As a far-too avid watcher of Netflix, combined with my perhaps obsessive interest in sustainability, I’ve seen many documentaries on the topic which have inspired me to continue living more sustainably. Perhaps more importantly they have also shown me things I did not previously know, such as appalling facts about waste and ethical questions within the fast fashion industry.
The documentaries below are all focused on sustainability and highlighting the need for change within our lifestyles, whether that’s through different fashion choices, our diet, or general buying and living habits. Something I particularly like with these is that the majority of them have websites linked to the documentaries with more info, resources and facts, which are really useful and I think a great way to ensure that their impact is as wide as possible.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret – Largely based on explaining the need for a more veganised approach to our diets, Cowspiracy illustrates the huge damage that large-scale farming is creating through pollution and destruction. Much like The True Cost, their website also has some resources and facts about the issue, which are worth a read too.
The True Cost – focused on the fashion industry, this documentary really opened my eyes to the need for a new system of fashion and buying clothes, not only due to the huge waste that the industry creates but also due to the often poor conditions workers creating clothes live in. The website also has a number of extra videos annd resrouces which I found really interesting.
Food, Inc – This is somewhat similar to Cowspiracy in it’s focus on food, particularly meat and wheat farming as unsustainable and damaging. It’s slightly more USA-centric in it’s viewpoint, but the illustration of big corporations influencing the food industry caught my attention in particular, as it was something I hadn’t considered as much previously.
No Impact Man – This documentary honestly gave me so many feelings all at once. At first I was unsure I liked it, it seemed very extreme and not really sustainable for the majority of people at all – one family go entirely ‘no impact’ for a year, including no electricity, long-distance travel, or food from long-distances (such as coffee). But by the end of the documentary I felt I was left with a perfect message – it’s all about doing what you can and that individual differences can make an impact. As summed up by Colin in the documentary, ‘it’s not about deprivation, it’s not about not taking care of yourself, it’s the opposite. It’s about seeing: is it possible to have a good life without wasting so much?’
Watching the BBC’s Planet Earth and Blue Planet series (and the more recent second series which are both stunning) also highlighted the impact of pollution and global warming on wildlife and the world’s ecosystems, which I hadn’t thought so much about – these series combined with the recent photo of the seahorse and plastic cotton bud really made me consider how much waste I am creating without even thinking