Keep busy at home

We heard that you might be looking for some recommendations for things to watch, read, listen, so we asked our staff to share their top picks for your COVID-19 homestay.

Montana Burgess
Executive Director

Listen to a podcast to learn: Media Indigena is a Canadian podcast that has an indigenous panel discussing contemporary issues that I think we can all learn from.

Listen to a podcast to escape: I think that Johnathan Goldstein’s former CBC radio show WireTap is the perfect Canadian mix of funny and thoughtful. Best episodes feature the craziness and mayhem with his friend Howard.

Listen to an album to learn: Fear of A Black Planet by Public Enemy was released in 1990, but its themes still hold up. The struggles from 30 years ago are real and relevant today.

Listen to an album to escape: The late and great Dr. John’s Locked Down album from 2012 is groovy, greasy, upbeat and perfect for your staycation dance party. Title track is one of my all-time favorite songs.

Listen to a song to inspire you: Even though Steve Brockley is my husband, I still think his song Work is the anthem of our time.

Read a book to learn: If you haven’t picked up your copy of EcoSociety’s History booklet to celebrate our 25th anniversary, today is your day. Any donation over $100 to EcoSociety’s Resilience Fund gets you a copy. Before we mail it to you, we’ll let it sit in the envelope for 72 hours so you know the booklet will have no COVID-19 on it. 

Read a book to escape: I was going to recommend a favorite from the past, but now I’m not sure it holds up, so I’ll recommend Wildwater Walking Club by Claire Cook. Middle aged woman who finds friends, discovers the joys of walking in her neighbourhood and advocates for clotheslines — what more could I possibly want to escape in a drama-free no-anxiety novel?

Read an article to learn: If anyone out there is considering cutting their giving to non-profits, especially if you are a foundation, please read me first.

Read an article to escape: I like to relax by thinking about what I’m going to eat next. Plant-based recipes where meat isn’t the star is a fun journey in thinking about dinner.

Watch a movie to learn: Ever wondered where voguing comes from? Not Madonna, it’s from the LGBT community in New York in the 1980s. Paris is Burning will make you dance, smile and cry.

Watch a movie to escape: Bon Cop Bad Cop is the most Canadian movie you will ever watch and it’s great. Bonus: if you are bilingual in french and english you can watch the movie with no subtitles and feel LIKE A BOSS.

Binge a show to learn: Everything I know about American politics I’ve learned from the West Wing. At a time when American politics feels gross, this altruist president and his team make you feel like everything will be alright while you learn about this complicated system.

Binge a show to escape: Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation, and her ability to stay up all night and make a binder to solve her teams problems at work, is the leader I can only dream of being. Unfortunately, I need to sleep or I’m an unpleasant supervisor. If you like workplace sitcoms, then this is the show for you.

Natasha Edmunds
Organizing Director

Listen to a podcast to learn: Stuff You Should Know. These guys are hilarious and really help break things down simply that may seem complicated. Just wait to see how seriously you’ll take your olive oil! 

Listen to a podcast to escape: Krita Tippett’s voice and sense of curiosity is absolutely captivating in her podcast On Being, where she engages in conversations on the meaning of life from spirituality to science to the arts. I have found so much inspiration and grounding here. 

Listen to an album to learn: The Fruitful Darkness by Trevor Hall. I can’t say how much his lyrics speak to me. 

Listen to an album to escape: Watch this tiny desk concert for a sneak peak into Anderson Paak’s Malibu album, and every time you listen to this funky album you will not be able to get those grins out of your head, and off your face. 

Listen to a song to inspire you: I don’t know why I can’t think of any better song at the moment other than Good as H*ll by Lizzo. Put your headphones on, get outside for a walk or a run, and you will start to feel good as h*ll, you may even feel inclined to do a hair toss. 

Read a book to learn: Wade Davis is on the top of my list of people I’d like to meet. His book the Wayfinders – Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World, gave me a whole new appreciation for the different ways people live their lives, and how important these different ways are. I can’t tell you how many pen underlines I have in this book. 

Read a book to escape: Hands down the Wheel of Time series. The ultimate fantasy escape, and by ultimate I mean 14 books of 800+ pages each and you’ll enter a whole new world that you just won’t be able to stop thinking about. And what better time than now when we have a bit more time?! But I will also say Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden because his stories are beautiful, his character development great, and sheds light on northern Ontario Indigenous life and struggle. 

Read an article to learn: You may have seen this one already, but I love this one by the Narwhal. Insightful and thought provoking in these weird times, as the Narwhal always is! 

Watch a movie to learn: The Boy who Harnessed the Wind is a beautiful, based on a true story of hardship, resilience and wind energy innovation in Malawi. I’m thinking a lot about what community resilience means right now, and what a future with locally run renewable energy projects could mean for community resilience too. 

Watch a movie to escape: Pirates of the Caribbean the Black Pearl will be one of my favourite movies forever and ever. 

Binge a show to learn: Explained is the perfect 20min knowledge kick while eating dinner. Learn a bit about dreams to memory to music to political correctness, it has a bit of everything! 

Binge a show to escape: Outlander is my ultimate guilty pleasure. Beautiful cinematography, settings, people, and wild adventures…What more could you ask for really? Historical romantic adventure drama series where 1950’s Clare steps back in time to the 1700’s through the Scottish stone circle.. Oooo! 

Dan Wall
Communications Coordinator

Listen to a podcast to learn:The Wild with Chris Morgan: “explores how nature survives and thrives alongside (and often despite) humans”.

Listen to a podcast to escape: Has to be Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe. Just so entertaining, touching, funny & memorable.

Listen to an album to escape: Dire Straits – Telegraph Road

Listen to a song to inspire you: Sia’s Never Give Up from the Lion soundtrack; catchy song that always makes me think about that great movie.

Read a book to learn: Bill Bryson (American) & Will Ferguson (Canadian) both write funny, light and surprisingly informative books in the same genre of humorous non-fiction.

Read a book to escape: Anything by Henry Porter

Read an article to learn: Canadian Geographic, Mother Earth News, both available on RBDigital through the library website.

Read an article to escape: Explore magazine

Watch a movie to learn: The Biggest Little Farm (it’s on Netflix now)

Watch a movie to escape: I’ve heard those Marvel movies are pretty escapist.

Binge a show to learn: How to Live Mortgage Free (it’s weirdly inspiring, and it’s on Netflix. Too bad it only had one season.)

Binge a show to escape: Stranger Things, because it’s the 80s all over again.

Matt Murray
Energy Planning Director

Watch a TED Talk to inspire: The Lifelong Learner by Bernie Dunlap. An amazing story to boost your faith in humanity. 

Listen to a podcast to escape: Under the Influence with Terry O’Reilly on CBC.

Listen to an album to learn: Beethoven: Piano Sonatas – performed by Maria João Pires, 1988. I listened to this album on repeat when in my teens while reading the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. This album on repeat would also pair well with his 2009 book Lost Symbols

Listen to an album to escape: Infinite Arms by Band of Horses – Great harmonies, great imagery, great lap steel guitar; an overall great album. 

Listen to a song to inspire you: Foolish Love  by Rufus Wainwright.

Read a book to learn: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt. A great book to read and reflect. Warning: your wacky neighbour might make much more sense after reading this book. 

Read a book to escape: His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman. It’s great escapism for all ages.  

Read an article to learn: Working from Home, from a Writer Who’s Been There – by Dorothy Woodend in The Tyee.

Watch a movie to learn: The Game Changers – If you aspire to eat vegan as much as I do, this one’s for you.

Watch a movie to escape: Limitless starring Bradley Cooper. Watching this movie may motivate you to do all the chores. If you’re the DIY type, cruise around here after the film (hot tip: avoid the projects with lots of concrete to save on carbon pollution).

Binge a show to learn: Jeopardy. For an offline version play trivial pursuit with your family or housemates. Maybe get digital and play over Skype or Facetime!

Binge a show to escape: Travelers on Netflix. Great show filmed in BC, about people from a dystopian future coming back to change the course of history for the better.

Alyssa
Trail Outreach Coordinator

Listen to a podcast to learn: Hidden Brain uses storytelling to explain human behaviour, plus the narrator’s voice is incredibly soothing.  

Listen to a podcast to escape: Spilled Milk – every week the hosts pick one food item and talk about it until they have said to much.

Listen to a song to inspire you: Cecilia by Simon and Garfunckle  (for some odd reason the song reminds me of my childhood).

Read a book to learn: We should all be feminists by Chimanada Ngozi Adichie. A short read plus you can download it free online! 

Read a book to escape: Educated by Tara Westover is a crazy true story that is pretty inspiring. 

Read an article to learn: Coronavirus and community care –  Specifically the section that talks about countering racism, ableism and classism in a pandemic.  

Watch a movie to learn: The true cost is a documentary that changed how I thought about fashion and clothing. 

Watch a movie to escape: Planet Earth duh

Binge a show to learn: Rotten. Makes you think more about the crazy world of food production. 

Binge a show to escape: Brooklyn 99

Craig Mullin
Markets Coordinator

Listen to a podcast to learn: One of my favorite podcasts of last year is Naval Ravikant on the Joe Rogan Show. Naval is an inspiration and talks about everything from the meaning of life to how to make happiness a priority.

Listen to a podcast to escape: Definitely a good escape into history and what life used to be like hundreds of years ago during the Celtic Holocaust. Very well spoken, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History the Celtic Holocaust will have you riveted to the program for the full six hours.

Listen to an album to escape: One of my favorite albums of all time is The Living Road, by Lhasa De Sela. A Montreal native who passed away before her prime sings in three different languages on this lp. A timeless piece of work.

Listen to a song to inspire you: Lazarus – David Bowie. Amazing track released after his death.

Read a book to learn: Never split the difference – Chris Voss  Great tool for learning the art of negotiation, something we can all get better at and do a surprising amount of in day to day life.

Read a book to escape: Love in the time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Classic love story, read it twice. 

Watch a movie to learn: Inside Bills Brain: Decoding Bill Gates – Very cool three part series about how committed Bill Gates and his wife are changing the world.

Watch a movie to escape: Moonlight. One of my favorite movies ever. Very unique screenplay and an excellent soundtrack which always scores lots of points for me. 

Binge a show to learn: School of Life it’s a Youtube channel. There’s an infinite amount of learning here and super easy to digest. Watch it often!

Binge a show to escape: The Office – American version. Lots of episodes and once you get in, you’re hooked until the end.

Laura Johnson
Community Giving Coordinator

Listen to a podcast to learn: Ologies 

Listen to a podcast to escape: My dad wrote a porno. A hilarious British comedy series where a group of friends read aloud one of their dad’s amateur porn novels. 

Listen to an album to learn: .. on the ukulele – Dirty Heads – Any Port in a Storm. Just strum like you’re sitting next to a bonfire on a beach in Hawaii and it should all come naturally from there.

Listen to a playlist to escape: My spotify playlist: Username Johnson1966, Playlist Spanishy. Transport yourself to a beach in panama with this collection.

Listen to a song to inspire you: Surprise Hotel – Fools Gold 

Read a book to learn: Modern Macrame, it’s addictive and perfect for sitting in the sun and listening to music.

Read a book to escape: Ishmael – Daniel Quin, a magical & thought provoking perspective. 

Read an article to learn: learn about weird stuff

Watch a movie to learn: learn about living off the grid with Captain Fantastic

Watch a movie to escape: Memoirs of a Geisha and transport yourself to Japan for a few hours.

Binge a show to learn: learn what it takes to throw an epic event in the show 7 Days Out

Binge a show to escape: Broad City all day every day.