Six Must-Watch Environmental Documentaries

January 16, 2020
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Knowing our why deepens our dedication to the how, what & when in our lives. Here are a few environmental documentaries that changed my perspective on the world entirely & gave me actionable ways I could get involved!

I believe this idea to be true in so many facets of our lives & especially true for those who are on their journey to a more sustainable, mindful way of living. You might have seen this list of impactful documentaries on our Resource Compass (where all of our recommendations and links to our favorites live) but I wanted to give a bit more context into each of these powerful, inspiring documentaries and how they’ve touched our lives. Each is linked below & we can’t wait to hear how they affect and inspire you!


The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing? It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. Since the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry globally, and probably the one we interact with most, this is one of the most influential documentaries I can recommend if you want to shift the way you view the world and your role in a more sustainable future.

TAKE ACTION: Stop Supporting Fast Fashion (Buy Secondhand or Sustainable)

READ: Why Sustainable & Ethical Clothing Matters


Mission Blue left me speechless and inspired, not only by the life’s work of Sylvia Earle, but by her passion and dedication to making change. Sylvia is an oceanographer, marine biologist, environmentalist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and this film gives us a window into her quest trying to protect the ocean from threats as pollution, overfishing and climate change. Many, many ‘aha-moments’ to be had!

TAKE ACTION: Offset Your Carbon For The Year

READ: How To Reduce Your Waste While Traveling


50 Minutes To Save The World is a short film that you can stream on Youtube which shares a unique view into what the future looks like without our coral reefs. I won’t spoil the film but it’s an eye-opening peek into the important role these ecosystems (the lungs of our earth) play in the overall health of our world. They share footage of reefs all around the world and actionable ways we can take personal and corporate responsibility in saving them. This is a quick watch and 100% worth your time!

TAKE ACTION: Only Use Reef Safe Sunscreen & Stop Using Chemical Pesticides

READ: Why We Should ONLY Be Wearing Reef Safe Sunscreen


Scientists estimate up to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic waste are dumped into our seas every year, now reaching even the most remote corners of the world where humans don’t inhabit. This is a GLOBAL problem, in which we all have responsibility, that is affecting marine life and human life but I often think since we all aren’t in the ocean every day, it can be hard to fathom and comprehend. The title of this doc is pretty self explanatory but this is a deeply moving film that takes us to the depths of the ocean so we really know the effects of plastic.

TAKE ACTION: Ditch ONE single-use plastic item from your life for good (START HERE)

READ: Why & How To Eliminate Plastic Water Bottles


I, along with many others, believe that sustainable agriculture is the heartbeat of our future. This film is about the land, the people who work it and what must be done to sustain it for future generations. A vital investigation of the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system, from the agricultural issues we face — soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use — to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. It is a story of hope and transformation, about passion for the land and a promise that it can be restored to once again sustain us. If you eat food, which is all of us, this is a great watch!

TAKE ACTION: Sign up for a weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) in your area

READ: Sustainable Living On A Budget


In Racing Extinction, a team of artists and activists expose the hidden world of extinction with never-before-seen images that change the way we see the planet. Two worlds drive extinction across the globe, potentially resulting in the loss of half of all species. The international wildlife trade creates bogus markets at the expense of creatures that have survived on this planet for millions of years. And the other surrounds us, hiding in plain sight — a world that the oil and gas companies don’t want the rest of us to see. Using covert tactics and state-of-the-art technology, the Racing Extinction team exposes these two worlds in an inspiring affirmation to preserve life as we know it.

TAKE ACTION: Protect The Endangered Species Act

READ: How To Host A Zero Waste Beach Clean Up

Hope you found these environmental documentaries suggestions helpful. I can’t wait to hear what your biggest takeaways were from these and how you plan to get involved!

Meet the writer


Thanks for reading! I'm a photographer, writer & environmental advocate excited to be sharing regenerative solutions, ideas & concepts for our lives & businesses with you. 


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