Top 5 MasterClass Picks for the Beginner Eco-Warrior
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Not everyone has an easy time starting this ol' green journey. Between the abundance of information (some of it conflicting), and the fear of criticism for lack of perfection (reminder: no one is perfect!), it is easy get overwhelmed. So how can we educate ourselves to a point where we feel comfortable enough to take that first step? With a little help from some of the world's gurus in science in conservation, of course!
We recently signed up for MasterClass and among the dozens of intriguing subjects, we found ourselves drawn to the ones detailed below. They represent five very different ways to find balance with nature, and are an excellent starting point for anyone looking to enhance their eco-activities.
- Jane Goodall – one of the leading conservationists and animal behaviorists of our time! This is an inspiring place to start, and the most relevant to learning the importance of our delicate ecosystem in relation to human existence. Dr. Goodall goes over implications of three major issues threatening life on this planet and how human behavior impact that. She touches on everything; water, climate change, agriculture, deforestation, biodiversity, animal cruelty, and using food as a form of activism. She even gives tips on communication and how to have tough conversations while remaining focused and factual.
- Ron Finley – we love Ron! Ron shares the story about how he has helped urban communities connect with nature and find freedom in growing their own food. The “gangsta gardener” reminds us that access to healthy, organic food is a massive social issue that needs addressing. For him this meant making use of neglected pieces of land around the city – even the strips of grass bordering sidewalks! He had his share of challenges, but has continued to make positive change with the support and participation of the community. Ron inspires us to grow our own food right now – even if we don’t have that perfect piece of land yet (or any land at all!). He gives us the valuable knowledge of thinking outside the box to upcycle materials for gardening, teaches us which plants to grow together to keep the soil rich (biodiversity), talks about the impact of composting, shows how to increase harvests with propagation, and most importantly, makes sure we know how not to kill our plants!
- Alice Waters – Alice is a chef whose philosophy is to follow the lead of nature and waste as little as possible. She starts off giving us tips for our shopping list, going into the impact that buying local, seasonal produce has on the environment. She teaches different methods to prepare foods in a way that maintains valuable nutrients, and leaves us with some simple, easy recipes for some DIY staples (some of which come straight from the garden). Alice also gives us insight into her Edible Schoolyard Project, where she highlights growing food as an educational tool.
- Apollonia Pollane – Even if you weren't sucked in to the great "homemade bread pandemic hobby", this course will come in handy. In fact, baking homemade bread has long been a popular activity in the eco community. Baking your own bread allows you to choose healthier ingredients, scrap the preservatives, and eliminate the need for those single use plastic bags bread is packaged in. Apollonia has generations of baking in her veins and she breaks down the tools, ingredients, and common issues with home-made bread. She’ll tell you everything you need to know about growing and maintaining your own sourdough starter (without the drama), and make sure you never let a single crumb go to waste. Your taste buds will not be disappointed!
- Neil deGrasse Tyson – Who better to learn from than a genius astrophysicist? It’s fair to say that most eco-warriors rely on science to guide their actions when it comes to protecting the environment. We are passionate about spreading that knowledge but are often met with some very negative attitudes (if not blown off completely.) Constructing well-informed, factually based arguments is Neil's specialty. He has been opening minds for decades using tools that allow him to stay focused on facts while tailoring the discussion to whomever he is talking to. Passion will only get you so far, but Neil can help you deliver your message!
With these five Masterclass courses under your belt, you are bound to find the inspiration and motivation to take your first steps to defining your eco-priorities. Don't forget to check out some of the other courses (might as well while you're there!) With dozens of subjects available; photography, voice, sales, acting, poker, architecture, writing….there really is something for everyone! So get going and start learning – just be sure to come back afterwards to let us know what you loved the most!