Learn About Sustainable Living in 10 Short Videos

If you’re in need of crash courses to learn all about the basics of sustainable living, I’ve got you covered. The 10 topics listed will give you an introduction to a portion of the many subjects that make up the sustainability movement. Click the links in the video headings to watch, enjoy, and learn!

1 – Aspiring Towards Zero Waste

The idea of this movement is for zero waste to be a goal we are continuously considering and targeting. While it’s unlikely that everyone will be able to live a completely zero waste lifestyle, the following video shows how an individual managed to produce such little trash in two years, it was able to fit in a mason jar.


2 – Minimalism

The meaning of Minimalism has changed over the years, from its inception in the art world to its aesthetic favored by those with the privilege to choose such a lifestyle. The narrator breaks down these ideas and contrasts these previous notions of Minimalism with what it is more accurately defined as and aimed to do for society.

A key point made that I want to highlight: “the idea is to understand that consumption feeds a system that affects tremendous harm on the environment and on marginalized people.”

3 – Greener Transportation

From the UC Climate Lab in partnership with Vox, “The environmental cost of free two-day shipping” explains the impacts of choosing a shorter versus longer delivery window when shopping online.


4 – The Need for Composting

Understanding the importance of carbon in our soil and not in our atmosphere is essential for understanding the importance of composting. Take a look at this video to see what it is I’m talking about.

Bonus Video!

If you’re interested in starting your own compost, the following adorably animated TED-Ed video shows how critical worms are for creating usable fertilizer.


5 – The Food You Choose to Consume

I love the UC Climate Lab – here’s another of their videos! Dr. M. Sanjayan discusses the impact of your diet on the planet.

More cool videos and articles are available at the UC Climate Lab. Check out their page! https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/climate-lab

6 – Fast Fashion

The mass production of clothing items is polluting our water and filling our landfills with increasing amounts of clothes. This 3 minute video will give you an idea of fast fashion’s immense environmental impact.

Check out another Leaflet article “Why Thrifting is Good for the Planet, Not Just Your Wallet” to learn more!

7 – Local Farming

Large scale agricultural production is damaging our soil quality and sending evermore toxins into our air. This video looks at a period in Cuba when the country had been relatively untouched by global food markets and discusses why their polycultural farming is something to be admired.

8 – Energy Efficiency

For an explanation on the process of how solar energy is converted into electrical energy, take a look at the following video. The video starts off with discussion on the chemistry behind this process, but if you wait for (or skip to) minute 2:37, you’ll find a discussion on the plausibility of worldwide reliance on solar power.

9 – Is plastic recyclable?

When considering the fact that plastic can only be recycled few times before it loses its recycling properties, have no doubt – it’s not truly recyclable. The only plastic that does not end up polluting our landfills, water, or elsewhere is the one that is never created in the first place. In other words, it’s not a sustainable material. This video can give you an introduction to this type of recycling, called downgrading, and more information about the life cycles of a plastic water bottle.

For more information, check out another Leaflet article! “Reduce, Reuse, Forget Recycle” explains why recycling is not a viable option, even if the recycling properties of plastic were not a barrier.

10 – Plastic in Our Oceans

This video includes topics such as how plastics entered our oceans, microplastics in aquatic life systems, and solutions for reducing our plastic use.

Bonus! Although not under 10 minutes, this documentary provides a lot of information in under double that time. This short feature discusses the legacy humans will leave behind, and have already left, because of our plastic use. Those interviewed offer hope in that there is technology that promises to turn plastic ocean trash into valuable material, Bionic Yarn.

There are many more videos on these topics online! For now, I hope this has served as a solid introduction.

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