Everyday we receive all kinds of information through images. Documentaries became a way of transmitting information, leaving an impact on the viewer. These types of films are a captivating way of showing a message to thousands of people through a platform, balancing information with image. In this article we will comment on the best sustainability documentaries on Netflix.
Kiss The Ground:
Director: Joshua Tickell e Rebecca Harrell Tickell
Duration: 1h 24min
Kiss The Ground is the documentary that best summarizes the impact that the soil has on the planet. Ray Archuleta and many other soil professionals talk about how to make the most of the land without degrading it. This documentary shows that agriculture is the foundation of civilizations and now, more than ever, there are thousands of chemicals and techniques harmful to the soil. These are harmful to us as well, as chemicals go from the soil to our food and water. Many of the environmental problems begin with soil deterioration.
Kiss The Ground addresses our food, composting, deforestation, global warming, among others, when explaining how the land where we cultivate works. It is a documentary that deserves more recognition for covering such an important topic related to sustainability.
Director: Kip Andersen e Keegan Kuhn
Duration: 1h 30min
This 2014 documentary exposes all the environmental costs behind meat and fish feeding. Between deforestation, soil contamination, animal abuse, health problems, etc., this diet has become unsustainable in the modern world. This film is one of the most influential documentaries on the topic. Now, more than ever, it is important to be informed about the sources of our food. Cowspiracy does just that, showing the global impact of this diet that is so harmful to the environment (and for us). In this film, several people with different diets are interviewed, showing that there are several ways to have a sustainable diet.
Cowspiracy clarifies myths about the most destructive industry on the planet. It's a must-watch for sustainability documentaries.
Director: Ali Tabrizi
Duration: 1h 29min
Similar to Cowspiracy, Seaspiracy explores environmental and human costs in the fish and seafood industry. This film highlights the difficulty of finding seafood from reliable sources and suggests only one solution: to stop eating fish.
With the provocative vision presented, the documentary will convince you to stop eating fish from industrial sources. Seaspiracy very well portrays the chain of problems associated with industrial fishing. Environmentalists and influencers linked to the industry are interviewed.
After being in the top 10 on Netflix, Seaspiracy remains a relevant documentary on the global fish and seafood trade.
To know more about this documentary, read our article here !
Director: Jeff Orlowski
Duration: 1h 33min
Chasing Coral, a lesser-known documentary on Netflix that is thought only to speak of corals, actually addresses all the dangers and problems of the ocean during this period of climate change. In this film, it’s studied one of the marine animals most affected by human action: corals. These animals, which perform photosynthesis, are the stabilizers of the ocean. But with climate change, they are the first to show signs of degeneration. The death of corals results in the death of all animals that live on the reefs, which results in the end of marine ecosystems.
Chasing Coral was inspired by the documentary Chasing Ice, which depicts the melting of the polar ice caps. Both films aim to capture problems hidden from the public. Chasing Coral’s motive was to make the disappearance of these corals viral and show people what is happening to the ocean, out of sight. By sharing these changes and making them the subject of conversation, solutions begin to emerge.
The Minimalists: Less is now
Director: Matt D’Avella
The Minimalists, less is now is the second documentary created by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn. Minimalism, from 2016 conveyed their history, how they became minimalists and how easy it is for anyone to adopt this lifestyle. This second documentary, from 2021, focuses more on the practical view of minimalism. They show that everyone can make their lives better simply by having less. That's it: less. Less consumerism, less junk, but more health.
The Minimalists, less is now covers the same topics as the first documentary but more briefly and with small additions. This film, unlike the first, was produced by Netflix but has the same director: Matt D’Avella.
Matt D’Avella, director and youtuber, has a more distinctive place in this film (he didn’t appear in the first one) for having played such an important role in making it happen!
To see his channel on minimalism, click here !
To read our article on minimalism, click here !
David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet
Director: Alastair Fothergill, Jonathan Hughes e Keith Scholey
Duration: 1h 23min
This film is the last one on this list to show that each documentary mentioned here talks about an industry that has environmental and social impacts on the planet; Cowspiracy talks about the meat industry, Seaspiracy talks about the fishing industry, The Minimalists less is now addresses consumerism and A Life On Our Planet involves all of this in a film.
A Life On Our Planet, based on a book, is the testimony of David Attenborough (mentioned at the beginning). British naturalist, Attenborough has made documentaries his whole life about nature and its biodiversity. This film focuses, in particular, on the loss of biodiversity on our planet and what we can do (and what is already being done) to change it.
Attenborough highlights the drastic change that has taken place in ecosystems during his lifetime, and shows it in the documentary so that the public understands the consequences of human action on the planet. A Life On Our Planet, of all the documentaries made by Attenborough, is a must-watch about sustainability on Netflix.
To learn more about A Life On Our Planet, read our article here !
To keep in mind:
Even though these documentaries discuss important topics, we cannot believe blindly in the information they present. As many documentaries are made to make an impact, they can sometimes be over-dramatized leading to the misinformation of the viewer.
Therefore, we encourage you to view these (and other) documentaries with a realistic mindset and to check the sources of information. Many of these documentaries have an official page and present the respective sources.
It is relevant to remember the importance of verifying information present in documentaries, articles, etc., in a world where we can easily be manipulated and misinformed.
Other documentaries to watch on Netflix about sustainability:
The Game Changers
What The Health
Article written by: Matilde Silva
Kiss The Ground:
The Minimalists, Less is Now:
David Attenborough, A Life On Our Planet: