In the face of an issue as big as the environmental crisis, the simplest way to reform our ways is to change the way we look at the world, and ultimately, ourselves!
If you’re looking to be inspired to live an eco-friendly life, these TED Talks will fill you with awe and give you the inspiration you need. Take a journey to explore the beauty of our environment with these fantastic TED Talks.
1. If trees could speak – Elif Shafak, Novelist
If there’s one thing that is destroying our world more than anything, it is numbness. When people become disconnected, desensitized, indifferent, when they stop listening, when they stop learning and when they stop caring about what’s happening here, there, and everywhere.
Whether we’re sad, happy, in love, lonely, or simply in need of a new perspective, the two things that deeply fill our hearts with joy are trees and poetry.
What would trees have to say to our species if they could talk? Elif Bilgin (pen name Elif Shafak, a Turkish-British writer, public speaker, and women’s rights activist) wants you to listen to the ‘poetry’ of trees. So the next time you go out for a walk, do remember to pause and try to listen to what these beautiful beings whisper in the breeze.
2. An illustrated kingdom of real fantastical plants – Nirupa Rao, Botanical artist
I think a lot of people just tend to see plants as background scenery, assuming that their immobility makes them uninteresting. But I began to see that it is that very rootedness that makes them fascinating, the ingenious ways in which they adapt and respond to threats and opportunities on timescales that make our heads hurt to imagine. And I couldn’t help but wonder: What if I could tell their stories, showcase their complexity? Perhaps we’d all start to think of plants a little differently.
Watch this fantastic talk by botanical artist Nirupa Rao as she talks about how she painted giant trees in the Western Ghats using watercolours and what she learned about trees and their environment in the process.
3. Every day you live, you impact the planet – Jane Goodall, Primatologist
Let’s think about the consequences of what we do each day. What do we buy, where did it come from, how was it made? Did it harm the environment, was it cruel to animals? Is it cheap because of child slave labour? Just remember that every day you live, you make an impact on the planet. You can’t help making an impact. And a lot of people understand what’s happening, but they feel helpless and hopeless, and what can they do, so they do nothing and they become apathetic. And that is a huge danger, apathy.
Jane Goodall, friend, and observer of wild chimpanzees, reminisces about the days when she stayed with them in Tanzania and the struggles that she had to face. Listen in to this inspiring conversation between Dr. Jane Goodall and the TED conference curator, Chris Anderson, as they discuss what we should be doing in the face of the current environmental crisis.
4. How to turn climate anxiety into action – Renee Lertzman, Psychologist
I take insights from psychology and I translate them into resources and tools to support those working on the frontlines to turn things around. And that means for anyone, by the way. We’re all on the frontlines right now.
While apathy is one extreme we use to deal with the environmental crisis, eco-anxiety lies on the other end of the spectrum. So what can we do if we are riddled with eco anxiety each time we want to switch to an eco-friendly life?
5. Nature is everywhere, we just need to learn to see it – Emma Marris, Environmental writer
So, if all of the definitions of nature that we might want to use that involve it being untouched by humanity or not having people in it, if all of those actually give us a result where we don’t have any nature, then maybe they’re the wrong definitions. Maybe we should define it by the presence of multiple species, by the presence of a thriving life.
What do you think about, when you think about nature? Is it an inaccessible haven that you’d have to spend a lot to get to? If it is, it is limiting, says Emma Marris. In this heart warming talk, she speaks about leaving a world where nature is abundant in our surrounding environment – just through the way we think and talk about it.
6. Turning trash into toys for learning – Arvind Gupta, Science educator, and toymaker
Every time I go to a school, I see a gleam in the eyes of the children. I see hope. I see happiness in their faces. Children want to make things. Children want to do things.
Nature is all around us, but unfortunately, so is trash. However, simply discarding all the trash that comes into our homes is not the right thing to do, says Arvind Gupta, science educator, and toymaker.
After making TATA trucks for 2 years, Gupta realized he didn’t enjoy it one bit. What he did enjoy on the other hand was when he used creative solutions to make children happy (as they learned) and also, making eco-friendly science toys with trash.