7 Environmental Documentaries to Binge Now

7 Environmental Documentaries to Binge Now

Jane Marsh - September 10, 2021

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The environment has been a hot topic in the television and film industry. Environmental issues like climate change, plastic pollution and deforestation are all represented in some of the most popular environmental documentaries

When a director chooses to film such an important subject, the documentaries deserve to be seen. They’re educational, entertaining, and best of all, they promote the planet. They help open our eyes to the world around us, teaching us about biodiversity and how we can be part of the change for the planet. 

With so many streaming services available now, you should be able to access most of these documentaries. Here are seven environmental documentaries to binge now, making us think about how we can change for the better. 

1. David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet 

A Life On Our Planet by David Attenborough is available on Netflix. The film offers a look into how the planet has changed over 93 years, which is the lifespan of David Attenborough. He is best known as an English broadcaster and a historian of the natural world. 

The documentary is based on Attenborough’s career. In that frame time, the population grew quite rapidly, wild areas and animals were domesticated and climate change rose as the concentrations of greenhouse gases increased. Additionally, it covers how biodiversity has been diminishing. 

2. Seaspiracy

Another Netflix documentary, Seaspiracy, is one to watch if you care about the practices of the commercial fishing industry. This industry brings in billions of dollars, but it negatively impacts the world’s oceans. The director, Ali Tabrizi, has been an advocate for marine life his whole life. He wanted to show how overfishing and the unnecessary killing of dolphins affect the oceans. 

The fishing and seafood industries are destroying marine life at such a rapid pace. If it keeps going as it is, the ocean could be empty of all possible seafood in less than 30 years. 

3. Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Lands

This film, produced by Patagonia Films, exposes how local people face many challenges in America’s public lands. Hundreds of millions of acres of public land are considered for development. While the film focuses on three specific areas, these effects are felt in all public spaces. 

The public land encompasses the people and the environment, including thriving ecosystems. However, they’re at risk because industries simply want to expand and exploit natural resources for a profit. The charge is that we need to protect and conserve public lands.

4. Kiss the Ground

Kiss the Ground covers farmers, politicians, scientists and activists as they talk about regenerative agriculture. Regenerative agriculture is a practice that some farmers have been using as a way to restore the land. These groups of people share how to responsibly manage land, especially soil. 

By focusing on soil over other aspects of farming, the farming industry can yield more crops, restore diversity and reduce pollution both in the air and water. It’s streaming on Netflix, so you can watch it today! 

5. I Am Greta

Greta Thunberg is a powerful young woman. She has made an impact on young and old activists all over the world and has encouraged and demanded that people care for the environment by changing their habits. Thunberg is a teenage climate activist from Sweden and wants people to listen to scientists about the environment.

The hope is that others will join with Greta and her fight for the environment. Watch the documentary on Netflix.

6. My Octopus Teacher

My Octopus Teacher is a bit unusual, but its message is powerful. A man named Craig Foster befriends a cephalopod in a kelp forest near Cape Town, South Africa. Foster went along and documented the octopus’ life. He noted how it ate, played and defended itself against predators like sharks. The octopus eventually dies after mating. 

Because of his interactions with the sea creature, Foster became part of the Sea Change Project. He encourages viewers to protect the seas and marine life. Engaging with the natural world around us is our biggest motivator to be an advocate for the planet.

7. The Story of Plastic

Plastic pollution is a real, ongoing struggle for the world’s land, seas and ecosystems. This film shown on the Discovery Channel gives the harsh truth about plastic pollution. Additionally, it exposes just how inadequate the plastic recycling system is. Although people put forth individual efforts to recycle, the process isn’t enough to eradicate plastic pollution.

This film is packed full of statistical data. It shows just how much plastic litters the environment and what happens to it as it sits in a landfill. The film urges people to reduce, reuse and recycle their plastic, and most importantly, for people to try and be zero waste.

Grab Your Sustainable Movie Snacks and Get Watching

Each of these environmental documentaries takes you through an environmental topic. The hope is that after viewing, a part of your life will change to make the planet a healthier place. 

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About the author

Jane Marsh

Starting from an early age, Jane Marsh loved all animals and became a budding environmentalist. Now, Jane works as the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co where she covers topics related to climate policy, renewable energy, the food industry, and more.