Last Updated on
This is the fifth installment of the six part series, Becoming Sustainably Motivated. The series is meant to offer some insight and encouragement towards adopting a sustainable lifestyle. Part five focuses on staying informed. Explore all six to help find and develop your own sustainable motivation!
In The Know
This is yet another fundamental aspect to adopting the sustainable lifestyle. We need to be continuously learning! This can be from listening to the wisdom of our elders, observing nature, exploring other cultures, or attending courses and reading voraciously.
I personally recommend grounding yourself in some good history and geography lessons to better understand where you came from, how things are the way they are, and how various issues connect.
It’s a Continuous Process
Diving into history will also provide for learning about science, nature, politics, economics, technology… actually it covers quite the spectrum (here I’m showing my personal preference towards the awesomeness of studying history).
Absorbing information will undoubtedly help you in life, but it will also help you to assist others, and instill an appetite for learning that will perpetuate your sustainable motivation. Learning is totally a continuous process!
Follow The News
As in actual news. There are so many ways to tune in and remain current to what’s happening in your neighborhood and around the world that finding information shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
On the other hand, getting accurate and objective information has become more challenging for some, as the rise of blog sites, entertainments news sites, and embedded marketing, have contributed to the spread of misinformation and opinions, or outright false news, as being presented as fact (see The Truth of Comedy).
Conspicuously, much of our current understanding of fake news detractors originally came from liberal sources, yet those same source are now themselves attacked from the politically far-right as being untrue and biased.
Despite the noise coming from those who seek to justify cause with opinions and beliefs over fact, if you’re concerned about sustainability, it is imperative to stay committed to the search for the truth.
Find Trustworthy News Sources
My list of credible news sources include: The Guardian, The Independent, ProPublica, Reuters, and Democracy Now. Though not as staunchly independent, I do look to the BBC (UK), NPR (USA), and the CBC (Canada).
I supplement these with numerous local papers and as well as by individual reporters (Twitter is great for this). I also try to expand my intake of news from international sources and diverse my newsfeed. The mixture, so long as it is well-supported, gets included in my reading and keeps me up to date. I would encourage you all to do the same.
Expand the Scope
As far as other news sites, I’m definitely a fan of Vox. I like how they help connect the dots on a number of issues. A few other sites I explore include, Vice, The Intercept, and Politico. Wherever you choose to pull from, make sure to find vetted trusted sources, and stay current to what is happening around you.
In our increasingly interconnected world, information is flowing in from all over the place, but our time is to go through it all is pretty limited. We all have so much on our plate as it is! Thankfully, technology has also provided us with ample means of checking in on our sources even during brief interludes (public transit, lunch/coffee breaks/dare I say, toilet time).
Excellent Internet Sites
Aside from this awesome website, there are a number of great places to find information pertaining to the climate crisis, environmental action, and relevant government policies.
- NASA: Climate Change
- The NOAA: Climate
- European Climate Foundation
- The European Environmental Bureau
- The United Nations: Climate Change
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
- Public Citizen: Climate and Energy (USA)
- The Union of Concerned Scientists (USA)
- The National Observer (Canada) – Climate Change
- The Narwhal (Canada)
Recommended Reading – In Books
Dive into some books! Social Media is undoubtedly amazing for being updated quickly! At a glance, you can discover what’s going on in your neighborhood, or around the world. However, if you want to better understand the context, help connect the dots, and really piece together the information behind the headlines, books are where it’s at.
With regards climate change, environmental politics, and sustainable business practices, I have a number of sweet recommendations in my books category, found under the Learning Tools heading of this site. Otherwise, you’re welcome to click on the image above to get a list of my top dozen to really get into the thick of it.
Recommended Periodicals (Magazines)
Some suggest magazines include: The Economist, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, Harvard International Review, and Slate. Though not as news oriented, but equally relevant in learning about ourselves and our planet, I also really enjoy picking up issues of the National Geographic, Scientific American, and Psychology Today.
Don’t Fear The Long Articles
As mentioned above, quick updates are great, but I’d strongly encourage you to discover more about the most important issues facing our world and our future. Apps are awesome when pressed for time, but when you do finally have a breather, go for the longer read!
Getting beyond the soundbites, and into the actual causes, can be immensely satisfying. It will also help with absorbing and understanding current events quickly and more accurately. The flip side of having so much info readily available to us, is that we have the tendency to go for the quick gratification and react to those catchy headlines. This has led to all sorts of negative consequences (see Skim reading is the new normal).
Events rarely happen in isolation. It often requires some deeper thought and actual understanding in order to truly process what is going on. The easier explanations aren’t necessarily the correct ones, in that there is a dramatic difference between correlation and causation.
If someone who is trained to know and make that difference can help breakdown complex issues, so much the better, but it does take some effort on your part.
Excellent Viewing (Documentaries)
Another way to get past the headlines and discover more about the issues, is to watch quality content and well presented documentaries that explore in greater detail the topics that affect us. They represent an incredibly powerful source of learning, through one of the most fundamentally human means, storytelling. For a collection of recommended documentaries, click the image above.
Documentaries films and television programs provide a narrative with which to better assimilate the extensive and offer complex data that is coming our way. They can present expert interviews, visual explanations, and personal experiences, and package them neatly into a more digestible format. To be sure, there is certainly a range of quality among documentaries, but you’ll discover that as you continue your explorations.
Keep Feeding Your Brain
There is so much awesomeness to learn! Whether through film books, magazines, or websites, there are plenty of ways to keep feeding your brain. Indeed, discovering new and relevant information, will provide you with all kinds of inspiration and help keep you sustainably motivated.💪 Good luck on your journey, and feel free to reach out if you hit a snag, or have something brilliant to share.