Why You Should Care About The Environment
Earth is our home (whether or not we figure out a way to live in space). It's filled with beautiful rainforests, vast oceans and diverse wildlife. That's why it's imperative to educate ourselves on how we can all do our part to leave a better home for future generations. So we can make sure they'll get to witness all that this extraordinary planet has to offer. Naturally Ideal has compiled an informative list of ten documentaries that hit every facet of climate change and the environment.
Our Recommended Documentaries
The Year Earth Changed (2021)
There’s no question about 2020 being one of the hardest years in recent history that humans had to live through. Everyone was forced inside because of the pandemic, living in fear. This documentary provides insight on how the sudden disappearances of humans impacted wildlife. Whales were able to better communicate with their young. Turtles could lay their eggs in peace on beaches. And other animals left their homes to explore the once populated areas around them. A positive light is shined on a terrible event and inspires us to find a better solution to coexisting with our animal friends.
Available on Apple TV
Honeyland follows the life of one of the last wild beekeepers, Hatidze Muratova, in Macedonia. Footage taken from three years’ worth of filming capture Hatidze caring for her sick mother, harvesting honey and selling it at a nearby market for their only source of income. We also see the arrival of the Sam family that she happily welcomes to the area. They, too, are beekeepers and the experienced Hatidze offers some sage advice: only harvest half the honey and leave half so the bees don’t starve. If they were to starve, the bees would attack her own. Consequently, they don’t heed her advice and the repercussions of this error impact everyone. This documentary is the perfect lesson on how greed can be a detriment and the best way to live is to take only what’s needed and leave the rest. Especially when it comes to the environment.
Available on Hulu, YouTube, Google Play, Apple TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video
There's Something in the Water (2019)
This Canadian documentary takes us along with Elliot Page and Ian Daniel to Nova Scotia, Page’s hometown. There they travel to low-income areas to speak with local activists that are trying to protect their lands and water from pollution. A look into how environmental racism is impacting black and indigenous communities even in a country that’s considered progressive.
Available on Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014)
There are plenty of things out there that contribute to climate change. This film focuses on the way animal agriculture is a leading cause in deforestation, green-house gases, rapid water consumption and many other things. Undoubtedly, the methane produced by livestock, the water it takes for production and the habitats lost to make room for these farms are all things humans can reduce by adopting a more plant-based diet. This is the main argument for how we can help the environment in Cowspiracy.
Available on Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV
My Octopus Teacher (2020)
My Octopus Teacher follows the free dives of Craig Foster in the Atlantic Ocean in Cape Peninsula. He befriends an octopus and visits it daily. Over the course of a year, they form a bond and it’s clear that the octopus recognizes and connects with Craig. This documentary tells an amazing tale about how smart animals really are and the bonds we have the ability of forming with all creatures inhabiting the planet.
Available on Netflix
Chasing Coral (2017)
Chasing Coral follows Richard Vevers and Zackery Rago who are both passionate about bringing awareness to the dire state of our coral reefs. There have already been multiple bleaching events in history, and they are convinced another one is on the way. Bleaching happens when ocean temperatures increase rapidly. This causes coral, which naturally has an indefinite lifespan, to die. The two record this process using time-lapse photography to show the coral go from alive and colorful to devastatingly white. Therefore, the film is a bleak look into a future without coral reefs unless humans make the changes necessary to save these precious underwater ecosystems.
Available on Netflix
The True Cost (2015)
Focusing on fast fashion, this documentary takes a hard look at the link connecting consumerism and capitalism to oppression in developing countries. Andrew Morgan emphasizes the poor working conditions by highlighting the collapse of the Savar building in 2013 in Bangladesh. This killed thousands of clothing factory workers. He travels to thirteen different countries to discuss unfair wages and competition for who can produce the most garments for the cheapest. We’re also shown how the increased demand of fast fashion has been harmful to workers exposed to pesticides used to grow genetically modified cotton and all the clothing that ends up in landfills.
Available on Amazon Prime, Tubi
Merchants of Doubt (2014)
Inspired by the 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt, this film calls out tactics that have been used again and again to suppress the voices of real scientists. This started back in the day to convince consumers that tobacco wasn’t carcinogenic and there wasn’t a risk of addiction. Unfortunately, the same strategy has been used to minimize worry about the environment and climate change. A deep look into companies that have much to lose if consumers stop believing the people hired to cast doubt on these very real and very troublesome issues.
Available on YouTube, Google Play, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu
This documentary takes an in depth look at the ecological and societal effects of the bottled water industry and our reliance on oil. The harmful chemicals in the plastic, the bottles that mostly end up in landfills/oceans and all the oil that is used to produce and transport a basic necessity are all things harming our planet. Tapped also highlights the fact that big companies are taking water from communities so they can bottle and sell it for a profit. This film is a reminder to ditch the one-use plastic and switch to reusable bottles!
Available on YouTube, Tubi, Pluto TV, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Apple TV
Director Damon Gameau is worried about the future his four-year-old daughter will be living in. He imagines what her life will be like in twenty years if we continue as we are. He meets with changemakers from around the world to seek out the best possible solutions for the climate crisis. However, the film isn’t fearmongering and instead focuses on the how the world can improve upon ideas that already exist to better the planet and the environment. The overall tone is positive and hopeful.
Available on YouTube, Google Play, Vudu