Meditate on This: 5 TED Talks That Will Bring You Closer to Nature

It’s easy to feel disconnected with the natural world. For many of us, unless we make the effort, we can go through days on end without really paying attention to much more than the weather and how it affects our commute. These TED videos are an easy, relaxing way to remind ourselves of why we love the natural world, and how important it is.



T I M E-L A P S E   P H O T O G R A P H Y

Nature’s beauty can be easily missed — but not through Louie Schwartzberg’s lens. His stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast, serves as a meditation on being grateful for every day. (Filmed at TEDxSF.)


K I N E T I C   S C U L P T U R E 
 Reuben Margolin is a kinetic sculptor, crafting beautiful pieces that move in the pattern of raindrops falling and waves combining. Take nine minutes and be mesmerized by his meditative art, inspired in equal parts by math and nature.


C H I M P   L A N G U A G E
 Jane Goodall hasn’t found the missing link, but she’s come closer than nearly anyone else. The primatologist says the only real difference between humans and chimps is our sophisticated language. She urges us to start using it to change the world.


C L O U D   A P P R E C I A T I O N
You don’t need to plan an exotic trip to find creative inspiration. Just look up, says Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. As he shares charming photos of nature’s finest aerial architecture, Pretor-Pinney calls for us all to take a step off the digital treadmill, lie back and admire the beauty in the sky above.


T R E E S 
Nalini Nadkarni challenges our perspective on trees and prisons; she says both can be more dynamic than we think. Through a partnership with the state of Washington, she brings science classes and conservation programs to inmates, with unexpected results.
Main image via Flickr User Rekre89.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.