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5 Ted Talks That Will Inspire You To Live Sustainably

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We all try hard but somewhere, every individual leaf behind a large carbon footprint that negatively affects the earth. The good news is, in recent times, world leaders have united, the focus has shifted towards clean consumerism and every citizen is doing their part. At times, amidst all our effort, it might feel that our little contribution is insignificant.

But you need to realize every iota of your contribution counts and when you add this to the contribution of others, it makes a large impact. After all, electricity was discovered by one individual, and look, how it changed the world. To make you realize how significant the efforts of one person is, TED Talks are the most informative and inspiring. If you want some motivation to keep yourself contributing to the environment or you wish to start your green journey, here are 5 TED Talks that will make you want to live sustainably. 

1) Why We Need to Think Differently About Sustainability?- Leyla Acaroglu

Founder and director of Eco Innovators, Leyla Acaroglu became aware of the Ozone Hole and the effect of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbon) through her mother. In her  TED talk, she teaches how the good intention of running vehicles on petroleum can cause bigger problems. Acaroglu educates her audience about the impact of Biofuels and how the Government, the European Union, and bigger organizations play their part in preserving nature. She also introduces her audience to the concept of System Thinking and how she never wanted too many decisions that could harm our planet.

Out of the many inspiring messages and lessons she teaches in her speech, one of my personal favorites goes as follows- “Sustainability is about self-preservation. It’s about understanding and it’s about doing more with less.” If you wish to know the basics of sustainability and the need for it, you should give her a watch.

2) Sustainability Through A Circular Economy- Maayke Damen

The energetic founder of EME(Excess Materials Exchange), Maayke Damen has found a system to utilize raw materials and reuse them to build functioning machines. In her TED talk, she describes how she felt ridiculous when she had to throw her coffee machine just because a part of it wasn’t replaceable. She perfectly gives the example of a tree to describe the zero-waste concept and teaches her audience about the circular economy. 

Maayke sheds light on the fact that every year, we throw away a baffling amount of waste. The favorite part of her speech is where she says-” I decide, even though I am one element in the system, and it’s a huge system of take-make-waste production, I decide, I want to change that.” Witty and filled with snippets of information, this TED talk is going to open your mind.

3) Going Green- Tips for a Zero Waste Lifestyle- Haley Higdon

Winner of U of T’s Green Ribbon Award, Haley Higdon is an environmentalist and works at an elementary school associated with the U of T.  She talks about how she was always aware of sustainable living, dresses herself up as a Recycle Bin on Halloween, and even challenged her professor who was wasting paper

She reminds her audience of the 36 days long Toronto Garbage Strike in the year 2009 and how she was compelled to analyze the baffling pulsar of waste people generate. Since the event, she went into active research and was resolute in bringing a positive change in her life as well as her society. This TED talk is perfect for those who want to know more about zero-waste living and wish to inculcate it in their everyday lifestyle.

4) Why I Live A Zero-Waste Life?- Lauren Singer

A graduate in Environmental Studies, Lauren Singer is the founder of an amazing cleaning products company, The Simply Co. She is also the author of The Zero Waste Blog and creates such a tiny amount of trash that it can fit in a jar. In this TED talk, Lauren talks of how she was labeled as crazy, a liar, and was mocked by her friends for choosing this Zero-waste lifestyle

She tells her story about quitting plastic and how she derived her inspiration from an online blog. Lauren points out the tiniest things that contain plastic and how we all have inculcated the material in our daily lives. Though the idea of zero-waste sounds daunting, she breaks down the steps she followed to come this far. If there is one video you should watch from this list, this should be it. Lauren’s journey is too inspiring to not fall in awe of!

5) The Investment Logic For Sustainability- Chris McKnett

Chris McKnett. [email protected] Street, Boston, MA. November 6, 2013. Photo: Ryan Lash

Ever wondered why nurturing sustainable brands is pivotal in building a cleaner future? Chris McKnett clearly outlines the adverse effects of daily human activities on the planet and tells about the economic risks that the world will face at large. Referring to sustainability and the role of corporate Governance, Chris says,” I think it’s reckless to ignore these things because doing so can jeopardize future and long term returns.”

In eye-opening statistics, McKnett shows how companies with the best sustainable and climate change practices outperformed 500 global companies that did not address any such issues. McKNett gives the audience a tangible quantity and stock values by which they can understand sustainable development in a quantifiable manner. This TED talk makes the green economy a reality rather than an abstract idea. Go ahead and watch it.

The Takeaway

Sustainability is a long and gradual process but it’s worth the effort. If there’s any time you think sustainability is too hard for you, always remember it’s better to contribute something than nothing. The world knows you are trying your best and every positive change does make a difference. I hope you have found these recommendations helpful and got the motivation you need to live a more sustainable life.

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