Are you trying to convince friends and family to embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle? Or do you just want to feel inspired by the beauty in our world? Whatever it is, sometimes watching films about sustainability can be all that you need.
Most of our recommendations revolve around climate change, as it’s connected to sustainability. From nature documentaries to animated movies, we’ve got something for everyone!
1. Our Planet (2019)
Sir David Attenborough is a household name when it comes to nature documentaries. One of his most recent works includes Our Planet, which you can watch on Netflix. This series will take you to experience the natural wonders of this planet while addressing how climate change has impacted them. From ocean acidification to rising sea levels, these problems affect all life more than we care to admit.
Eight episodes focus on various landscape types, including jungles and deserts. While the subject is undoubtedly depressing, the impeccable nature photography and beautiful images are enough to leave you in awe.
Watch this when you want to be inspired by the natural beauty of our planet. Hopefully, by witnessing a close-up of our seas, forests, and frozen lands, you’ll be reminded to keep making sustainable choices.
2. Before the Flood (2016)
Narrated and presented by Leonardo DiCaprio, Before the Flood is a masterful documentary of climate change and the efforts to solve this. Did you know this Hollywood actor is actually the U.N. Messenger of Peace? In this film, he’s on a mission to educate the public about our planetary crisis.
He travels around the world to meet with scientists and political leaders as they highlight the problem of inaction. You will face the dramatic changes that nature has suffered due to human activities, and the truth can be pretty disturbing.
Watch this when you want to take action, whether as an individual or society. It’s a great film to empower the new generation to strive for a sustainable future.
3. Chasing Coral (2017)
Any lover of the sea and ocean would attest to the breathtaking beauty of coral reefs. Unfortunately, these reefs are disappearing faster than is natural. In this Netflix original, you will learn about how climate change destroys marine life around the world. This phenomenon is much more damaging than overfishing, and the revelation could be quite stupefying.
You will watch divers, photographers, and biologists as they set out on a journey to identify why coral reefs are vanishing so quickly. Spoiler alert! It has a lot to do with global warming and rising sea temperatures.
Watch this when you long for the underwater beauty of coral reefs. Rest assured, the next time you go snorkeling or diving, and you’ll gain a new appreciation for these impressive natural structures.
4. Minimalism (2015)
Subtitled ‘a documentary about important things’, Minimalism explores the many layers of this movement by revealing the lives of different minimalists. While it does not directly address sustainability, this film challenges the modern culture of consumerism. Cutting down what you buy and have will help you produce less waste, which of course is great for the environment.
And yet, the most intriguing part of this documentary is that it follows people of various backgrounds, from musicians and architects to entrepreneurs, bloggers, and nomadic travelers. It shows how this stripped-back lifestyle might change your life.
Watch this when you’re considering a lifestyle change that will help you be more eco-friendly.
5. Snowpiercer (2013)
We’ve covered some essential documentaries, but fiction can also be an excellent way to touch our emotions. Snowpiercer is more than just a thrilling film; it also seeks to remind us what our future might look like if we keep ignoring climate change and dismissing sustainability. The plot unfolds when a failed geoengineering experiment causes a new ice age. You will see our characters struggle in a terrifying class system and deal with the power play.
Watch this when you want something exciting and fantastical but also thought-provoking. Instead of trying to experiment and “undo” climate change, why not simply use what we have and do what we can?
6. The Lorax (2012)
Finally, The Lorax is an easy watch and family-friendly option that still deals with climate change and sustainability issues. We follow as the young Ted goes on a quest to find an extinct tree that would impress his girl crush. In this animated world, plants are artificial and fresh air is sold in plastic bottles.
It takes place in the distant future, but the possibility of such a reality can be very eye-opening. However, the fun presentation and cute animations can be a brilliant way of addressing a more serious message. Sustainability is a lifestyle, from how you give gifts to the films you watch.
Watch this when you want an inspiring family movie night! Teach the little ones the importance of being sustainable and the true beauty of nature.