Podcasts are a great way to stay informed and feed your imagination while doing menial tasks like housework or driving. But they’re more than a fun distraction; listeners can gain great insights by immersing themselves in fascinating discussions on a range of subjects.
In 2015, the United Nations developed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a universal call to action to protect the planet and ensure global prosperity by 2030. These 17 goals are designed with social, economic, and environmental improvement in mind. Although the SDGs are geared towards large-scale action, no personal breakthrough is too insignificant to make a difference.
Integrating SDG principles into everyday life can help you shift to a more sustainable existence, which collectively can make a huge impact. We’ve listed a selection of podcasts and the SDGs they align with to help you with your own personal sustainability goals.
SDG #3: Ensuring Good Health and Well-being
Good health is essential to global sustainability and reducing social inequality. By 2030, the UN would like to see an increase in quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
If you want to do the most for collective health, start with satisfying your own health needs. Eating healthily, taking preventative health measures, and staying active is not only in your best interest, it’s vital to maintaining a healthy community. Listening to podcasts can be a useful and easy way to stay motivated to make the best choices for your body and mind.
An aspect of health which is overlooked is mental well-being. While eating healthily and exercising are vital to a healthy lifestyle, social, emotional, and psychological needs must be met to live a truly fulfilling existence.
Selfwork is a podcast that reminds listeners to value self-development and explores common mental health issues that many of us cope with today. Selfwork host Dr. Margaret Rutherford is a clinical psychologist with 25 years of experience under her belt. Backed by reputable research and a lifetime of expertise, Dr. Rutherford thoughtfully answers listener emails and applies common-sense self care tips that we all can benefit from.
SDG #4: Establishing Quality Education
Increasing literacy rates and achieving quality education for all is a key aspect of decreasing income disparity and building a more sustainable future. Providing the next generation with the skills and know-how to make positive changes is not only beneficial to our society, but the environment as well.
Educating yourself means investing in your community. Staying educated doesn’t have to be boring or difficult, it can be as simple as opening your ears and listening to an amusing podcast.
RadioLab is the perfect intersection of entertainment and information. A blend of science, philosophy, storytelling and wonder, RadioLab is a two-time Peabody award-winning podcast hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich. The show covers a wide range of broad and complex educational topics like “space” and “morality”, presenting them from creative angles in a light-hearted, easy-to-grasp style. Pairing compelling narratives with distinctive sound design, the makers of RadioLab know how to craft an immersive audio experience.
SDG #5: Achieving Gender Equality
Despite great strides women have made across the globe, there remain many challenges in achieving gender equality. The UN states that:
Discriminatory laws and social norms remain pervasive, women continue to be underrepresented at all levels of political leadership, and 1 in 5 women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 report experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner within a 12-month period.
We can all stand to educate ourselves more about sexism and gender discrimination in order to identify how it operates in society today. Ending gender discrimination and violence and empowering every member of society means being aware of the historical injustices marginalized groups faced on the basis of their gender and sexual identity.
Podcast: The Guilty Feminist
If you’re looking for a refreshing and provocative take on feminism, look no further. The Guilty Feminist, hosted by comedian Deborah Frances-White, takes guests on a journey to explore modern feminist topics, while taking an honest look at the “insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that underlie their lofty principles.” The Guilty Feminist is a safe space to learn about feminism, connect to our deepest feelings, and reflect on the changes we would like to see in the world.
SDG #11: Building Sustainable Cities and Communities
More than half of all humans live in cities. According to the UN, creating business opportunities, maintaining safe and affordable housing, improving urban planning, and boosting investment in public spaces are all essential to cultivating resilient economies and societies.
To construct better, more sustainable cities, our society needs all hands on deck: innovative architects, engineers, artists, business people, and visionaries of all types. Across the world, change-makers and professionals are dedicating their lives to the planet by thinking of ways to build greener cities. Who are these “ecopreneurs” and what are they doing to make this planet a better place?
Podcast: A Sustainable Mind
Each week, A Sustainable Mind starts a thought-provoking conversation about building a sustainably focused community. Each show features inspiring guests who are changing the world with their environment-centered campaigns, companies, and projects. Host Marjorie Alexander picks the brains of these innovators to understand their challenges, motivations, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Each episode ends with valuable advice and resources for listeners to carry into the future.
SDG #12: Practicing Responsible Consumption and Production
Encouraging companies to adopt sustainable practices is paramount to driving change, and we can leverage our power as consumers to buy products that are not harmful to the environment. We have the choice to value the planet over convenience and we can demand that corporations do the same. But how exactly do we, as consumers, leverage this power?
Podcast: Practical(ly) Zero Waste
In a culture of rampant consumerism, responsible consumption can be hard to pin down and even more difficult to put into practice. That is why Practical(ly) Zero Waste is here to provide audiences with simple, real-world, zero-waste solutions that anyone can apply. Host Elsbeth Callaghan explores different sustainable companies, products, and habits that can ease you into a zero-waste lifestyle in an encouraging and entertaining way.
SDG #15: Protecting and Restoring Life on Land
Our natural resources are quickly diminishing. Preserving them is not just a job for scientists; legislators must keep corporations in check, and individuals should also take action to reduce the human impact on our planet. Staying informed about the latest developments in natural science and the technological innovations in this space are critical for imaging alternative realities.
Podcast: Costing the Earth
What would the British countryside look like if every citizen went vegan? How did the Iron Curtain impact German wildlife? How are global innovators changing the way we deal with plastic waste? Costing the Earth covers these relevant environmental topics and more. In this BBC production, host Tom Heap guides the audience through an engaging and insightful journey into historical environmental challenges and offers fresh ideas on how to tackle them.
SDG #16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
Organizations like the World Future Council focus on passing down a healthy and sustainable planet with just and peaceful societies to our children and grandchildren by identifying and developing effective, future-just solutions for current challenges humanity is facing.
Podcast: The Good Council
The Good Council is a podcast from the World Future Council. It gives a behind-the-scenes look at the organization’s trajectory, from revolutionary idea to reality, and offers insights on its current agenda. The Good Council podcast provides inspiration, laughter, and food for thought through intergenerational dialogue between its founders, senior councillors, and young entrepreneurs and activists from around the globe.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com contributors are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — Featured Photo: Listening to podcasts with a cup of coffee. Photo Credit: Juja Han