Documentaries/Movies to watch about sustainability and climate change

Listen to my recommendations here!

In this podcast-style blog, I’ll talk about a few of my documentary and movie recommendations to anyone looking for something informative to watch about sustainability and climate change. I know for myself when I was first starting my journey to becoming more sustainable, it was hard. I mean, so many industries now that are not sustainable have the means to market and produce products that we use on a daily basis, and a lot of the time they will use “greenwashing” to make something seem like it is sustainable when in reality they are only uses phrasing and wording to make it seem like they are being eco-friendly which is misleading and harmful in a lot of cases. It’s hard to weed through, but by educating ourselves more about what is really good for the planet and what isn’t, we can help propel the environmental movement. These films do a great job of doing just that by informing the masses about what is really going on behind the scenes in regard to the politics behind climate change, biodiversity, and the harsh reality that most of these issues are out of our control, which is why we need to fight harder for environmental policy in government.

My first recommendation is The True Cost which was released in April 2015 and directed by Andrew Morgan. I really want them to do a follow-up of this movie because I loved it so much the first time, I saw it in 2019 while taking fashion classes at Santa Rosa Junior College. For any fashion lovers or just fashion consumers in general, this movie is so important in outing fast fashion companies and really just propelling the conversation around what fast fashion is and how we can diminish their impact on society. I remember when I wanted to be in the fashion industry at the time and for my college class, most of our assignments were centered around if we had or our own fashion label and what it would look like and I centered mine around sustainability and sourcing quality and well-made material. I think if more fashion designers and companies saw this film, they too would start centering their products around sustainability too, at least I would hope.

Secondly, An Inconvenient Truth released in 2006, and directed by Davis Guggenheim brings the science to light about climate change. Former Vice President Al Gore’s representation of such an important topic is so very awe-inspiring. I mean I really, really loved this movie when I first watched it in my environmental policy and politics class in junior college. I remember leaving class that day ready to take action. I am so glad that I was shown this because I just believe every young person needs to watch a film like this to understand that this is the state of our world and what are we going to do as a generation to maybe not fix it completely, but do everything we can to reverse the damage that has been done by previous generations because this is the reality, we are living in.

Thirdly, the documentary Seaspiracy was released on Netflix in 2021 by filmmaker/director Ali Tabrizi. He makes it his mission in this documentary to uncover everything he can about the fishing industry and how they are specifically contributing to the pollution of the oceans. This documentary is hard to watch at times, I’m not going to lie, it is rough, but I believe that is what makes it so impactful and it is films like these that are going to insight people to make real change in their daily lives and talk about the hard topics. Their Instagram account also has a plethora of information and fun facts, you can also join the movement there as well.

My fourth and final recommendation is David Attenborough’s A Life On Our Planet which was released on Netflix in 2020. If you don’t know who David Attenborough is, then just watch the Planet Earth BBC series that has a reputation of 21 years of television shows and feature films. The Emmy-winning narrator gives a glimpse into his life as a broadcaster, and how he has seen special places he has been to in nature be completely changed forever due to human activities and the negative effects on biodiversity. It’s astounding and his perspective is very powerful.

I hope you enjoy these recommendations and please let me know if you have seen any of these films or plan to watch them soon! Have a great day everyone and try to stay cool, I know it is getting so hot in most places in the U.S. and this kind of heat can be so dangerous, so be safe out there!

This is a layout of all the films I mentioned and their posters. The True Cost is rated PG-13. An Inconvenient Truth is rated PG. Seaspiracy is NR (Not Rated), and David Attenborough’s A Life On Our Planet is rated PG.

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