The Earthkeepers Podcast promotes global connection among ecological-minded people who believe that earth care is an integral part of spiritual life. Through conversations about topics like ecology, climate change, gardening, farming, social enterprise, theology, environmental justice, outdoor recreation, conservation and community development, we aim to inspire a movement of ordinary earthkeepers who will help heal the world. You can find and listen to all episodes below, or through the following podcast platforms:
EARTHCARE IS PEOPLECARE: WITH MILMER MARTINEZ VERGARA OF PLANT WITH PURPOSE
This episode's guest, Milmer Martinez Vergara, is a Program Officer with the international development organization, Plant with Purpose. A conservation biologist working with Latin American projects, Milmer assures listeners that the ecosystem can provide what is needed for all to not just survive, but to flourish and emphasizes the importance of considering the environment when making decisions. Furthermore, since ecosystems don't stop at borders, finding solutions to global problems must also go beyond borders.
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INNOVATIVE BUSINESS THINKING FOR COMMUNITY-BASED EARTHCARE: RYAN METZGER OF RIDWELL
In this episode we talk with Ryan Metzger, the CEO of Ridwell, a groundbreaking organization that is pioneering a different approach to recycling and repurposing. Ryan and his young son Owen cofounded this growing company that helps people keep things out of landfills by picking up items that recycling companies normally wouldn’t take. They saw a problem and took risks to try new ways to solve it with an innovative business model centered around community resources and partnerships. Today, they are on a mission to empower “neighbors and communities to build a less wasteful future.”
THE POWER OF SPORTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD: ROGER MCCLENDON OF GREEN SPORTS ALLIANCE
Forrest cohosts this episode with Beth Knox, President of the Seattle Sports Commission and a board member of Circlewood, the parent organization of this podcast. Together we talk to Roger McClendon, Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance—an organization that leverages the influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities. We talk about the power sports has to unify people and to help form common vision, engaging big issues like climate change and systemic racism.
EARTH SOLIDARITY: LEARNING TO ADVOCATE FOR —AND AS—CREATION, WITH MARY DEJONG
In this episode we talk with Mary DeJong, founder of Waymarkers, an organization which teaches people to trust themselves and their own power to read the sacred script right outside their door, in the sanctuary of the wild. Mary helps people shift their world views to understand that we, as human beings, are not separate from the rest of creation, but are instead an integral part of it. This shift in perspective completely changes our motivation for environmental advocacy and earthkeeping.
IN DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH: IN SUPPORT OF THE SMALL-SCALE FARMER, WITH TIMOTHY WISE
In this episode we talk to Timothy A. Wise, author of Eating Tomorrow: Agriculture, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food who advocates for a more sustainable, earth-friendly mode of development than industrial agriculture, which, he explains, does much to harm the environment and disrupt local cultures. We need, he says, to support the work of small farmers, whose local knowledge and relationship to the land helps them farm in ways that promote environmental health and produce food that is better for us. Recently, we interviewed a guest on this show representing the African Green Revolution Forum—an entity that promotes large-scale agriculture involving multinational companies as the key to Africa’s economic development. Some listeners asked if we could present an alternative view that might help us understand the risks and challenges of the AGRF approach and Timothy Wise provides that differing perspective.
THE ART OF SEEING: HANNAH & NATHAN ANDERSON ON THEIR NEW BOOK, TURNING OF DAYS
In this episode, we talk with author Hannah Anderson, and her husband and illustrator Nathan Anderson. They discuss their deep roots in the natural world and their desire to help others see and learn from the creation around them in new ways. Together Hannah and Nathan have collaborated on a book that will be released this week called Turning of Days: Lessons from Nature, Season, and Spirit. Through poignant meditations and detailed drawings, this moving work helps readers to perceive the lessons that are present in every aspect of creation—if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear.
BONUS - Click HERE for a video of Hannah and Nathan Anderson exploring how the natural world can enrich your life regardless of your quarantine situation.
A LIFE OF MEANING: AN INTRODUCTION TO PERMACUTURE WITH DAVE BOEHNLEIN
In this episode we talk to Dave Boehnlein—co-founder of Terra Phoenix Design and author of the book Practical Permaculture. Dave helps us to understand some of the basic tenets of permaculture thinking and practice. According to him, there is a place in permaculture for everyone, no matter what their skills or interests might be. In fact, he contends that this way of thinking and being is something that can help any of us to find greater meaning in our lives.
LOOKING BACK TO LOOK AHEAD:
LAUNCHING SEASON 2 WITH FORREST AND JAMES
To kick off Season 2, cohosts Forrest and James look back on lessons from 2020 and highlight signs of hope for 2021. Along the way they talk about rewilding lawns, turning a house into a solar power plant, the future of the Paris Climate Accords, and the debate over how many bobcats were seen by James' children.
See below for photos from places mentioned in the episode, as well as a video from the infamous bobcat sighting.
SAVING FORESTS BY CHANGING LIVES: THE YOUNG INNOVATORS AT EAST AFRICA ENERGY SOLUTIONS
In this episode we connect to three friends at East Africa Energy Solutions—friends who are creating ways to provide energy to rural Ugandans, ways that are both cheap and sustainable. By helping people to create their own methane gas with low-tech waste processors called biodigesters, they are giving people a clean alternative to cooking with wood and charcoal—thus helping Ugandans to save money, live healthier, more productive lives, and in the process, slow the destruction of the country’s remaining forests. As part of a generation of young idealists, they are relentlessly hopeful and fiercely committed to the belief that they have the power to change lives and save ecologies.
AFRICA RISING: DEBISI ARABA AND THE AFRICAN GREEN REVOLUTION FORUM
In this episode we talk with Dr. Debisi Araba, Managing Director of the African Green Revolution Forum. The AGRF is an organization that fosters community and collaboration among countries across all of Africa. Focusing on agriculture in particular, the African Green Revolution Forum works to accelerate the continent’s drive toward economic growth, human flourishing, and environmental health. Africa is rising, and it is the passion of people like Debisi that is driving the vision. He joins our conversation in this episode from Kenya.
EMPOWERING A NEW GENERATION OF EARTHKEEPERS: CHRIS ELISARA AND CREATION CARE STUDY PROGRAMS
In this episode we talk to Dr. Chris Elisara--visionary educator, social entrepreneur, and filmmaker. Having grown up in New Zealand, Chris’ international perspective makes him especially suited to his role as chair of the World Evangelical Alliance's Creation Care Task Force. He is also the founder of Creation Care Study Programs—an organization that provides opportunities for university students to devote an entire semester to learning about creation care in a community setting. He has devoted much of his life to equipping and empowering students because he is convinced that the future of the planet depends on the creative, problem-solving capacities of younger generations.
IT TAKES ALL KINDS: ERIC LONG ON WHY EARTHKEEPING NEEDS SCIENTIEST, THEOLOGICANS, AND EVERYONE ELSE
In this episode we talk with Dr. Eric Long, a biology professor who has learned to live in the space between science and theology. In our conversation about wildlife ecology and ecotheology, we consider the important truth that everyone can be an ecologist—or a theologian for that matter. Eric reminds us that anyone can find ways to work for the good of the earth, no matter what their vocation is. You don’t need a degree in environmental science to understand ecology, or a theology degree to see the ways that God is revealed in nature. In this episode we encourage people to think out of the box when it comes to figuring out how their jobs, hobbies, and even their community and family lives, can all be directed toward promoting the health of the planet. Earthkeepers believe in greening everything!
INDIGENIZING OUR WORLDVIEWS: A NATIVE VISION FOR EARTHKEEPING, WITH RANDY WOODLEY
In this episode we’ll be talking to Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley—Keetoowah Cherokee teacher, theologian, activist, farmer, and the author of several books. In our conversation today, we focus on a Native theology of land and environment—a subject of particular interest to Earthkeepers, who have come to understand the Western world’s desperate need for new ways of being in and with creation.
RAISING UP A GENERATION OF EARTHKEEPERS: BONNIE CRETTON AND THE WOODSONG FOREST SCHOOL
In this episode we talk to Bonnie Cretton—founder and director of Woodsong Forest School in southeast Tennessee. Bonnie is committed to raising up a generation of children who see themselves as integrally connected to all life on earth. She believes that when children are educated in ways that promote a sense of belonging to all nature, they will inevitably grow up to be earthkeepers.
A CALL FOR REFORMATION: FAITH, CREATION CARE, AND A NEW KIND OF CHURCH WITH TRI ROBINSON.
In this episode we talk with Tri Robinson—rancher, environmentalist, retired evangelical pastor, and the author of several books. He is also the subject of a recently released film entitled Cowboy and Preacher: The Life and Times of Tri Robinson. In this strange era when so many religious folks deny climate change, and actively ignore issues of environmental injustice, Tri has dedicated much of his life to persuading conservative Christians that their faith actually requires them to care for the earth. At the same time, Tri stands with those who stand outside ofconservative culture, and offers visions of a new kind of Christ-follower . . . and a new kind of church. Listen in as we explore his hopeful vision, and learn how this man moved past religious politics to become an advocate for God’s love toward all of creation.
DISMANTLING ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS: A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE SPEAKS OUT
This episode features an employee of a federal land management agency who has much to say about the current administration's systematic dismantling of programs and laws that have been developed over the years to preserve and restore the health of the environment. According to the Brookings Institute, in this last summer alone the current administration has loosened restrictions on methane emissions from oil wells, undermined the process of determining energy efficiency requirements for appliances, moved to open Alaska's Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration, and weakened core elements of the Endangered Species Act. On the condition on anonymity, our guest has agreed to share an insider's view of the relentless attacks being mounted on this matrix of protections that have taken generations to put into place.
ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY WHEN OTHERS DON'T BELIEVE: RACHEL JONES AND JASON LYLE ON LIFE IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH
In this episode we’ll be talking to Rachel Jones, who teaches at a college in Tennessee, and Jason Lyle, who leads an international nonprofit and serves in a church in Georgia. Both live in places where there is cultural ambivalence about the importance of earthkeeping, and for some, even outright denial of climate change realities. Rachel and Jason though have each found creative ways to express their love of creation, and to speak out of their passion for environmental justice in ways that don’t shut down the conversation.
THE JOURNEY THUS FAR: FORREST INSLEE AND JAMES AMADON ON THE FUTURE OF EARTHKEEPERS
In this episode, Forrest and James Amadon review the episodes that we’ve created in the first six months of the Earthkeepers podcast. We identify some of the themes that have emerged, consider some of the personal lessons we’ve learned, and dream a bit about where the podcast is headed in the future!
A VISION FOR GLOBAL COMMUNITY: RANDY BORMAN AND THE COFÁN FOREST GUARDIANS
In this episode we talk with Randy Borman, a respected leader among the Cofán indigenous people of Ecuador. Randy was born at the headwaters of the Amazon; he grew up among the Cofán people, speaking their language and living life in the forest as any young Cofán does. He also learned American culture from his missionary parents, and later pursued a Western university education before returning to his home and his people in Ecuador. Today, Randy is a respected leader among the Cofán, and is also well-known internationally among global environmental advocates. In our conversation we talk about indigenous worldviews, the unseen world, protecting the rain forest as a defense against climate change, and the need for a global cooperative approach to earthkeeping.
ENCOUNTERING GOD IN NATURE: VICTORIA LOORZ AND WILD CHURCHES
Forrest Inslee and James Amadon talk with Victoria Loorz, founder of the Wild Church Network, a broad association of religious communities that practice faith life in ways that foster connectedness to all of creation. A key practice of a wild church is holding some or all of their community gatherings in the outdoors, encouraging and guiding people to sense God’s presence in the natural world. You might recall from episode 6 that an essential indigenous value is seeking to be a “good relative” among all the myriad beings that make up the family of creation. In a similar way, Wild Churches seek to cultivate this dynamic of relationship that they call “KIN-dom”.
RECONCILING - TO THE LAND AND ONE ANOTHER - CHRISTI RENAUD AND PLANT WITH PURPOSE
In this episode we talk with Christi Renaud, Director of Marketing and Development for Plant with Purpose, which works with impoverished communities around the world to build strong local economies by encouraging good agriculture and financial management practices. Plant with Purpose is set apart from many other international development agencies through their emphasis on ecology and environmental health. Join us as we discuss the importance of local knowledge in community development, the connections between environmental justice and social justice, and creation care’s rootedness in yearning for God.
IN KINSHIP WITH CREATION: AN INDIGENOUS WORLDVIEW, WITH LENORE THREE STARS
Lenore Three Stars is a member of the board for Circlewood—the larger creation care community to which Earthkeepers belongs. As a member of the Lakota people, Lenore helps us to understand and embrace elements of an indigenous world view. In this episode we discuss a kinship model of creation care, as a corrective to a Western worldview that views people as separate from, and dominant over, creation.
WHERE SPIRITUALITY AND SCIENCE MEET
In this episode we talk to Leah Kostamo about her work at the Brooksdale Environmental Center in Surrey, British Colombia, and how she helps people understand the spirituality, as well as the science, of creation care. We also touch on themes of hospitality, children and nature, spiritual practices, our "ecological footprint," and environmental science.
URBAN FARMING AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
In this episode we talk to Matt Ryan, an urban farmer in Chicago whose makes it his mission to educate the community about the social and environmental justice dynamics of growing food. The conversation includes crucial topics such as the intimacy of a farmer’s relationship to the land; the sustainability of small-scale farming; urban and backyard farming; the global food supply chain; and winter gardening.
GARDENS, COMMUNITY, AND GOD-PRESENCE
In this episode, contemplative author and gardener Christine Aroney-Sine offers a perspective from the Global South, in particular from her native Australia. She shares her thoughts about the connection between gardening and community, and explains lectio tierra--the practice of sensing the presence of God in nature. We speak as well about the ways in which all of these things found expression in ancient Celtic traditions--an historical European indigenous worldview that is finding new relevance today among people who care about community development and creation care.
SOCIAL JUSTICE IN AN URBAN COMMUNITY GARDEN
In this episode Tahmina Martelly of World Relief explains the connections between social and environmental justice, and how they play out in her work with immigrants and refugees. The community garden that they have built together has become a center for multicultural community, where people celebrate ethnic, cultural, economic, and religious diversity. Tahmina also addresses resistance among some Christians to matters of global warming and climate change, and challenges us to think about the sort of grace it takes to model a different approach to creation care.
EARTH CARE AND SPIRITUALITY
In this episode Forrest Inslee, Earthkeepers Podcast host, and James Amadon, Executive Director of Circlewood, talk about what the podcast is about, and what to expect in future episodes. Both tell their stories of how they sense and understand God in nature, and how creation care eventually became a core element of their respective callings. They speak of the need for community among people who believe that earth care is connected to spiritual practice. Only by finding support in one and other, and by learning in global community from a diversity of perspectives, can ecologically-minded people begin to shape a movement--a movement to combat climate change, to mobilize for environmental restoration, to advocate for environmental justice, and to restore right relationship between people and the rest of creation of which they are a part.