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The best environmental documentaries to watch in 2021

Day 28 of the zero waste challenge is all about watching some of the best environmental documentaries on the planet. Educating yourself while kicking back and eating some popcorn or homemade chips are crucial to understanding why you are doing all this work. 

Yes, the zero waste lifestyle is not an easy one to adopt, especially not overnight. While it is one thing to follow the 5R’s and buy all the zero waste products in the world. This alone isn’t going to solve the problems we are facing in the world. And to be frank, who wants to carry that much responsibility on their shoulders?

We live in a busy world. Time is precious, yet we waste a lot of it binge-watching silly shows. This is why I made a list for you to binge-watch the best environmental documentaries out there. 

It is my favorite way to relax and learn. If I could put the TV near my bathtub, I probably would. Ohh, that just gave me an idea!?

So here are 16 of the best environmental documentaries for you to choose from. Feel free to bookmark this page or save it in your Pinterest account so that you can find it later.

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Seaspiracy (2021)

Seaspiracy | Official Trailer | Netflix

Tomatometer: 75% 🍅 Audience Score: 88% 🍿

From the co-creator who brought you the groundbreaking documentary Cowspiracy comes Seaspiracy, a follow-up that illuminates alarming — and not widely known — truths about the widespread environmental destruction to our oceans caused by human behavior.

Watch on Netflix

8 Billion Angels (2021)

8 Billion Angels - OFFICIAL TRAILER

Tomatometer: 63% 🍅 Audience Score: N/A% 🍿

Is the film we all need to see. It is the much-needed wake-up call that we need. The documentary film documents the unsustainable population growth and offers positive solutions to protect the environment and human lives.

Watch on Here for $5.99

Watch on Prime

A Life On Our Planet (2020)

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet | Official Trailer | Netflix

Tomatometer: 93% 🍅 Audience Score: 93% 🍿

Narrated by no other than David Attenborough. In this feature-length documentary series, David Attenborough takes you on a journey of the beauty of our planet earth and how climate change is impacting life on our planet. This is an eight-series Netflix documentary with stunning images and heartwarming moments.

Watch on Netflix

2040 (2020)

2040 - Official Trailer

Tomatometer: 100% 🍅 Audience Score: 46% 🍿

From award winning director Damon Gameau comes this optimistic documentary that shows we are able to live in harmony and embrace the solutions that we already have. Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter he blends traditional documentary and creative alternatives to offer future generations a solution to carbon emissions and deep-rooted corruption fuelling.

Watch on Vimeo for $5.99

Watch on Apple TV or Google Play

The Cove (2009)

The Cove (2009) Official Trailer #1 - Documentary

Tomatometer: 95% 🍅 Audience Score: 94% 🍿

The cove is a documentary that shakes you around. Winner of the 2009 oscar for best documentary. It’s sickening but important to face—the slaughtering of dolphins in Japan. Get your tissues ready.

Watch on YouTube

Blackfish (2013)

Blackfish Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Documentary Movie HD

Tomatometer: 98% 🍅 Audience Score: 90% 🍿

The story of Tilikum, a captive killer whale that has taken the lives of several people, underscores problems within the sea-park industry, man’s relationship to nature, and how little has been learned about these highly intelligent mammals. It drags out a little, in my opinion, but definitely a must-watch.

Watch on Prime

Watch on Apple TV or Vudu for $2.99

Chasing Ice (2012)

Chasing Ice Trailer (2012) - Sundance Film Festival Movie HD

Tomatometer: 96% 🍅 Audience Score: 85% 🍿

From the producer of “The Cove”. James Balog and his team on the Extreme Ice Survey assemble a multi-year chronicle of the planet’s rapidly melting glaciers. Breathtaking images in this environmental documentary display the climate crisis that we are currently facing. Hauntingly beautiful a great documentary to watch.

Watch on Prime

Watch on Apple TV

A Plastic Ocean (2017)

A Plastic Ocean Official Trailer

Tomatometer: N/A% 🍅 Audience Score: 81% 🍿

Craig Leeson discovers a startling amount of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Trying to find the seas’ biggest mammal, but what they find instead is a plastic soup.

Watch on

No Impact Man (2009)

"No Impact Man" - Official Trailer [HQ HD]

Tomatometer: 83% 🍅 Audience Score: 63% 🍿

This documentary tells the story of author Colin Beavan, who went completely “green,” giving up virtually all of the comforts of modern living — electricity, gas-powered transportation, shipped food, and public waste disposal — in a drastic effort to curb his environmental impact. The cameras capture the toll this well-intentioned, year-long project takes on Beavan’s wife and baby daughter and the ways it brings this family closer together.

Watch on Prime

Blue (2017)

Tomatometer: 83% 🍅 Audience Score: 63% 🍿

This provocative journey into the ocean realm highlights a critical moment when the marine world is on a precipice. Our oceans are under threat. That is no news, but how much has declined, and can we still save the sea? We are all connected to the ocean; if their health declines, ours does too. Breathtaking images and sad truth.

Watch on Apple TV

Vanishing of the bees (2009)

Vanishing of the Bees (Official Trailer)

Tomatometer: 58% 🍅 Audience Score: 63% 🍿

Vanishing the Bees is a 2009 documentary film by Hive Mentality Films & Hipfuel Films, directed by George Langworthy and Maryam Henein and released in the United Kingdom in October 2009.

Watch on Prime

Watch on Apple TV

Minimalism a documentary about the important things (2016)

MINIMALISM: Netflix Documentary (Official Trailer)

Tomatometer: N/A 🍅 Audience Score: 53% 🍿

Examining the many levels of minimalism by looking inside the lives of minimalists from various walks of life. Two guys that dropped out of the 9-5 rat race to find peace in the small things in life.

Watch on Prime

Watch on Netflix and Apple TV

Cowspiracy (2014)

COWSPIRACY - Official Trailer - HD

Tomatometer: N/A 🍅 Audience Score: N/A 🍿

Need to convert your family to a vegan diet? This is the movie that changed my life forever. Follow the shocking yet humorous journey of an aspiring environmentalist. He daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and the true sustainability path. If you can’t decide which environmental documentary to watch first, start with this one.

Watch on Prime

Watch on Netflix or Apple TV

Before the flood

Before the Flood - Trailer | National Geographic

Tomatometer: 73 🍅 Audience Score: 77 🍿

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio meets with scientists, activists, and world leaders to discuss the dangers of climate change and possible solutions. To me, he is a great actor and supporter of life. I think he is great, and the world needs more people like him.

Watch on Prime

Watch on Disney+ or Apple TV

The True Cost

'The True Cost' - Official Trailer

Tomatometer: 73 🍅 Audience Score: 77 🍿

Filmmaker Andrew Morgan travels around the globe to see the people who make clothes for the world’s fast fashion industry. This eye-opening documentary explores the way our clothes are made. From glamorous runways to the slums to the toxic chemicals that are washed off into our oceans affecting marine life on our planet. A must-watch for anyone who cares about clothes.

Watch on Prime

An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

An Inconvenient Truth (2006) Official Trailer #1 - Al Gore Movie HD

Tomatometer: 93 🍅 Audience Score: 79 🍿

An Oscar-winning documentary about the environment featuring the unlikeliest of movie stars. Former presidential candidate Al Gore holds this film together as, in front of an audience and with few aids beyond photo slides, he explains how humans have messed up the planet. Gore issues an urgent warning on what must be done, and done quickly, to save the earth.

Watch on Prime

Watch on Apple TV

Home (2009) Full Movie

Tomatometer: 73 🍅 Audience Score: 77 🍿

All of Earth’s problems are shown to be interlinked through footage from 60 countries. Home is a 2009 French documentary film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The film is almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth. It shows the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the planet’s ecological balance. Glenn Close read the English version. ~ Wikipedia

Watch here

Food Inc

Food, inc. (2008) Official Trailer #1 - Documentary HD

Tomatometer: 95 🍅 Audience Score: 86 🍿

Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner examines how mammoth corporations have taken over all aspects of the food chain in the United States, from the farms where our food is grown to the chain restaurants and supermarkets where it’s sold. Narrated by author and activist Eric Schlosser, the film features interviews with average Americans about their dietary habits, commentary from food experts like Michael Pollan, and unsettling footage in large-scale animal processing plants.

Watch on Prime

Watch on Apple TV

The Game Changers (2018)

The Game Changers | Official Trailer

Tomatometer: 70 🍅 Audience Score: 99 🍿

James Wilks travels the world on a quest for the truth about meat, protein, and strength. Showcasing elite athletes, special ops soldiers, and visionary scientists to change the way people eat and live. This has actually made my wife, and I go on the vegan path. Not that it is about veganism, but it seemed to be the next logical step for us.

Watch on Prime or Netflix

Watch on Apple TV

the best environmental documentaries

Here you have a couple of nights planned out for you to watch some excellent environmental documentaries and learn a thing or two. It certainly always changes some of my behaviors when I see how other people live their lives.

Was your favorite environmental documentary not mentioned by us? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll make sure to add them.

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