight of the Asian elephant: A super interesting episode with award-winning actress (most notably known for her role in the film The Last Exorcism). Bell now focuses on environmental podcasts and documentaries, having directed and produced Love and Bananas: An Elephant Story about the Asian elephant crisis (often overshadowed by conservation concerns of the African elephant). Hear about how she jumped from exorcisms to elephants, and what horror acting techniques she still uses when covering real-life horrors.
- Louie Psihoyos: Oscar Award-winning wildlife filmmaker: Louie, a former National Geographic photographer turned filmmaker, directed the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, which documents the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. In this episode, he tells all sorts of crazy stories, like his random meeting with fellow dinosaur lover Stephen Spielberg sparked his interest in extinction and inspired his film Racing Extinction.
While “a comedy podcast about the environment” sounds fun (and yes it is, we have actually laughed out loud while listening to it), don’t let that and the wonderfully cartoonish nature of the hosts fool you.
Sutainababble talks about some very serious sh*t (including literal avalanches of poo coming from melting glaciers in popular mountainous regions).
Without a filter or a fear of offending, these blokes frame sustainability issues with hot-button politics and other current events.
Best of all, they address these topics in a light hearted, extremely digestible way, proving that discussing the current state of the environment doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine.
We love how they laugh about their own eco-anxiety… something we can related to and you no doubt feel it too if you’ve read this far
- #128: Extinction Rebellion: An in depth look into the newest protest movement…”So will it work? Who’s it trying to appeal to? What will happen next?”
- #120: Hedgehogs: Have you ever thought about the plight of our cutest garden friends? Did you know they’re in trouble?
- #142: Right to Repair: You’re reading this on an ethical electronic device. What happens when that device becomes obsolete? How does it affect the environment? This episode answers all these questions and more! Related article: How To Dispose of Electronics
- #143: Glaciers: A discussion about the implications of glacial melt, including “avalanches of poo”. Enough said.
NOTABLE SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENT RELATED PODCAST MENTIONS
While these podcasts didn’t quite make it into the best of the best(because our focus in this article ended up being on wildlife conservation), we highly enjoy (and recommend) them for covering a wide range of sustainability and conscious living issues.
- The Slow Home Podcast: Less about conservation specifically but one of our favorites about the slow living minimalist movement in general (which ties in closely to zero waste principals!).
- The Minimalists: Well known for their documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, these guys don’t just emphasize decluttering. In fact, they’re all about the more of the minimalism lifestyle than the less of it all.
- Podship Earth: Another award-winner, this quirky podcast hosted by David Blumfield covers TONS of eco-conscious and sustainability topics, which you can easily see with fun graphics right from their podcast page.
- Eco Chic: These “Chic Chats” are a fun way to lighten to mood. They talk about not just sustainability, but what it’s like choosing to live a sustainable lifestyle in the modern world. For example, “Dating Sustainably” features five women’s view on how their sustainable views shape their dating lives.
- Think Sustainability: As the name suggests, big focus on sustainability here and the overall impact of consumption. While less of a story-driven podcast, you can get tons of information and recent research regarding environmental issues. At only 20-30 minutes, these episodes are a lot like eating popcorn.
- Global Goals Cast: Determined to fight the doom and gloom of the modern world, this podcast tells uplifting stories about companies and individuals that are fighting for a more sustainable future.
- Green Dreamer: Newer podcast with a huge range of professionally researched sustainability topics (from greenwashing to the impact of climate change on earth’s microbes). They already have almost 150 episodes and release a new one every couple days!
- Humans of Purpose: A Melbourne-based profile podcast that features all sorts of inspiring and ambitious people, either in sustainability or otherwise.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ENVIRONMENTAL PODCASTS
You can download or stream any of these top environmental podcasts at any number of places, including iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and more.
Did we mention podcasts are free?! It’s like a university education…without the decades of debt repayments.
So what are you waiting for? Hit subscribe and start getting your daily dose of inspiration and activism right through your own earbuds.
You know what they say: A podcast a day keeps the climate change deniers at bay.
For more inspiration, check out our list of Zero Waste Documentaries.