Best Environmental Movies Documentaries, and TV Shows to Watch on Netflix

By |2023-04-04T15:37:08-05:00May 2nd, 2021|Zero Waste|0 Comments

Spring in Canada is a lovely time of the year. The temperatures slowly begin to warm up, flora blooms, all animals come out of hibernation and start to give birth to their young ones. But it is important to remember that spring is notorious for its changeable temperatures, and this year has been no exception.

Canadian spring and Netflix have always been a good combination to chill and entertain ourselves. Now with Covid lockdowns still around us, it is even more attractive as it is a safe plan to do and never disappoints. For this reason, we wanted to share with you the best environmental movies, documentaries, and TV shows on Netflix that are a must watch.

Here’s our word on the exclusive environmental movies available on Netflix:

1. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

As David Attenborough calls it a “witness statement”, this eye-opener documentary is making quite a buzz on Netflix. The documentary showcases the decline of our planet’s health during the career of 93-year-old naturalist David including some original clips from his collection. He makes some shocking predictions for the coming years that leave us all thinking.  Having experienced the impact of negligent behaviors of humans on Earth first hand, he emphasizes on the fact that humans need to change their habits and work with nature rather than against it. The amazing photography and cinematography will make you stick to the screens till the end.

Length: 1h 54mins
Release: 2020
Tomatometer: 94%
Google reviews: 99%

The movie is highly recommended as it tells us why making eco-friendly choices is the need of the hour.

2. The Biggest Little Farm

An absolute joy to watch, this documentary will motivate you to have a green lifestyle too. The documentary is about the life-changing decision of a couple John and Molly Chester who after being kicked out of their apartment in L.A. decide to leave the city and start a new life along with their dog on 200 acres of land in Ventura County. They transformed the drought-stricken land into a unique, diverse farm with over 10,000 orchard trees and 200 crops along with many kinds of animals. The spell-binding experiences, challenges, and miracles documented in the movie make you fall in love with nature.

Length: 1h 32mins
Release: 2018
Tomatometer: 91%
Google reviews: 93%

Highly recommended as it shows us how nature works wise and works perfectly when it is not intervened by humans.

3. Down to Earth

Actor Zac Effron together with Darin Olien who go on a world tour and experience life like never before. Together they meet 100-year-olds and know the secret behind their healthy lives, visit an eco-village playing its role in reducing carbon footprints and personally learn about the efforts being made in different parts of the world to promote sustainable living. This series shows Zac and Darin experiencing some fun activities and learning about the role of nutrition in living a healthy life. Calling it an informative and diverse show won’t be wrong as every episode has something interesting to tell you.

Length: 8 episodes – 40 mins each approx.
Release: 2020
Tomatometer: 76%
Google reviews: 94%

A definitive highly recommended season to learn more about different topics and teach you to appreciate everyday things.

4. Plastic Ocean

A thought-provoking documentary where an Australian journalist Craig Leeson goes on a journey to find a blue whale he once saw but ends up being shocked and petrified by knowing about the amount of plastic in our oceans. The documentary focuses on the damaging effects of plastic on our planet, how it affects marine wildlife and how it never degrades. Craig visits eight different locations around the globe, shows us communities thriving on landfills and crops growing on wastes while informing us how dangerous it can be. Plastic has been an amazing innovation but it’s now time to bid farewell to it in order to save the planet. 

Length: 1h 42 mins
Release: 2016
Tomatometer: 85%
Google reviews: 95%

Highly recommended as it is very informative and eye-opening.

5. Dancing with the Birds

An absolute treat to watch, this 1-hour documentary will make you laugh and wonder about the beauty of various species of birds of paradise. The movie tells us about the mating behaviours of these spectacular birds in a funny and interesting way, how they try to impress the opposite gender by dancing and then finally succeed. The vibrant colours and breath-taking beauty of these birds will leave you in awe of them. You get to observe closely the behaviours of these birds as they go on with their impressing moves. Maybe you can relate to some or pick up some tips?

Length: 51 mins
Release: 2019
Tomatometer: 92%
Google reviews: 82%

Highly recommended due to the exquisite beauty of a million species out there and thousands of processes taking place in the world. This documentary will make you fall in love with all different bird species.

6. Mission Blue

Rightly named, this amazing documentary is all about the life journey of an oceanographer, environmentalist, and marine biologist Sylvia Earle. She takes us on a life journey, where the Gulf of Mexico was her backyard growing up and how she witnessed Florida gradually changing in front of her eyes due to increased tourism activity. Mission Blue shows the shameful impact of human actions on the oceans and all the animals living inside them.

Length: 1h 36 mins
Release: 2014
Tomatometer: 85%
Google reviews: 94% 

It is an eye-opening documentary and it also inspires us by showing us the incredible work of Dr. Sylvia Earle.

7. Our Planet

Another Netflix documentary that will inspire and motivate you to switch to a green lifestyle, Our Planet shows us a 50 years journey of Earth and how much human choices have played the role in the destruction, global warming habitat loss, and reduced animal populations. Also, it provides an excellent glance at the habits of animals all thanks to the amazing cinematography. What shakes us to the core is a large amount of ice breaking and melting as a result of global warming. This documentary will evoke the love of nature in you and motivate you to play your role in the conservation of our planet.

Length: 8 episodes – 50 mins each approx.
Release: 2019
Tomatometer: 93%
Google reviews: 97%

It is a groundbreaking eight-part documentary series that will raise awareness of the world’s rarest wildlife, voiced by Sir David Attenborough.

8. Chasing Coral

This documentary diverts the attention of the world towards something that many do not pay attention to and that is the disappearing of corals at an alarmingly fast rate. The film shows the journey of a group of divers, photographers, and scientists investigating the depletion of corals around the world and their astonishing revelations. Sadly, out of sight, out of mind is the right term to explain the scenario as nobody is paying heed to the disappearing corals as a result of global warming, ocean pollution, and human negligence. The movie also informs us about the importance of corals in our environment.

Length: 1h 33m
Release: 2017
Tomatometer: 100%
Google reviews: 98%

Highly recommended movie and a tremendous eye opener.

The bottom line

This is not an exhaustive list of all environmental related documentaries out there but it is a great start for you to learn and enjoy the wonders of nature. It is also a stark reminder that the impact of human activity on nature is changing life on earth as we know it. One million species are currently facing extinction due to human activity. The COVID-19 crisis is also a reminder that we must reset our relationship with nature. We need to change the way we eat, live, grow, build, and power our lives to achieve a carbon-neutral, nature-positive economy, and halt biodiversity loss over the next decades.

If you have any other great ideas on what environmental documentaries or movies to watch, please post them below!

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