5 sustainable documentaries to watch now!

Documentaries have been a big part of my education in living a more sustainable lifestyle.

Sustainable living is thankfully moving more into the mainstream, hitting headlines and getting peoples’ attention. There are lots of documentaries out there on the topic, below I have listed my top favourites so far that cover all sorts from fashion to ocean plastic.

Before the Flood

This documentary presented by National Geographic featuring Leonardo DiCaprio looks at the issue of climate change and global warming. It looks at the man-made reasons its possibly happening. DiCaprio travels the world to look at the factors causing climate change. He speaks with environmental scientists and world leaders to assess the situation and look at possible solutions. This one is full of facts, for me it was probably the most useful, addressing issues I wasn’t previously aware of.


As the title may suggest, this one is all about animal agriculture and the effects that the industry of mass meat and dairy farming has on the environment. The documentary covers deforestation, pollution, water waste and land use to name a few of the detrimental factors that the industry has on the planet. I know a lot of people that have watched this have reduced their meat consumption following seeing the documentary. Personally I much preferred Cowspiracy compared to its sequel What the Health, that looks at how food effects us, although it advocates a plant based diet I felt it was quite sensationalised and un-relatable.

A Plastic Ocean 

One of the first documentaries I watched when I started to look at sustainability. Scientists thoroughly explore how plastic ends up in the ocean, and how it breaks down and is dispersed around the planet. The programme looks at the effect plastic is having on aquatic and wildlife, and how it eventually ends up getting back to us through toxic pollution. It’s quite surprising how long plastic does actually last for and the remote places so far away from land that it ends up.

The True Cost Movie

This one covers the fashion and textile industry. Before watching this one, I hadn’t even considered the clothes I wear could have such a negative effect on the environment. Also addressed is the human cost and ethical implementations much of the fast fashion industry produces. The documentary covers everything from cotton farming, through to high street production.

Chasing Coral 

Another Netflix beauty all about, you guessed it- coral! This is a fascinating and in many scenes a beautiful watch. Scientists and film makers spent three years making the documentary. It focuses on the natural coral decline and deterioration looking at the various factors causing it. It’s really clear how passionate the cast are about the issue which really makes you think and appreciate the problem much more than just reading and article or fact sheet.

I hope you like my recommendations. If you can let me know of any others please let me know. With the dark nights closing in I need some suggestions!

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