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The Owl Hoot

This is a show for anyone interested in the environment and sustainability. I arrived at a point in my own life where I wanted to know more about the state of our planet and how I can play my part (albeit small) in mitigating climate change, reducing pollution and supporting biodiversity. I decided that chatting to others who are already doing something might be a good place to start. So, each episode will feature a different guest telling their stories in and around an environmental activity, that will perhaps provide you with ideas that you can incorporate in to your own life.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Popular episodes

All episodes

Warning: This podcast has few episodes.

This means there isn't enough episodes to provide the most popular episodes. Here's the rankings of the current episodes anyway, we recommend you to revisit when there's more episodes!

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Multimodal transport in cities with Melissa Bruntlett

Melissa Bruntlett is a sustainable, multimodal transport champion; she is co-founder of Modacity, co-author of two books and International Communications Specialist at Mobycon. In this episode, Melissa covers: How she became a cycling advocate. [Starts at 2:00]Starting Modacity, a visit to the Netherlands and writing books. [Starts at 4:10]What she gained from moving to the Netherlands. [Starts at 6:08]Curbing Traffic – a book exploring the positive impact of low car cities on people. [Starts at 8:23]Planning focuses on safety and the need to expand the human impact conversation. [Starts at 11:06]How investment in infrastructure can lead to a shift in transport modes; Vancouver is such an example. [Starts at 13:03]Making short trips easier to undertake by walking and cycling.[Starts at 15:08]Implementing the ideas behind the effective transport networks in the Netherlands elsewhere. [Starts at 18:30]Changing times – electric vehicles and cargo bikes. [Starts at 20:38]What it is like to live without a car. [Starts at 24:15]Transport for everyone. [Starts at 27:10]Promoting sustainable travel through storytelling. [Starts at 30:32]Future ambitions and inclusion within the transport conversation. [Starts at 33:45]Top recommendations: if curious about cycling – start small; try swapping out one of your car journeys and don’t settle for the status quo if you work in transport. [Starts at 37:44]What the world looks like in 2050 – vibrant, green cities with more human-powered transport. [Starts at 40:08] Useful links Modacity Mobycon Published Books Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality (2018)Curbing Traffic: The Human Case for Fewer Cars in Our Lives (2021)   How to connect Twitter: @modacitylife Instagram: @modacitylife Facebook: @modacitylife YouTube Please rate and review this episode and why not share it with someone you think might enjoy it. To hear more stories of people doing fabulous things that positively impact our environment, click subscribe in your podcast app. 

42mins

22 Jul 2021

Rank #1

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Timber in sustainable construction with Nick Milestone

Nick Milestone is Engineering Director at Sigmat and Chairman of the Timber Research and Development Trade Association (TRADA). In this episode, Nick covers: His early career and influence from his grandfather. [Starts at 1:58]Venturing into a timber/steel hybrid model. [Starts at 4:02]Environmental benefits of timber over concrete. [Starts at 5:20]Getting involved with TRADA, biophilia and his Singapore experience. [Starts at 6:48]UK building regulation changes, impacts and opportunities. [Starts at 8:24]Net zero buildings and development in the construction industry. [Starts at 10:05]The supermarkets as catalysts for low carbon buildings. [Starts at 14:10]Pressures from low-cost concrete and cheap labour. [Starts at 17:46]Sustainable timber and PEFC/FSC certification. [Starts at 18:33]Local supply issues and developing countries. [Starts at 22:27]Life cycle assessments and the circular economy. [Starts at 25:49]Timber use and building regulations around the world. [Starts at 28:08]Policy change, testing and insurance. [Starts at 32:10] His involvement in COP 26. [Starts at 33:34]Top recommendations: look at your personal carbon footprint – are there changes you can make to your home or lifestyle? [Starts at 35:50]What the world looks like in 2050 – more megacities. [Starts at 37.59] Useful links TRADA Softwood Lumber Board FSC PEFC The Structural Carbon Tool SLB Mass Timber and Hybrid Structures Outlook and Opportunity Presentation How to connect LinkedIn Twitter: @nick_milestone Instagram: @nmilestone Please rate and review this episode and why not share it with someone you think might enjoy it. To hear more stories of people doing fabulous things that positively impact our environment, click subscribe in your podcast app. 

41mins

8 Jul 2021

Rank #2

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Earth systems and climate change with Dr James Dyke

Dr James Dyke is Assistant Director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter. In this episode, James covers: His dream job and why he changed focus to current earth system issues. [Starts at 2:12]What the Anthropocene looks like from a future perspective. [Starts at 4:18]Human interaction with the earth systems. [Starts at 6:00]How energy lies at the heart of climate change. [Starts at 7:19]Why we can’t stop using fossil fuels immediately. [Starts at 11:31]Entering the political/economic/social sphere to affect change. [Starts at 13:53]Modelling and the inclusion of yet to be proven technological solutions. [Starts at 22:48]Renewable energy solutions and exponential global economic growth. [Starts at 28:22]His involvement in the film, The Race Is On. [Starts at 31:54]Writing for a wider audience to stimulate dialogue. [Starts at 34:01]His book on how the earth has changed and ideas to address climate change. [Starts at 36:02]Feeling privileged and staying both positive and active. [Starts at 38:25]Top recommendations: talk about climate change with friends, family, employers, businesses, your MP; join organisations. [Starts at 41:47]What the world looks like in 2050 – radically different, either from making or not making changes. [Starts at 45:14] Useful links James Dyke Website James Dyke – University of Exeter The Race is On: Secrets and Solutions of Climate (2019) Published books Due for release August 2021 Fire, Storm and Flood: The Violence of Climate Change How to connect J.G.Dyke@exeter.ac.uk Twitter: @JamesGDyke Please rate and review this episode and why not share it with someone you think might enjoy it.  To hear more stories of people doing great things that positively impact our environment, just click subscribe in your podcast app.

48mins

24 Jun 2021

Rank #3

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Low impact living with Marisha Kay

Marisha Kay is the co-owner of a low impact living shop, part of a community interest recycling business and permaculture enthusiast. In this episode, Marisha covers: Her early life in South Africa and interest in drama. [Starts at 2:10]Sustainability as a way of life. [Starts at 3:39]What permaculture is. [Starts at 7:37]Getting involved in permaculture and what this looks like. [Starts at 10:42]The influences behind starting the recycling business. [Starts at 14:16]What non-curbside items they recycle and valuing resources. [Starts at 19:41]What the shop is about. [Starts at 23:10]What you can expect if you visited the shop. [Starts at 25:30]Pricing, quality and valuing the chain of production. [Starts at 27:30]Community connection, like-mindedness and the Friendship Orchard. [Starts at 30:00]Changing habits organically and consciously choosing activities. [Starts at 31:38]Top recommendation: reduce single-use plastics. [Starts at 36:12]What the world looks like in 2050 – more resilient and mindful. [Starts at 37:57] Useful links Belper Permaculture Network How to connect Facebook: @marishakay13 Facebook: @eartharmonybelper Please rate and review this episode and why not share it with someone you think might enjoy it.  To hear more stories of people doing great things that positively impact our environment, just click subscribe.

39mins

10 Jun 2021

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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Ecosystem restoration with Pieter van der Gaag

Pieter van der Gaag is Executive Director of Ecosystem Restoration Camps, a global movement aiming to repair broken ecosystems, restore biodiversity and improve the livelihoods of local communities. In this episode, Pieter covers: Student experiences, broadening his world view. [Starts at 1:50]The importance of collaboration with stakeholders to tackle global societal issues. [Starts at 3:36]The art of successful collaboration. [Starts at 6:59]Joining the Ecosystem Restoration Camps organisation. [Starts at 9:39]Starting up the first camp, Altiplano in Spain and developing the camp model. [Starts at 12:57]Local communities and campers coming together in camps across the world. [Starts at 16:25]The process of new camps joining the movement. [Starts at 19:22]Camp uniqueness, criteria required and aims of restoration. [Starts at 22:25]Ambitions for the movement. [Starts at 27:15]Campers and their experience whilst at camp. [Starts at 29:17]Why Pieter continues at Ecosystem Restoration Camps. [Starts at 33:03]Top recommendations: grow plants; find a local initiative; join Ecosystem Restoration Camps. [Starts at 35:27]What the world looks like in 2050 – energy supply will be solved and the benefits of natural capital will be fully understood. [Starts at 37.04] Useful links Ecosystem Restoration Camps Trustone Regreening the desert with John D. Liu How to connect info@ecosystemrestorationcamps.org Facebook: @Ecosystemrestorationcamps  Twitter: @EcoResCamps Instagram: @ecosystem.restoration.camps Youtube Please rate and review this episode and why not share it with someone you think might enjoy it.  To hear more stories of people doing great things that positively impact our environment, just click subscribe in your podcast app.

40mins

27 May 2021

Rank #5

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Plastic Free and community action with Greg Hewitt

Greg Hewitt is the Community Lead for Plastic Free Chesterfield, part of a community network aiming to reduce single-use plastics. In this episode, Greg covers: How his studies of environmental science and IT were ideal credentials for joining Winchester Action on Climate Change. [Starts at 1:55]His introduction to the Transition Network, a movement of communities committed to reimagining and rebuilding our world. [Starts at 3:27]Getting involved with the local Friends of the Earth group and bee activities. [Starts at 5:20]The need for lobbying and campaigning against fracking. [Starts at 7:16]Leadership, working in a team, networking and setting up a social eating café. [Starts at 8:43]Enthusiasm and when it’s not always well-received. [Starts at 13:36]His interest in tackling waste, starting a repair café and setting up the annual Remarkable Recycling Gala event. [Starts at 15:49]New challenges with getting Plastic Free Chesterfield up and running. [Starts at 18:55]Recruiting volunteers and getting local businesses on board. [Starts at 22:00]Growth despite a pandemic and local businesses achieving the Plastic Free Champion Award. [Starts at 26:50]Public perception, membership and webinars. [Starts at 30:20]The challenges of gaining engagement with social media. [Starts at 36:08]Recommendations for plastic change – choose one room in your house to start with, such as your bathroom, and make one swap at a time. Buy a reusable water bottle and coffee cup. [Starts at 39:55]What the world looks like in 2050 – people connecting more and sharing items; greater walking and cycling; no single-use plastics as refills become the norm. [Starts at 41:33] Useful links Plastic Free Chesterfield Surfers Against Sewage Winchester Action on Climate Change Transition Towns Friends of the Earth Hackspace Foundation Remarkable Recycling Gala Nottingham Sarah Turner – Eco Art & Design PebbleMag – Online Sustainable Lifestyle Magazine How to connect info@plasticfreechesterfield@org.uk Facebook: @PlasticFreeChesterfield Twitter: @plasticfreechez Instagram: @plasticfreechesterfielduk Youtube Please rate and review this episode and why not share it with someone you think might enjoy it. To hear more stories of people doing great things that positively impact our environment, just click subscribe.

46mins

13 May 2021

Rank #6

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Protecting our bees and insects with Dave Goulson

Dave Goulson is Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex. In this episode, Dave covers: His early interest in wildlife. [Starts at 1:55]How his bumblebee research was prompted by observing their landing behaviour. [Starts at 3:52]Bee investigations across the world. [Starts at 6:25]Declining bee populations and habitat loss. [Starts at 9:50]Sharing scientific findings. [Starts at 13:25]Starting the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. [Starts at 15:20]Writing books and the challenges of engaging others. [Starts at 17:40]Making a difference with wildlife gardening. [Starts at 23:00]Latest book releases. [Starts at 28:40]Weeds and perceptions of what green spaces should look like. [Starts at 30:05]Top recommendations: don’t use pesticides, plant bee-friendly flowers, don’t mow lawn too often, start a compost heap. [Starts at 36:58]What the world looks like in 2050 – green, pesticide-free towns with flowering fruit trees and non-mown grass; locally grown food, in ways to promote soil diversity, encourage pollination and natural pests; less meat consumption. [Starts at 38:10] Useful links Dave Goulson – University of Sussex Bumblebee Conservation Trust Published books A Sting in the Tale (2013)A Buzz in the Meadow (2014)Bee Quest (2017)The Garden Jungle (2019)Gardening for Bumblebees (2021) Due for release later in 2021 Silent Earth How to connect d.goulson@sussex.ac.uk Twitter: @davegoulson Instagram: @dave.goulson https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbnBys2Hl1T26dzO_nbgbiw/featured Please rate and review this episode and why not share it with someone you think might enjoy it.  To hear more stories of people doing great things that positively impact our environment, just click subscribe in your podcast app.

41mins

29 Apr 2021

Rank #7

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Sustainable toys through running a toy library with Ann-Marie McMillan

Ann-Marie McMillan is the founder and manager of Derbyshire Toy Libraries. In this episode, Ann-Marie covers: The circumstances that led her to set up a new toy library. [Starts at 2:15]The importance of funding, volunteers and training. [Starts at 4:46]The benefits of a patron. [Starts at 8:48]Developing outreach and expansion. [Starts at 11:40]Getting the right systems in place and optimising the utility of toys. [Starts at 14:04]Purposeful play packs and supporting families in need. [Starts at 18:07]Responding to the pandemic with a click and collect service. [Starts at 19:27]The ‘Young at Heart’ project for intergenerational play. [Starts at 24:20]Achieving recognition from the Queen and the International Toy Library Association. [Starts at 26:12]Green activities outside of the toy library. [28:50]Top eco recommendations: join a toy library; avoid faddy, cheap toys; don’t put too much pressure on yourself, see it as a journey. [31:50]What the world looks like in 2050 – learning through play will still be important. [33:39] Useful links Derbyshire Toy Libraries International Toy Library Association How to connect derbyshiretoylibraries@gmail.com Facebook: @derbyshiretoylibraries Instagram: @derbyshiretoylibraries  Please rate and review this episode and why not share it with someone you think might enjoy it.  To hear more stories of people doing great things that positively impact our environment, just click subscribe in your podcast app.

35mins

15 Apr 2021

Rank #8

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Sustainable homes and buildings with John Grant

John Grant is a senior lecturer in Sustainable Construction and Climate Change at Sheffield Hallam University.In this episode, John covers:How he decided to study an undergraduate degree in town planning and his original career ambition to become a police officer. [Starts at 2:05]His move in to postgraduate study on environmental management; his interest piqued by Jim Hanson’s 1988 Congressional testimony on climate change. [Starts at 4:38]His involvement in sustainable cities research, funded by the European Union. [Starts at 6:44]The designing of his own zero-carbon home and what it would look like. [Starts at 12:15]The community of sustainable housing near Newark – Hockerton Housing Project. [Starts at 25:50]The importance of retrofitting the existing housing stock to make them energy efficient. [Starts at 29:39]Loft insulation, window replacement and making a house plan. [Starts at 38:19]His future book – “How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse”; essentially the same strategies for going zero-carbon. [Starts at 41:25]What the world looks like in 2050 – two possible scenarios suggested; the very shiny and the very dark. [Starts at 45:05]Useful linksJohn Grant – Sheffield Hallam University – Staff ProfileHockerton Housing ProjectInnoTHERM InsulationHow to connectj.f.grant@shu.ac.ukTwitter: @JohnF1968Please rate and review this episode and why not share it with someone you think might enjoy it. To hear more stories of people doing great things that positively impact our environment, just click subscribe in your podcast app.

52mins

1 Apr 2021

Rank #9