It’s getting colder and some countries are going through lockdown again. Some of us are spending evenings at home more and looking for good movies to watch with some hot drinks. Lucky for us, streaming culture has given more ways for us to watch good films at home.
Documentaries address the most pressing issues that should be keeping the world’s leaders aware at night and what we can do to turn things around. Experts have warned that the world needs to urgently ramp up its environmental efforts in order to prevent irreversible damage.
Here are some documentaries you can watch if you are hoping to educate yourself about environmental issues and live more sustainable lifestyle. These amazing movies are informative and visually-stunning.
This great documentary is determined to find out solutions to climate change rather than focusing on the overwhelming problems, imagining what the world could look like in 20 years time if we make a change to live more consciously and reduce carbon footprint. Driven by hopes for children’s future, this film hunts out the technological breakthroughs that could reverse the impacts over then next 20 years.
This sustainability documentary critically explores consumerism and introduces minimalism as a counter-ideology. It goes into details about how society has shaped our idea of success and how simplicity can make us happier. This documentary mentions that the purpose in not to convert people to minimalist but to show that we have other options and a capacity to be happier in ways we might not have thought of before.
3. True Cost
Who pays for the price of our clothing? The award winning film True Cost reveals the human and environmental cost of fashion and producing clothes. This film goes to various parts of the planet to witness fist-hand how fast manufacturing processes. Not only does the fashion industry exploit unethical labour but it takes massive toll on the natural world. This documentary will make you think twice before you buy for next garment.
4. A Life On Our Planet
National treasure Sir David Attenborough highlights the severity of our planet’s future and the wildlife that inhabit it. “What we can do in the next 20 years will determine that future of all life on earth”, he declare at the stat-studded eight-part series premiere. Journey from ‘frozen worlds’ devastatingly yielding climate change to jungles and rainforests filled with fascinating creatures. Exhilarating and educational, each episode both celebrates our planet whilst touching on the importance of protecting it.
5. Ice On Fire
Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, George DiCaprio and Mathew Schmid and directed by Leila Conners, this documentary focuses on many never-before-seen solutions designed to slow down our escalating environmental crisis. Ice on Fire shows that while the risks and urgency may be higher than ever, there are also greater opportunities for innovative solutions, offering a realistic but hopeful perspective on a key global issue that demands our attention.
6. More Than Honey
“Bees are essential to a healthy environment and healthy economy”. Without bees, 80% of the plant species on earth would be left with no pollinators and could not survive. This Swiss documentary charts the increasing decline of bee colonies and examine the possible reasons for it. It explains what will happen if the species go extinct which are central to our agricultural industry and the planet.
A pescatarian diet is often considered as a better option for the environment than meat-heavy diet. However, it doesn’t take into consideration the impact of the global fisheries industry. Created by sustainable outdoor brand Patagonia, this film is about people, rivers, and the fight for the future of wild fish and the environment that supports them.
You can watch the full film on YouTube here:
8. Kiss the Ground
An optimistic climate change documentary argues for the healing power of soil, which could offer a solution to the climate change. The film begins by examine how tilling and the use of pesticides have led to soil erosion, and then traces the damage done to our ecology, health and climate. It also finds a solution in regenerative farming, an ethical practice designed to restore degraded lands and facilitate carbon drawdown. Kiss the Ground inspires a feeling of hope.
Canadian conservationist and a professor Mark Angelo heads out on a three-year river journey around the world to document the damage caused to the world’s water supplies by the fashion industry. In this documentary, he investigates the so-called hydrocide, in which toxic chemicals are dumped into rivers and seas as a result of humanity’s quest for fast fashion and killing off marine life and humans.
10. Before The Flood
Oscar-winning actor and an environmental activist teamed up with National Geographic for this movie to raise awareness of climate crisis. He meets scientists and conservationists from around the world to educate the audience how dangerous climate change really is and find out what we all can do to stop it. “When you see what’s happening to our forest, animals, and communities, you feel a sense of urgency to help. … reduce our carbon footprint, be mindful our impact, and support local communities”. This film empowers viewers with solutions.
Powerful documentaries can help spark worldwide awareness and debate on some of the environmental and social issues, as well as reinforce and energise sustainability activism efforts. Sometimes documentaries are harsh, as the reality they show is not fun or depressing, but they are showing the ugly truth with the goal of motivating changes.
Knowledge is power, watching these programs might spur us all on to use our individual power to make positive, meaningful changes. The way we live and how we think about natural resources needs to change. What each one of these documentaries highlights is that the future of this planet is in our hands and sustainable living is not just a trend.
- About the author -
"Miko Takama marketing freelancer based in Berlin, specialised in sustainable business strategy and branding & communication strategy, also a Journalist. She is passionate about sustainability in the fashion industry. On her website and Instagram, she is sharing insights on conscious lifestyle and her journey to start a sustainable fashion brand, Public Ecology."