We all know Netflix is great for binge-watching shows, but it also has a great selection of sustainability documentaries too. Today I thought I’d share 10 with you that I either love, or have had strongly recommended to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts too so I can prioritise my watching!
1. Minimalism (2016)
I saw this documentary by The Minimalists when it had a limited theatre release and really enjoyed it. It was great to see a range of people’s views on what constitutes minimalism to them, and the impact that stuff is having on us, not to mention the planet. Be warned though, you’ll want to start decluttering pretty much straight away!
2. The True Cost (2015)
This doco explores the environmental and social costs of the fashion industry, and it’s pretty eye opening stuff. The film maker travels around to visit everywhere from where the clothes are made, to fashion week – speaking with all kinds of people along the way.
3. Cowspiracy (2014)
Cowspiracy doesn’t just explore the ethical side of the meat industry, but also the broader environmental impacts of animal agriculture. It explores areas like water pollution, carbon emissions, habitat loss and erosion.
4. Small is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary (2015)
This documentary follows 4 people attempting to downsize and gain independence by building their own tiny houses. The idea of tiny house living has always been something of interest to me, so this film is very high on my to-watch list!
5. Living On One Dollar (2013)
Living on One Dollar follows four friends who attempt to live on $1 a day in rural Guatemala for 2 months to gain an insight into how so many people across the world live. It’s eye-opening viewing but the resilience and generosity of people they meet along the way is pretty wonderful to see.
6. Happy (2011)
The folks behind this film travel the world in order to discover what really makes people happy. They speak to people from all parts of the globe, as well as leading scientists to try and unlock the secrets behind the emotion that we’re all striving for. There’s a reason this doco was nominated for an Academy Award – it will leave you feeling happy too!
7. Food Choices (2016)
This documentary is much like The True Cost, except that it is exploring the impact our food choices are having on the planet, and our own health. They interview experts and attempt to shed light on some of the misconceptions people have around food. I’m yet to watch this one, so I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve seen it!
8. A Plastic Ocean (2016)
A Plastic Ocean began when a journalist was searching for a blue whale and stumbled across plastic waste instead. What follows is an exploration of oceans across the world, including interviews with researchers and scientists, to shed light on the issue of plastic pollution. Thankfully they also have some great solutions to share as well, so it’s not all bad news, but it’s definitely a good one to watch post Plastic Free July.
9. In Defense of Food (2015)
This documentary, by Michael Pollen, is based on his best selling book and explores our modern diets and the impact they are having on our health. He travels the world and speaks to experts to examine what we can do differently to improve our diets and reduce chronic diseases.
10. Sustainable (2016)
This one is a Netflix original and it also explores the food industry (I’m sensing a theme!). This one however is focussed on chefs and farmers and how some have been at the forefront of the sustainable food movement in America. It’s marketed as a story of hope and change so it’s definitely on my list to watch!