We put together a fantastic list of resources that you can read, watch, listen to see the many ways in which we can connect and care for the environment all around us. From poems about birds to understanding the environmental impact of COVID19, we have you covered.
- Stray birds by Anand Vishwanadha: Stray birds is a collection of bird poetry by bird photographer and poet, Anand Vishwanadha. The poems provide striking imagery and paint a unique picture of each bird he writes about. It’s a beautiful way to see and gaze at this species that live amidst us.
- Cities and Canopies by Harini Nagendra and Seema Mundoli: Drawing on research, Cities and Canopies takes us for a walk through native and imported, sacred and ordinary trees which have been part of our surroundings for decades. They look at how trees tell stories about our cities and how they have shaped their identities. If you’re looking to reconnect with the trees in your neighbourhood and learn about their stories, this is a great read.
- Lab Girl by Hope Jahren: Lab girl is a moving story about Hope Jahren’s life. It talks about how she found joy in scientific work, how she learnt life’s lessons through this and how she learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”.
- Walks in the Wild: A Guide Through the Forest by Peter Wohlleben: The author of Hidden life of Trees, whose book we recommend in our Connecting the dots list, takes us through the forest to understand all the knowledge the forest holds. Which tree would protect us from the storm? Which berries and mushrooms are good to eat? Walks in the wild is an exploration of all this and more, and there doesn’t seem to be a better time than this moment to deepen into our connection with the natural world.
- Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh: Hungry tide takes its readers for a walk through the easternmost part of India, near the Bay of Bengal, to the Sundarbans. The magic of the Sundarbans, the drowning tides, the man eating tigers are all there in this poignant book about our connection to the environment.
- ‘Tip of the iceberg’: is our destruction of nature responsible for Covid-19?’ And ‘Halt destruction of nature or suffer even worse pandemics, say world’s top scientists‘: These two pieces explore how our behaviour and destruction could be the cause for this pandemic and there might be many more pandemics waiting for us.
- Our Better Nature: How The Great Outdoors Can Improve Your Life: In this Hidden brain episode, Shankar Vedantam talks with Ming Kuo about the physiological and psychological benefits of spending time in nature and why it’s essential for us all to see ourselves as one among other species.
- Costing the earth: Tom Heap and climate change expert Dr Tamsin Edwards from King’s College, London come together to talk about the environmental impact of the lockdown.They track the changes in the environment because of reduced movement and also dive into discussing “what return to the normal will look like”.
- Honeyland: A 2019 Macedonian documentary film directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov. The film follows a woman beekeeper, Haditze Muratova, who lives with her bedridden mother in a remote mountain settlement. “Take half, leave half”, is the incantation she chants to herself, is her philosophy for treating the bees on whom her livelihood depends. As a Washington Post review describes, it’s ‘part fly-on-the-wall anthropology, part ecological fable.’
- Village Rockstars: Directed by Rima Das, this 2018 film is the story of a 10-year old girl, Dhunu, who lives in a village in Assam that survives on rice fields. She wants to one day own a real guitar and have her own rock band. Dhunu and her group of friends swim, splash, climb trees and fall asleep in its branches. Nature is another character in the film- as much as part of it and the children. At one point in the film, as flood waters rise, they chant: ‘Ban the flood, ban the flood.’ It’s a powerful and quietly told story that also reflects the damage wrought by development projects that seek to control and tame nature. It’s available on Amazon Prime.
- Wall-E: One of Pixar’s masterpieces, this 2008 animation is the quintessential planeray story, offering a vision of the future of a trashed and toxic earth abandoned by mankind. WALL-E (an acronym that stands for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) is the last robot on earth that someone forgot to turn off and his only companion is a cockroach. Mankind, now living in a spaceship above Earth sends a probe EVE (Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) to search for signs of life on the abandoned planet. What follows is a tale of love, friendship in the face of the devastation wrought by man.
- Jungle Book: The 2016 retelling of this classic in an on-point examination of man-animal conflict, and the relationship between humanity and nature. The law of the jungle and the ‘strength of the pack’ are all fundamentals that are more pertinent today than ever before, and this is evident as you follow Mowgli, Bagheera, Baloo and many others living in the forest. In its essence, it speaks to a world where it is possible for people and animals to live in harmony if there is respect and reverence for other species.