Earth Unscrewed

Earth Unscrewed

By Virgin

In this brand new podcast powered by Virgin, Earth Unscrewed looks at some of the incredible, and often surprising, developments that are providing some serious hope for the future of our planet.


Humans have been screwing up the Earth, and this podcast is looking into the incredible work that's being done to help ‘un-screw’ it.


Presenters Dr. Helen Scales and Seyi Rhodes meet the innovators striving to make a change; from the man mining fatbergs for clean fuel, to the woman in Kenya bringing electric power to her village, to the team finding a surprising use for waste chicken feathers!

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Episode Eight: Sustainable start-ups having a positive impact on the planet

Over the last year the UK launched more plant-based products than any other nation, making it the country’s fastest growing culinary trend and resulting in a market worth of £310m. This growth, coupled with research out of Oxford University finding that cutting meat and dairy products can reduce an individual's carbon footprint (from food) by up to 73 per cent, is resonating with start-ups across the UK. In this week’s episode of Earth Unscrewed you’ll hear from Virgin StartUp – the Virgin not-for-profit on a mission to help start-ups get the support they need to turn great ideas into successful and sustainable businesses. Andy Fishburn, Managing Director of Virgin StartUp, talks to presenters Helen Scales and Seyi Rhodes about the growing global interest in sustainable businesses, in plant-based diets, and in the win-win formula that is producing fully recyclable, sustainable products. Listen in to learn Andy’s top tips for businesses to thrive and hear from Andrea Cavallo, founder of the plant-based-meal delivery service, Planty. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/01/2022m 49s

Racing toward a carbon free future

It’s been predicted that there will be nine million electric cars on the road by 2030 – and with sales of pure electric vehicles (EVs) going up by almost 160 per cent between July 2018 and 2019 (despite a general demand for new cars declining) – it’s impossible to ignore that the revolution is here!In this week’s episode of Earth Unscrewed you’ll hear from Envision Virgin Racing – a team in Formula E – the all-electric motorsport championship which is proving hat EVs can be just as sleek and powerful as their gas-guzzling counterparts.Sylvain Philippe, managing director and CTO of Envision Virgin Racing Formula E Racing team talks to presenters Helen Scales & Seyi Rhodes about the growing global interest in the vision of a carbon-free future – and how his team is doing everything they can to accelerate the creation of planet saving, climate change solutions. Listen in to learn all about what’s changed in Formula E over the last year, how the cars are developing, what the roadmap is looking like for future tech improvements, and just how long it will be before EVs are the fastest cars on the planet.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/01/2018m 55s

Hyperloop: From science fiction to the world's most eco-friendly transport

As the world’s population continues to grow and global demand for rapid, seamless transport continues to rise, we must meet this challenge in a way that is efficient, clean, and safe for the future of the planet.In this week’s episode of Earth Unscrewed you’ll hear from Virgin Hyperloop – the world’s leading hyperloop company, building the fastest, most energy-efficient, most environmentally friendly transport system… ever.As Virgin Group founder Richard Branson puts it: “We need big ideas like hyperloop to reach zero-emission transport, while rapidly connecting people and goods.” In this, the sixth episode of Earth Unscrewed’s second season, we learn about the point-to-point, on-demand, and autonomous high-capacity transport system, which also happens to be the fastest, most energy-efficient, and sustainable form of travel ever created.Presenters Helen Scales & Seyi Rhodes speak to Ryan Kelly, Head of Marketing and Communications at Virgin Hyperloop. Ryan shares how his incredible team are reinventing transportation to eliminate the barriers of distance and time. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/12/1922m 35s

Making water out of thin air

In this week’s episode of Earth Unscrewed we’re introduced to Zero Mass Water, the renewable water company creating delicious water from just sunlight and air.As global access to clean drinking water continues to decrease, the very smart people at Zero Mass Water are creating solutions to ensure that everyone has access to drinking water – no matter where they are in the world. In this, the fifth episode of Earth Unscrewed’s second season, we learn how the team from Zero Mass Water created the technology that's making water into an unlimited resource. Their very clever hydropanels are completely off-grid, self-contained, and capable of making truly renewable water.Presenters Helen Scales & Seyi Rhodes speak to Cody Friesen, Founder and CEO at Zero Mass Water, about why this technology is so important and about how it’s making water for people in some of the most arid deserts in the world. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/11/1922m 8s

Change is in the air

In this week’s episode of Earth Unscrewed we learn about some of the incredible things that are being done to make the aviation industry more sustainable.Over the last century air travel has completely transformed the way we live – connecting distant lands and communities and allowing us to become a truly global economy.While there have been many benefits accompanying the evolution of global travel and the transformation of how we work and play, it has also come with challenges – a notable one being significant carbon emissions.In this, the fourth episode of Earth Unscrewed’s second season, you’ll learn how Virgin Atlantic is working to reduce emissions and drive forwards sector-leading sustainability initiatives. You’ll also hear about a bacteria that transforms waste into jet fuel (!) – just one of the sustainable aviation fuel initiatives that are reducing carbon across the industry.Presenters Helen Scales & Seyi Rhodes speak to Emma Harvey, head of sustainability at Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays, and Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of revolutionary carbon recycling company, LanzaTech.Change is in the air. Learn about it and get on board. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/11/1922m 30s

A deep dive on ocean conservation

In this week’s episode of Earth Unscrewed our presenters, Helen Scales and Seyi Rhodes, speak to Karen Sack, President and CEO of Ocean Unite, about the important things each of us can do to help restore the health of the ocean. For years, scientists have been telling us that at least 30 per cent of the Ocean should be declared strongly protected in marine reserves by 2030  – that this is critical both for marine biodiversity and to build climate resilience. So in this, the third episode of our second season, Karen talks about what needs to be done, by all of us, to help safeguard 30 per cent of the ocean by 2030.From reducing your carbon footprint, to eating more sustainably, to cutting single use plastic from your life  – this episode is all about how we can work together to take action and unscrew the blue planet.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/10/1923m 14s

Cool solutions to a warming planet

In this week’s episode of Earth Unscrewed our presenters, Helen Scales and Seyi Rhodes, speak to Radhika Lalit from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Radhika manages the Global Cooling Prize and in this second episode of our second season, she talks about the incredibly troubling position the planet is in due to inefficient room air conditioners. If you haven't stopped to think about your room air conditioner and its potential impact on a warming planet – here’s some context to help frame the global cooling problem:By 2030, over half of the world’s population will live in hot climates – many will experience increased exposure to potentially dangerous heat conditionsDue to this increasing risk of heat stress, residential cooling demand across the globe is expected to almost quadrupleTo meet this demand, approximately 4.5 billion room air conditioners will be in use by 2050 – compared to the 1.2 billion in use todayCurrently, room air conditioners being commonly sold in the market are EXTREMELY energy inefficient. Only 14 percent of maximum theoretical efficiency has been reached by today’s most advanced room air conditioners, with the majority of models reaching only 8 percent efficiencyThis is a power crisis, an energy crisis, a climate crisis and an economic crisis and it will affect global productivity, health, and losses in GDP.Don’t miss this fascinating deep dive into the world of air con and what is RMI and a global coalition of partners doing to solve this global cooling challenge. Stay tuned till the end to learn more about how we can do our bit to help to solve the critical climate threat that comes from the growing demand for room air conditioning. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/10/1920m 50s

Now is the time to move from apathy to action

To launch Season 2 of Earth Unscrewed our presenters Helen and Seyi had the pleasure of interviewing one of the world’s most renowned and respected Earth system and sustainability scientists – Johan Rockstrom. In this episode Johan calls on all of us to show some ‘climate anger’. Along with his top tips on what we can all do to address the climate crisis, Johan is calling on everyone to step up and make our collective voices heard. According to the great scientist himself, we have good reason to be angry and frustrated. The scientific evidence shows that we are facing unacceptable risks, but also that we have the solutions. Let’s move through the apathy and take action, maybe with a bit of constructive anger here and there, restore Earth’s life support systems, and un-screw the only home we’ve ever known. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/09/1922m 5s

Earth Unscrewed returns on September 26th

Presenters Dr Helen Scales and Seyi Rhodes are back together to take a look at some very exciting - and unexpected - solutions to Earth’s most pressing problems.While the world is facing a climate crisis and massive systemic change, we’re confident that if you listen to these episodes you’ll feel more hopeful and informed for the future of our planet.Join us in season two as we explore sci-fi-turned-reality modes of transport, bacteria that can turn CO2 into jet fuel, and tech that can harvest water from the air. We’re excited to introduce you to some of the world’s most incredible thinkers and doers – creating solutions in the most unconventional ways.Get ready for a fortnightly dose of planet unscrewing stories like you’ve never heard before.Subscribe now.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/09/191m 29s

Making a Splash

Water is the most abundant molecule on the surface of the Earth, and covers nearly 3/4 of the whole planet. Yet, in many places, water is the most precious commodity there is. As the climate changes, both urban and rural communities are facing water scarcity, and we need to start thinking about how to value and conserve this precious resource. In this final episode of the inaugural series of Earth Unscrewed, Helen and Seyi learn where and why there isn't enough water to go around, and meet people priming the pump to tackle the water crisis head on. To read more about the contributors in this episode, head to our website at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/06/1823m 34s

A Growing Movement

Can the earth help to save The Earth? Helen and Seyi explore some dirty impacts of food production, and meet people breaking new ground when it comes to restoring the ground itself. To read more about our featured guests, check out our website at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/06/1824m 27s

Need Some Space?

In this episode, Helen and Seyi explore the link between space exploration and improving things on Earth for all its inhabitants. They speak to a man who has travelled into space four times, astronaut Mark Kelly. They also hear from Will Pomerantz of Virgin Orbit, working to make space more accessible.Their third guest, David Grinspoon, is an astrobiologist and author. His books include Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet’s Future, and Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto. Dr. Grinspoon explains the lessons we can learn from exploring space and other worlds in protecting this one. For more reading, check out our website Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/05/1826m 42s

Can we Fix Fashion?

Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world today. In this episode, Helen and Seyi ask whether it needs to be that way. On the road in London, they speak to creators and innovators striving to improve the way we make clothes. For more information on the contributors in this episode: Better Cotton Initiative, VIGGA and Ananas Anam - head to our website Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/05/1823m 20s

Can Electric Power Empower?

In this episode, Helen and Seyi look to Kenya to learn how electric power can help unscrew the planet whilst empowering economies and societies. They hear from two guests, each taking a different approach to the challenge. Crystal Adero Okudo works on better grid connectivity, and Simon Bransfield Garth from Azuri tech offers pay-go solar home systems.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/05/1822m 37s

What a Load of Rubbish!

What if we could reduce the amount of landfill? What if we could mine rubbish to save cash and the planet? What if we could turn supply chains into supply webs? Well maybe we can. In this episode, Helen and Seyi hear how one person’s rubbish is another person’s gold dust. By exploring two case studies, Aeropowder and Interface - they get beneath the buzz words to understand what is meant by ‘closed loop production’ and how it can ‘unscrew' the planet. Head to our home page for further reading, it’s Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/04/1819m 54s

Eradicating the Ocean Plastic Plague

This week, Helen and Seyi are joined by two very special guests, ocean plastics specialist, Dr. Lucy Woodall and Raw Foundation anti-plastic activist, Melinda Watson. They discuss the perils of the plastic problem. A special feature with Hugo Tagholm from Surfers against Sewage gives some tops tips for the everyday things you can do to fight the plastic plague.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/04/1826m 33s

Driving Change

In this first episode of Earth Unscrewed, a new podcast powered by Virgin, presenters Dr. Helen Scales and Seyi Rhodes get into the topic of cars. With over a billion vehicles on the world’s roads, air-pollution levels are reaching deadly highs. Helen and Seyi explore some breakthroughs that are gaining traction, and that might help ‘un-screw’ the planet. Delve into London’s sewers in search of a surprising clean fuel, and meet the innovators working hard to make costly and polluting cars a thing of the past, by racing clean ones around city centres.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/03/1832m 25s
Heart UK