Introducing the GrassRoots Podcast!

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I’m launching a podcast this month!

I’ve got some exciting news this week from my own corner of the nonprofit marketing world: I’ll be launching a podcast with Plant With Purpose!

The show will be called GrassRoots and we’ll be focused on the way our current environmental crisis serves as a root cause for so many other urgent challenges around the globe, from education to human trafficking to spiritual health.

This will be a bit of a documentary style podcast. Through a blend of interviews, storytelling, conversations and raw recording, this show is all about looking at the climate crisis from a ground level, by hearing from those who are most impacted by it and those who are working to help. I’ll be cohosting the show with my Plant With Purpose teammate, Christi Renaud.

The first episode, The Roots of Everything goes live this week. This episode focuses on our origin stories that led us to Plant With Purpose. I share how human trafficking was one of the first injustices that caught my concern, and we talk with somebody from a leading anti-trafficking organization about what the environment has to do with it. I also talk to a Mozambican biologist about how the environment influences how it will recover from the recent cyclones.

We’re aiming for quality over quantity with these episodes, so we’ll be sending out six episodes this summer before recharging for what’s next. But I can’t wait to bring you these six!

We’re going to the front lines of the climate crisis

So much of the conversation around environmental issues happen at a high level. They’re typically focused on scientists and their projections, policy makers, and corporate action.

Unfortunately, guess who that leaves out of the conversation? The people who are most affected by the climate crisis.

Those would be the world’s poor. Especially in rural areas. Especially in exploited countries.

The vast majority of the world’s poor rely on subsistence agriculture to survive. The effects of climate change and environmental deterioration are already felt in their inability to grow enough.

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For this podcast, we’re hoping to put the narrative of environmental action back in their hands. We’re going to explore how the vulnerability of not being able to produce food leads to desperation, exploitation, migration, and even conflict.

We’ll also be exploring how solutions will come from the bottom up. We look at people who are solving their own community’s problems, through GrassRoots action, sustainable practices, and empowering villages.

That’s why we went well out of our way to include these voices. Believe me, it wasn’t easy to figure out how to record a call with some friends in DR Congo or Haiti, but it was worth it.

Let’s dig in

Hosting a podcast like this wasn’t easy. There was a big learning curve with figuring out how to conduct a good interview, how to figure out all the tech equipment, and how to plan episodes for what’s still a pretty young medium.

This became a labor of love, however, and I learned a ton. I got to learn from really exciting guests, like Matthew Sleeth, Phileena Heurtz, Shane Claiborne, Kent Annan and others.

Even though I spend most of my time working on environmental issues, this show helped me realize how much more there was for me to know. I learned about park ranger dynamics in Africa, mountaintop removal in West Virginia, and rhino conservation efforts around the world.

I hope you’ll find listening to this podcast as enlightening as making it was for me. And I hope it gives you something you can apply to your mission.

GrassRoots is available for download on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher. New episodes release biweekly.

Philippe Lazaro