San Francisco Department of the Environment

Read, Watch, Listen

Explore some of our favorite environmental books, films, podcasts, and more curated from Department of the Environment staff and our network of partner organizations. Check back every Friday for updates for your weekend reading, watching, and listening pleasure.

What we’re reading

Stimulate your mind and spark new ideas for environmental action.


Offered as E-Books by San Francisco Public Library:

Environmental E-Book List (San Francisco Public Library)

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming (Hawken)

Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have (Schlossberg)

Available elsewhere:

American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It) (Bloom)

Making Transit Fun!: How to Entice Motorists from Their Cars (and onto their feet, a  bike, or bus) (Nordahl)

Transforming Plastic: From Pollution to Evolution (Bates)

Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in An Age of Climate Crisis (Shiva)

Articles & Blogs

Harnessing the Power of Collective Action (SF Environment, Debbie Raphael)

Take Action: Act on Plastic Pollution (

11 Actions for the Planet During a Pandemic (

9 of the Best Nature Documentaries to Watch on Earth Day (Vogue)

Growing Gardeners (Garden for the Environment)

Off the Beaten Path Walks for Every District in San Francisco (Walk SF)

Our environmental practices make pandemics like the coronavirus more likely (Vox)

What we’re watching

See something from a new light. From inspirational to eye-opening, here’s what’s grabbed our attention.

Films & Documentaries

Who Killed the Electric Car? (Paine)

Forks Over Knives (Pulde and Lederman)

From the Ashes (Bonfiglio)

Revolution Food (Di Cesare)

Artifishal (Patagonia) 

Videos & TED Talks

Check out the SF Environment YouTube playlist for a curated list of TED Talks, documentaries, and event replays.

Talking Sustainable Food with Dolores Huerta & Alice Waters (City Arts & Lectures)

No More Waste, Please (CNN)

Power Trip: The Story of Energy (PBS)

Feeling Guilty about Climate Change (PBS)

Earth Songs (Ludivico Enaudi)

Lexicon of Sustainability (PBS)


What we’re listening to

Turn up the volume and tune into these thought-provoking podcasts.


Heated (Drilled) – A six-part series exploring the intersections of our climate crisis, environmental justice, and COVID-19. (Note: contains adult language).

Bioneers - Access to in-depth interviews with leading social and scientific innovators.

Talking Headways (Streetsblog) - The latest happenings at the intersection of sustainable transportation, urban planning, and economic development.

NPR’s Environment Podcast (NPR) - Breaking news on the environment, climate change, pollution, and endangered species.

Bill Nye Science Rules Podcast - Bill Nye takes on your science questions.

The Food Chain (BBC World Service) - Looks at the business, science and cultural significance of food & getting it to your plate.

Episode 925: A Mob Boss, A Garbage Boat and Why We Recycle July (NPR Planet Money) - Explores the beginning of residential recycling in the US.

Can Corporations Stop Climate Change? (NY Times The Daily) - Examines whether corporations can make a difference without government regulation.

Energy Exchange (Columbia University) - In-depth conversations with the world’s top energy and climate leaders.

Podship Earth (Blumenfeld) - Takes on a wide range of environmental topics with a focus on how we can make a difference.

San Francisco bridge in fog photograph