With the digital world at our fingertips, there are so many ways we can educate ourselves on environmental challenges facing us today. So if you’re feeling in the mood to learn something new, what better way than to watch a documentary? Below are some of our (new and old) favorites to keep you informed on the environmental impacts of our actions as humans and hopefully provide some inspiration along the way.
An Inconvenient Truth and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Starring former vice president and environmental activist Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth was a landmark documentary produced in 2006 that shed light on the climate crisis in a new way that encouraged large audiences to rethink the meaning of climate change, and educated people across the country and beyond about the current trajectory of human impact on the environment with a “business-as-usual” scenario. The sequel to this documentary, aptly named “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” was released over ten years later in 2017 displaying new data in the progress toward combating climate change and documents the Paris Climate Accord as nations across the globe convened to address this world-wide threat.
Seaspiracy, a Netflix original documentary, follows an investigation into the industrialized seafood market and its impact on the oceans and, ultimately, humanity. With eye-opening data and graphics that shed light on many of the challenges brought on by industrialized fishing, it’s sure to leave you advocating for our oceans. Critics warn that Seaspiracy provides an oversimplification of the repercussions of limiting fishing and does not fairly portray many nonprofit organizations presented in the film, so we encourage you to do your own further research if this topic interests you.
Kiss the Ground
Kiss the Ground, which arrived on streaming services in 2020 to applause worldwide, focuses on the dangers of industrialized agriculture throughout the globe. Desertification, regenerative agriculture, and the power of composting are only a few of the topics covered during this full-length feature that will make you appreciate where - and how - we feed ourselves on a daily basis. The nonprofit Kiss the Ground urges viewers to take further action after watching the documentary to support soil regeneration near and far.
Broken, Episode 1: Recycling Sham
Broken, a new series available on Netflix, gives insight into broken systems that endanger communities in a variety of different ways. The first episode, Recycling Sham, spends nearly an hour tackling issues surrounding the growing plastic pollution problem in the US and beyond. As plastics become more and more abundant and profit margins for recycling plastics shrink worldwide, this docuseries episode highlights the systemic challenges of our recycling system, and how recycling, while a necessary component of a world striving toward less waste, isn’t the one-and-done answer we’ve been taught it is.
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Are there any other environmental documentaries you would highly recommend? Reach out to us to share your knowledge and resources!
-Carrie Martin-Haley, founder