8 Sustainability TED Talks That You Must Watch

Podcasts for every planet-lover out there.

How far would you go to save the planet? It’s a question we need to ask ourselves RIGHT NOW.
Because climate change is real. Plastic use is harmful. And the planet is suffering. What better way to do your bit than to watch these sustainability TED Talks and get inspired and educated?

Get ready to grab a cuppa, lie on your sofa, and learn some startling facts with these sustainable videos.

Best TED Talks every planet-lover should watch


From trees communicating with each other to tips on living a plastic-free or zero-waste lifestyle, these sustainable TED Talks are a must-watch. It’s time to bring in the evolution with these eight great motivational sustainability speakers.

1. The Complex Path To Sustainability – Olivia Tyler

sustainability TED Talks
OliviaTyler / TED

Olivia Tyler has a whopping 17 years of experience as a sustainability practitioner. She believes that EVERYONE can find better solutions for a better future. Tyler explains the challenges businesses face in The Complex Path To Sustainability, a sustainability podcast. One of them is—implementing sustainability into one’s company can get overwhelming and daunting.

Why do we recommend it?

Listen as she highlights how technology’s uses can help you become more sustainable in the long run. In this talk, Tyler explores how people don’t know where everything they buy comes from. It is surely one of those educational sustainability TED Talks that can help us contribute to the planet in various ways.

2. We Can Recycle Plastic – Mike Biddle

sustainability podcasts
Mike Biddle / TED

Well, we can actually recycle plastic!
However, less than 10% of plastic trash is recycled—compared to over 90% of metals. Frustrated by this and to find solutions to this problem, Mike Biddle set out in 1922 to find ways to recycle plastic. The sustainability leader in this video shares how he developed an extremely energy-efficient and cheap plant. Thanks to this model, literally any kind of plastic has and will be recyled.

Why do we recommend it?

As the name suggests, We Can Recycle Plastic is a motivational TED Talk. It is your cue to recycle plastic, as this plastic engineer explains how it is the need of the hour in the world today.

3. The Disarming Case To Act Right Now On Climate Change – Greta Thunberg

sustainability TED Talks
Greta Thunberg / TED

Who doesn’t know Greta Thunberg? She is a teenage climate activist who organized a strike in August after walking out of school to raise awareness about global warming. Mentioning the seriousness of climate change, The Disarming Case To Act Right Now On Climate Change is all about a reality check. It will give you a hurtful and disarming insight into what the planet is going through.

Why do we recommend it?

In this passionate call-to-action sustainability podcast, she mentions, “The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change.

4. Why I Live a Zero Waste Life – Lauren Singer

sustainability TED Talks
Lauren Singer / Youtube

What does “zero waste” actually mean? We’ve all wondered for the longest time. Simply put, it is when you chew something like gum and then spit it out. But can you help the planet by living a zero-waste life? answers Lauren.

Why do we recommend it?

Lauren Singer’s TEDxTeen Talk, Why I Live A Zero Waste Life, focuses on this small concept of wasteful behavior. In this sustainability TED Talk, the environmental studies student discusses her journey and events about our everyday habits. Life realization can lead to great changes, like a zero-waste life. And if you’re here, we know you want to! So, from DIY tips to reusing uncommon products, this sustainability podcast sheds light on it all.

5. The Route To A Sustainable Future – Alex Steffen

sustainability TED Talks
Alex Steffen/ TED

Alex Steffen, a planetary futurist, is a sustainability TED Talk speaker who tells powerful, inspiring stories to create a better future. In The Route To A Sustainable Future, Steffen shows us a brighter, greener future through real-world examples and big-picture research. But, it is always up to you to decide what exactly can be done about it.

Why do we recommend it?

Why we think it’s one of the best TED Talks we’ve witnessed so far has much to do with his reasoning. He mentions that today, reducing humanity’s ecological footprint is the need of the sustainable moment. Steffen focuses on how the western consumer lifestyle is spreading to developing countries, but now is the time to act!

6. How to Grow Fresh Air – Kamal Meattle

TED Talks
Kamal Meattle / TED

This is about to be one of the most interesting sustainability TED Talks you’ve watched so far!

In the sustainability podcast, How To Grow Fresh Air, Kamal Meattle talks about houseplants used in homes or offices. They can help give you cleaner, greener indoor air when placed in suitable locations. Meattle’s air-filtering plants and the sustainable architecture in his office park in India are shining examples of green business design.

Why do we recommend it?

With climate change all over, having cleaner indoor air is possible, explains Meattle in this beautiful TED talk. You know you’re in for good when you watch this problem-solution video, as he has been an advocate for improving India’s air quality. In this sustainability podcast, you can learn a lot about how combining three common houseplants can give you the fresh air you need.

7. How Trees Talk To Each Other – Suzanne Simard

TED Talks
Suzanne Simard / Youtube

According to ecologist Suzanne Simard, trees are “social creatures” that interact with one another. Her groundbreaking research on plant communication and their intelligence is featured everywhere—in magazines, podcasts, TED Talks, documentary films, and radio programs across the US. In simpler words, you can’t not watch this video.

Why do we recommend it?

You’d get to know so much about the social lives of trees. Yes, you heard that right! She talks about “How Trees Talk To Each Other.” By the end of this sustainability TED Talk, you’d be ready to view the natural world in ways you never thought you would.

8. Sustainability for All – Jonathon Porritt

sustainability TED Talks
Jonathon Porriit / Youtube

Anybody who loves the planet needs to know about Jonathon Porritt. Being a well-known author, broadcaster, and commentator on sustainable development. You must watch his motivational TED Talk as it will give you the faith and opportunity to believe that if we work on ourselves today, we can have a better tomorrow.

Why do we recommend it?

Porritt has been working on what a sustainable life will look like in 2050 and ways to get there. This video is more about the hope that truly sustainable living is still available to all of us before it’s too late. No matter what, you can’t afford to miss this TED Talk!

With this round-up of our favorite sustainability TED Talks for you, here’s hoping the planet is in better hands. These stream ideas are the best as they talk about both—past and present—and give hope for a better future and planet. Please let us know if we’ve missed any of your best-loved inspiring TED Talks. We’d love to learn more from you!

If you liked these documentaries, you’d want to watch these sustainability documentaries on Netflix too.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is sustainability?

In simpler words, sustainability refers to meeting present needs without compromising the needs of the future. Its examples are renewable energy like wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric. However, it can be divided into fashion, beauty, and many other businesses.

2. What are Ted Talks?

TED Talks are videos that are dedicated to spreading ideas in a short, powerful form. Motivational, educational, or inspiring speakers are invited to these events to share their expertise in their specific areas.

3. What are the best sustainability topics for students?

Some of the most popular sustainability topics students can pick are:

  • Climate change
  • Recycling
  • Social sustainability
  • Carbon footprint
  • Sustainable architecture
  • Green businesses

4. What are environmental documentaries?

An environmental documentary film refers to the dramatization of reality regarding environmental issues. It empowers audiences to become an active part of changing and addressing these crises.

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