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Eight Environmental Documentaries to Educate You this Earth Day

To commemorate Earth Day, now seems like the perfect time to not only celebrate the beautiful regions of our earth but to also spread awareness about the urgent global threats our planet is facing due to climate change. Throughout the last few decades, wildlife and the ecosystems they inhabit have been threatened and destroyed due to human activity. This is a time to not only reflect on our mistakes but learn how we can repair the damage we have done moving forward. Fortunately, resources are more readily available than ever before in order to educate oneself, with none being more accessible than the environmental documentaries available today.

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For this year’s Earth Day, we compiled eight of the best environmental documentaries to offer information and insight as to how we can best support environmental efforts. From ocean ecosystems to jungle wildlife, this list targets a variety of issues the earth is facing. Alarming as well as inspiring, the following environmental documentaries will expand your consciousness while providing objective steps to take in order to help preserve our planet.

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

In this documentary, David Attenborough gives us an insight into his life’s work and the alarming discoveries he has made throughout the years about the state of our planet. Going back in time to the 1940s, Attenborough gives us mesmerizing shots of different sceneries around the world, only to see them slowly vanish a couple of decades later. This piece is a harsh representation of the urgent situation our planet and its species are facing, but it also offers solutions and actions we can take to prevent the further destruction of our planet.

My Octopus Teacher

My Octopus Teacher

My Octopus Teacher is an emotional story about naturalist and filmmaker Craig Foster who forms an unexpected friendship with an octopus. Based in South Africa, the documentary includes breathtaking scenes of the marine ecosystem in which Foster meets the octopus. The storyline is captivating, almost following one of a love story, as we see Foster forming a bond with the sea creature and being affected personally by the struggles the octopus must go through in her natural environment. Poignant and unique, this documentary is a must-watch.

Seaspiracy

Seaspiracy

If you are looking for a horror movie based on a true story, Seaspiracy is just that. In this documentary, Ali Tabrizi exposes the horrific truths about the fishing industry. Captivating yet agonizing to watch, this piece shows the reality of how big corporations obtain the fish that we see sold in our grocery stores. Touching on the wildlife and human aspect of this industry, the film is an important reality check on how human behaviours are rapidly damaging our environment.

Kiss the Ground

Kiss the Ground

Narrated by Woody Harrelson, Kiss the Ground includes the voices of various actors and activists that aim to educate us about soil and the impact healthy agricultural land can have on our health. This documentary not only shows us the dangerous effects that man-made products such as pesticides have had on our plants and our atmosphere, but it also shows us solutions and steps we can take in how we nourish ourselves to help win the fight against climate change.

Brave Blue World

Brave Blue World

Big Blue World is a 50-minute documentary that sheds light on the water crisis taking place in various regions of the world. This production highlights what individuals, as well as organizations around the world, have been doing to provide clean water in their communities using long-term, sustainable solutions. This documentary will leave you inspired by these individuals who have come up with unique water filtration systems in hopes of eventually making a worldwide difference.

Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Lands

Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Lands

The Patagonia Film shows the urgency for untouched, public lands to remain free from mining and industrial use projects. In this documentary, we see the evolution of political leaders taking different approaches to public lands and whether or not they should be protected. It is a touching piece, as it focuses particularly on the Arctic National Wildlife refuge, a sanctuary that has remained untouched since the beginning of time. Home to the Gwich’in people, the residents have been fighting for years for this land to remain unharmed and now, with this documentary, the world can learn about their mission.

Jane Goodall: The Hope

Jane Goodall: The Hope

This documentary tells the story of Jane Goodall and her extraordinary life’s work with chimpanzees. Her story is heartwarming as much as it is heartbreaking, as we see her fighting for the rights of chimpanzees to be treated the same as humans. This piece looks at Goodall’s life now, as a well-established activist who is traveling the world to educate the younger generations on the urgency to protect chimpanzees and their ecosystem.

Before the Flood

Before the Flood

Before the Flood is a documentary produced and directed by Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio. Presented by National Geographic, the film targets different areas of the world impacted by climate change, notably the arctic. We see DiCaprio talking to multiple experts and civilians about what they have observed in their communities around climate change, and what they believe the solution is to stop this imminent crisis. The documentary features DiCaprio discussing with activists and scientists as well as political leaders the actions that need to be taken in order to win the fight against climate change. It’s a powerful film that leverages major figures to amplify a critical message.

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