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Playlist: Plantastic!

10 talks · 1h 58m · Curated by TED

Plantastic! (10 talks)

Green, leafy, often delicious: Plants are all around us and make the ecosystem work. Hear from gardeners, vegetarians, designers and conservationists on the wonderful world of plants and vegetables.

  • 1.
    10:45
    Now playing
    Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where "the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys."
  • 2.
    6:34
    Now playing
    In this brief talk from TED U 2009, Jonathan Drori encourages us to save biodiversity — one seed at a time. Reminding us that plants support human life, he shares the vision of the Millennium Seed Bank, which has stored over 3 billion seeds to date from dwindling yet essential plant species.
  • 3.
    4:04
    Now playing
    Researcher Kamal Meattle shows how an arrangement of three common houseplants, used in specific spots in a home or office building, can result in measurably cleaner indoor air.
  • 4.
    6:40
    Now playing
    Designer Suzanne Lee shares her experiments in growing a kombucha-based material that can be used like fabric or vegetable leather to make clothing. The process is fascinating, the results are beautiful (though there's still one minor drawback ...) and the potential is simply stunning.
  • 5.
    5:45
    Now playing
    We all know the arguments that being vegetarian is better for the environment and for the animals — but in a carnivorous culture, it can be hard to make the change. Graham Hill has a powerful, pragmatic suggestion: Be a weekday veg.
  • 6.
    19:31
    Now playing
    Science writer Richard Preston talks about some of the most enormous living beings on the planet, the giant trees of the US Pacific Northwest. Growing from a tiny seed, they support vast ecosystems — and are still, largely, a mystery.
  • 7.
    13:59
    Now playing
    A whirlwind of energy and ideas, Stephen Ritz is a teacher in New York's tough South Bronx, where he and his kids grow lush gardens for food, greenery — and jobs. Just try to keep up with this New York treasure as he spins through the many, many ways there are to grow hope in a neighborhood many have written off, or in your own. (Filmed at TEDxManhattan.)
  • 8.
    17:25
    Now playing
    What if human consciousness isn't the end-all and be-all of Darwinism? What if we are all just pawns in corn's clever strategy game to rule the Earth? Author Michael Pollan asks us to see the world from a plant's-eye view.
  • 9.
    17:08
    Now playing
    The varieties of wheat, corn and rice we grow today may not thrive in a future threatened by climate change. Cary Fowler takes us inside a vast global seed bank, buried within a frozen mountain in Norway, that stores a diverse group of food-crop for whatever tomorrow may bring.
  • 10.
    16:30
    Now playing
    A unique ecosystem of plants, birds and monkeys thrives in the treetops of the rainforest. Nalini Nadkarni explores these canopy worlds — and shares her findings with the world below, through dance, art and bold partnerships.