Author: Sam Ward

Episode 22 – Easy changes that are better for you and the planet

This episode dives into some easy changes that Sam has implemented that that are better for him and for the planet! Partly, Sam wanted to share them because, who wouldn’t want to improve their own life, and improve the climate at the same time, but Sam also feels these things need telling to help undermine the myth that climate action is all about personal sacrifice for the collective good.

From the introduction: “The closer I get to living in line with my values, the freer and happier I am, the more self worth and integrity I feel.”

Show notes: 
1) 3m39secs: Green Geeks – save money on a carbon negative web hosting!

Use this link, and Sam will donate the referral reward of at least $50 to an environmental initiative or carbon offset:
Send an email once you’ve signed up and Sam will send you a receipt for whatever I used it for! 

2) 8m18secs: Replace sugar with honey! 
Save Bugoma Forest 
– Sixteen health benefits of switching from sugar to honey article

3) 15m08secs: Replace some of your lawn with trees, bushes or wildflower meadow.
Save money, save time and bring the wonder of the natural world into your surroundings!

4) 24m19secs: Suggest to your council, place of work, worship or education replaces grass verges, lawns and grass areas with wildflowers or trees. Find out how much they spend each year on maintaining their lawn and suggest that they can do their part for biodiversity, the climate crisis AND save serious amounts of money each year. 

5) 25m40secs: Replace google with Ecosia
Escape the creepy big tech data gathering google machine! Ecosia does not mine and sell your data and plants a tree for every 45 searches.  It’s a simple one time action to change your default search engine in your browsers on your various devices. Consider changing your homepage too.

6) 28m05: Life straw water bottle!  Fill it up anywhere with any water you can find, drink through the filter straw, never or use another single use plastic water bottle. Save money, save plastic, save carbon and add convenience at the same time. 

7) 29m34secs: Stop burning organic waste!  Reduces air pollution in your immediate area, increase the soil fertility, saves carbon emissions, supports a critical, undervalued, part of the ecosystem. 

8) 31m08secs: Replace beef with fish or chicken.
Reducing red meat intake is good for your health, and can dramatically reduce your personal footprint. 

9) 32m32: Clictavism!
System change is key. We can’t all be visionary leaders driving the change ourselves, but we can all stand behind those attempting this critical work, and by adding our numbers and voice, we amplify their power to affect change. Stand up and be counted!  
Here are a collection of organisations working on system change, sign up to their newsletters, and sign their petitions as they come into your inbox, and if you feel sufficiently inspired, lend whatever support you think you can beyond that! A community of inspiring and wonderful people are
– Friends of the earth, sign up on their homepage.
350 sign up on their homepage 
The leap 
Sunrise Movement 
Fridays for future 
Extinction rebellion (sign up at the bottom)
Please send other suggestions for newsletters of those trying to influence system change to, and Sam will add them to this list!

10) 34m35secs: Fill the kettle with only what you need! Takes less time to boil, uses less energy, saves you money. 

11) 34m52secs: If you are an amazon user, use instead of amazon, and select a “go to” environmental charity, amazon gives 0.5% of your spending to a charity with no cost to you. 

12) 36.18: Reusable wipes! Instead of throwing them away at end of life, cut up your old fleeces, towels, tshirts into little squares, stack them around your house, use them instead of wet wipes, tissues and disposable cloths. Super convenient, less waste, less money spent on disposables.

13) 36m56secs: Simplifying complexity of food choices into one simple question, that captures good choices for your health, and for the environment: How close is this food to it’s natural state? 

14) 39m42secs: Ethical investing: Ethical subset of the market has been outperforming the market for a number of years. In 2020 especially, the difference is stark. As the world transitions to climate friendly society, investments and public funds shift into environmental areas, this is likely to continue. How do you fancy improving your financial returns and not supporting all the most evil corporations of the world?

15) 43m55secs: Check out climate steps for more ideas, and a great supportive online community on their facebook group.
Concentrate on making a few changes stick, not making all of them at once, getting overwhelmed and exhausted, and ultimately quitting. Compounding changes over time is much more powerful. To help make them stick, recognise the benefits they bring to you, and appreciate how much better it feels to have your values and your actions aligned. 

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Episode 21 – Getting Going on Climate Action

Week… er… quite a few, of Covid-19 lockdown, Sam talks on a using his businesses and team to launch an environmental initiative while they’ve got little else to do. Getting going on climate action, how it feels better to be actively working on a climate project, than in constant internal dialogue about self sacrifice or focused only on things outside of our own personal control.

Don’t be fooled by it’s beauty!
A huge island of floating vegatation, much of it made up of water hyacinth floats into this mega dam, on the Nile River. As it hit the turbines, it triggered emergency switch off, the shock to the grid of emergency cut off led to a temporary national blackout. For scale, the tiny dots on the dam you can see are vehicles on a double lane road.
More enormous floating islands close to the source of the Nile River in Uganda. Huge matts of water weed breaking away from the lake shore as high rainfall and floods lead to the highest lake levels in recorded history. Town in background is Jinja, population 100,000, can you even see the white boat between the two islands? It’s big enough to hold 20 people. In right of shot, you can see squares of the floating matt that’s been burnt and used for farming!

The other podcast episodes discussed in this podcast:
Episode eight, lemon magic, about the flooding of Sam’s home at end of 2018 and episode nine, rescues and riverbanks – an interview with Dr Jenny Farmer

To stay upto date on the project, and to see some more images as they happen sign up to the Climate Change Unfolding Newsletter below:

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Episode 19 – Community Conservation

Sam talks from Covid-19 lockdown on the last six months of intensive work on the process of establishing a 3000 hectare conservation area in Uganda, including plans for community integrated conservation strategies. Also a call out for ideas from Climate Change Unfolding listeners to share additional ideas that could be incorporated into the plans for the area.

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Episode 18 – The Global Climate Strikes

Climate Action, Uganda Style! @Fridays4FutureU on twitter, educating and engaging!

As the world gears up to what looks like being the biggest environmental movement in human history, Sam takes a look at why we should switch off Netflix, get off our sofas and be a part of an iconic moment in history!

Connect with Sam on Twitter: @SamJamesWard

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Episode 17 – Engaging the Masses (part 5) – Using Sales for Good

Sam discusses lessons in sales learnt in the world of business, and applies them to sustainability. This is part five of a series on Sam’s search for answers on how to engage the masses with climate change.
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If you want to connect, drop Sam an email on or connect on twitter @SamJamesWard.
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For the “outro” song at the end, “Telling it Like it is” and more of Terry Adam’s work, check out Terry Adam’s website!

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Episode 16 – Olympic gold to Extinction Rebellion Activist – An interview with Etienne Stott

An inspiring and insightful interview with Etienne Stott, about his take on our predicament, his philosophy on dealing with it, and why he got involved personally with the arrests and civil disobedience of the XR spring rebellion of early 2019.
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Celebrating on the olympic podium with team mate Tim Baillie.
Being carried away from Waterloo Bridge, arrested for his involvement in the XR spring rebellion. Which of the two images is more heroic? Depends a lot on our perspective!

Etienne Stott and his crew mate Tim Baillie win the Gold at 2012 Olympic Games.  Connect and follow Etienne on Twitter @EtienneStott 
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Here are some notes sent through from Etienne: 

1) Extinction Rebellion website.

2) This video lecture explains the rationale behind Extinction Rebellion. It’s called ‘Heading for extinction and what to do about it’.

3) This short video, the guilty climate activist, is about personal choices without shame and judgement, which is central to Extinction Rebellion philosophy.

4) This video by Professor Kevin Anderson, Climate’s holy trinity, explains the science behind the urgency and what solutions are feasible in the timeframe we have. It also explains how fairness plays out in this context. I’d recommend this one for development of personal understanding, as it really switched my thinking into a higher gear.

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Episode 15 – The Wonder of Rewilding

There is magic in nature, and we are part of it!

Listen in to hear how our natural world is fighting to tackle climate change, and how we can step back and let it help solve our problems for us!
World Organic News Podcast:
(specifically check out episodes 172, 171, 168, 167, 157)
Then also check out the new Regen Earth Podcast
How re-introducing wolves has changed the Yellowstone National Park:

The tree stump above in part inspired this episode on re-wilding. That sounds a little ridiculous, so let me give you the backstory…  the stump sits on the Nile River, between my house, and my office. This section of the Nile used to be free flowing whitewater. In 2011 it was flooded as part of the reservoir of one of a number of mega dams here in Uganda. The tree ended up underwater and died, but a stump remained sticking out of the water. I noticed a couple of years ago a tiny shoot coming out the dead tree. I thought it was recovering, but on closer inspection it was a completely new tree, using the river for water, and the dead tree for nutrients, probably dropped off by one of the many birds that perch on the stump. I’ve watched it grow on my daily commute and basically a complete mini ecosystem build up around it. Grasses, moss and ferns, when I cross early morning I can see spiders webs glistening, and dragon flies perch there in the afternoon sun. A Malachite kingfisher, a beautiful incredibly vibrant bird, now fishes from the branch of the new tree. The undergrowth, now highly competitive covers every inch of the top of the stump.  I just love how resourceful everything has been, nature fighting back from human disruption. It has a kind of melancholy feel to it too, knowing that ultimately the ecosystems built on a tree stump that’s going to eventually rot and fall in the river. If nature can fight back here, it can do it almost anywhere, if only we let it.
Another incredible example of letting nature back in is Jenny Farmer’s (episode 9) plot. She bought it about 5 years ago now, it was completely degraded, they cleared the invasive species off the plot and they had one tree. Now I kayaked past it whilst coaching a group the other day, and snapped a picture, it doesn’t take an ecological specialist to spot the boundary line between Jenny’s and the neighbours plot on right of shot. 
A final example of how wild can be integrated into living spaces. The same plot as above, this is from Jenny’s parking lot, and shows the paths between her kitchen, sleeping area (right) and eating area (left). There is some grass, but there’s no shortage of wild either.

To get some (irregular!) image updates, the latest from trees and bees and other Climate Change Unfolding projects sign up for the Climate Change Unfolding newsletter below:

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Episode 14 – Engaging the Masses (Part 4) – Creating Better Stories

Round four of the podcast series on engaging the masses with sustainability and climate change.

Sam answers some questions on the series so far, and reflects on recent life events before looking into how to use powerful stories around your ideas to make them dramatically more engaging.

The video referenced in the podcast, Becky from Intrepid travel, using a video to create a meaningful story around an idea:

If you have something to say about the episode, or anything really connected with the topic reach out to Sam via twitter: @SamJamesWard or via email sam at

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Episode 13 – Engaging the Masses (Part 3) – Powerful Empathy

A multi-part series on how to engage the masses with your ideas, how to inspire action.

This particular episode hones in on empathy, and the power of empathy to connect with your audience.

Sam is always keen for feedback, comments or ideas, you can reach him on or @SamJamesWard on twitter. If you want to stay connected with the latest on Climate Change Unfolding Projects and podcast, sign up for the newsletter below!

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