Culture for free! 5 great ideas

Posted on 12 May 2020.

How about taking advantage of the lockdown to learn about the circular economy and sustainable development? Top 5 free online resources that will keep you busy while you stay at home.

To prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, several billion people around the world have been or are still under lockdown. Although educational institutions, museums and bookshops are closed, it doesn't mean we have to mope in front of the television. Initiatives providing free online entertainment and cultural activities abound. Why not seize the opportunity to take a closer look at the circular economy and sustainable development?

1. Learn about the circular economy on FUN MOOC

Several massive open online course platforms (MOOC for Massive Open Online Course) offer free courses designed by major universities and research institutes. Check out FUN MOOC, France Université Numérique, for whom "this difficult period [...] can be a good time to think about your professional future ". Whether you're thinking about retraining or simply acquiring new knowledge when it comes to the circular economy, you're sure to find what you're looking for!


2. Become a renewables champion thanks to the Cité des Sciences

As part of the #CultureChezNous operation being run by the French Culture Ministry, the Cité des Sciences has launched a program entitled "Science is here", a 100% digital offering that includes a virtual coronavirus exhibition, activities and regular events. And for the duration of the lockdown the institution is also opening up its digital library whose full range of resources - books, articles, online courses, etc. – can be consulted free of charge. Once you have registered, you will be able to access the BiblioVox platform, which has more than 600 books on renewable energy and nearly 130 works under the keyword "circular economy". Find some books that we have recommended here.


3. Explore nature through virtual exhibitions and interactive experiences

Raising awareness about environment and sustainable development issues means discovering nature and understanding how ecosystems work. Although as yet you can't put on your hiking boots and head off to explore, these virtual exhibitions are sure to arouse your curiosity - and your family and friends’ curiosity too.

  • Organized by the Museum of the Earth in New York state, the virtual exhibition “Bees! Diversity, evolution, conservation” (in English) invites you to explore the wonderful world of bees from their origins to their contribution to agricultural production.
  • ​Inspired by the work of Bernie Krause, an American musician and bio-acoustician who has collected close to 5,000 hours of sound recordings of wild natural habitats, "The Great Animal Orchestra" » is a real peach! Presented to the public in 2016 by the Cartier Foundation, the installation is now available online.

4. Discover biomimicry with the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle

According to a large number of researchers, biomimicry could make an important contribution to the transition from a carbon-based economy to a green economy with both simple and sustainable technologies. This nature-inspired innovation process, which has already resulted in a multitude of ingenious inventions, is now being developed     , is the subject of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle’s video series “Nature = Futur!”. For example: using the properties of mushroom mycelium to clean up soils and produce biomaterials; reproducing the digestive system of termites to improve biogas yields from biogas plants; and using the light emitted by living organisms to produce natural lighting without electricity…


5. Unearth your next beside book on

There's nothing like a good book to get away from it all and add to your knowledge! In this period of lockdown, several major book distributors are offering a wide selection of e-books to download free of charge, including Fnac and its 500 digital books offered for free. Alongside the great classics in French and international literature and the (surprisingly) large number of books devoted to personal development, you will find a number of books dedicated to the environment in the broadest sense (botany, animal causes) as well as much more specialized reference books on the natural environments or agriculture.