Green Schools Committee |
After a few months of inflicting my opinions about environmental problems on our congregation, it’s about time I took a step back and offered some solutions instead. The Green Schools Committee in my school have been compiling a reading/watching list for any prospective or fully fledged environmentalists. I thought that I’d do the same, with additional information on local initiatives that might interest you.
There is No Planet B – Mike Berners-Lee
Overwhelmingly, the reviews for this book say that it is comprehensive and engaging. It is a compulsory handbook for any environmentalist. The other Berners-Lee, Tim is also a very active unitarian (who invented the world wide web.)
The World We Made – Johnathon Poirot
This was lent to me by a member of the congregation and I would recommend it to anyone! It is a very thought-provoking read, that contains a sense of optimism that is a rare find in books about climate change. It is set in 2050 and it discusses everything that had happened since 2013. It paints a realistic picture of what it would take for us to create a better society that would allow us to survive.
All We Can Save – Edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katherine Wilkinson
This is a collection of essays by more than 50 people about climate. Poets, scientists, artists, lawyers, activists and many more. Not only is it moving, but it is also factual and inspiring. The book tackles issues from every aspect of the climate, not only why we should protect the planet, but how.
How to Save a Planet – Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Alex Blumberg
I love this podcast. Each episode is centered around a particular issue to do with climate change, and all of them are well-researched and enjoyable (albeit very American-centric). Again, this is a climate podcast with a decidedly positive outlook. It is designed to be accessible without being over-simplified. It is a Spotify original podcast that releases an episode every Friday.
EcoRight Speaks – RepublicEN
This is quite a rare find, it’s a climate change podcast geared towards the conservative environmentalist. This is another American podcast but it’s one of the few of its kind. If you are quite conservative when it comes to social policy and the economy (or just in general), but still believe in human impacted climate change, this might be one of the only places that you’ll feel at home. (Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and more)
Good Ancestor Podcast – Layla F. Saad
Created by the acclaimed writer of ‘Me and White Supremacy’, this podcast discusses all the injustices we must tackle to pass on a better world. Although it is not generally considered an ‘environmental’ podcast, I still think that it is every environmentalist's responsibility to remain educated about the myriad of issues that plague today’s society. (Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and more)
A Life on Our Planet - David Attenborough:
Rediscover the magic of David Attenborough with this incredibly moving documentary about planet Earth and all that live on it. The 93-year-old icon has taken a new direction with this rather depressing two-hour film on Netflix. It is sure to rejuvenate any environmentalist tendencies you may have but be sure to get the tissues ready.
Anyone who has Instagram should take the time to follow some eco-friendly influencers. Although it may seem like an oxymoron, some people such as Aja Barber, Mikeala Loach, Brown girl green and Dominique Drakeford are brilliant for helping you to reach an eco-friendly lifestyle.
There are plenty of news sources that focus solely on climate. Greennews.ie is a great Irish news source that covers everything you need to know about environmentalism in Ireland. Most of our national news sources don’t give climate change the attention it deserves, so it’s always good to support organisations that do.
The Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland has set up these amazing community initiatives across the country. These are made up of diverse groups such as businesses, community centers, schools and residential housing. Be sure to check out any initiatives in your area as you could get up to 50% funding for energy saving solutions such as solar panels. Check out their website for a map of all the community groups in the country – if there isn’t one in your area, maybe you should think about starting it!
Another easy way you can get involved in your community and feel like you’re doing your part for the planet, is to join up with your local community garden. Community gardens are great for feeling close to nature, integrating communities and getting people to realise how much effort goes into growing food. If there aren’t any in your area check out the URBANFARM website by Andrew Douglas. They have great at-home planting initiatives that anybody can do, no matter what kind of housing you live in. My personal favourite is ‘Social Hops’ - where each person grows hops on their balcony or in their garden, and then those hops are used to support the local brewery. This is only one of the innovative ways that people are using to try and reintroduce agriculture to urban lifestyles.
Éle Ní Chonbhuí
Dublin Unitarian Church