Despite #EarthDay having landed on April 22nd, we believe that there’s always time to celebrate the earth. Whether that’s through small and incremental gestures, making sustainable changes to your daily routine or raising awareness of how we, in the words of Sir David Attenborough, have “the last opportunity to make the necessary change”, there’s a way for everyone to start making a real difference for the only planet we’ll call home.
With that in mind, we’ve assembled a quick-stop guide to seven documentaries that will help usher in new habits that are healthier for the planet and, crucially, further your learning on what we can all do for a happier home.
It’s no secret that, around the world, coral reefs are disappearing at an alarming rate. In Chasing Coral, divers, scientists and photographers help shine a light on the health of the world’s coral reefs — a mysterious world in themselves — and why they’re disappearing so fast.
I Am Greta
Now synonymous with the fight against climate change and global warming, 18-year-old Greta Thunberg has become the figurehead of global environmental activism. The fly-on-the-wall documentary I Am Greta explores Thunburg’s rise to fame across a timespan of 13 months, taking the viewer from her early campaigns in Stockholm to the United Nations summit in New York.
Kiss the Ground
Narrated by Woody Harrelson, Kiss the Ground highlights the numerous issues that modern agriculture and farming faces and how a more ecological approach to managing land — told through in-depth, almost forensic analysis of soil and microbes — could benefit the environment for years to come.
From the makers of Cowspiracy comes another feature-length documentary that’s as equally alarming as its predecessor. Seaspiracy provides a scathing analysis of the ‘big fishing’ industry and the global mistreatment of the oceans, covering a range of eye-opening topics including modern slavery for cheaper food, industrial-grade plastic dumping and unregulated fishing practices.
David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet
“This film is my witness statement, and my vision for the future,” says Sir David Attenborough on A Life on Our Planet. “The story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake, and how, if we act now, we can yet make it right.” In one of 2020’s most-watched documentaries, the famed British broadcaster and natural historian documents the devastating changes he has seen across all seven continents during his career and what we can do to start fighting back.
My Octopus Teacher
A moving and Oscar-nominated documentary, My Octopus Teacher follows filmmaker and free-diver Craig Foster off the coast of South Africa and explores the surprising relationship between Foster and a local octopus — a species which bears a similar level of high intelligence to that of pigs — and the environmental lessons that come with their close encounters.
Made by Damon Gameau, 2040 offers a refreshing take on future-facing documentaries. Instead of scaring viewers with doom-and-gloom montages of eroding coastlines and melting ice caps, the Australian film-maker uses 2040 as a platform to celebrate and champion measures that are already making positive change and lasting impact around the world.