Documentaries To Change The World

Back last year when I started to dive into learning all that I could surrounding the issues with waste, hubs and I used to have “Docu-date” nights. After we put the kiddo to bed we’d pour ourselves a drink and settle in with a documentary (or two) as we worked through all those on my list. We saw a LOT of documentaries. Here is a list of my favorites! During your next night of couch time, consider picking one or more of these in lieu of a new tv series. 🙂



This one was basically the catalyst to my life changes. I was already planning on trying to reduce my waste going into 2017 but after seeing this I decided to ban consumerism when it came to personal fashion for an entire year. This movie is one of the many drivers that has me seeking a minimalistic lifestyle and seriously will get you thinking about the stuff we own and its effect on the world around us.

A Plastic Ocean

Important documentary that goes into not only the horrors of plastic on our health but also talks in depth about the havoc they are having on our oceans and seriously what kind of messed up situation we have going on out there.

Bag It

Another great documentary to understand the issues with plastic not just with its impact on the planet but how it affects our bodies as well.

Chasing Coral

Takes a look into the devastating changes that are occurring with our coral reefs.

The True Cost

Very important documentary about the issues with fast fashion when it comes to externalized costs and the people whose lives are affected through cheap labor and poor practices by the companies. If you like to buy clothes on the cheap or consider yourself “on-trend” this doc is an eye opening must see!

No Impact Man

Follows a guy and his family during their year long quest to reduce their footprint. This video is a great way to get the gears turning as to all the ways we as a society create waste (beyond physical garbage) and what you can do to avoid it.

– Food Related –


Hosted by the late Anthony Bourdain, this very well done documentary looks into the issues of food waste with interesting views from both a culinary and technological standpoint.

Just Eat It

Follows one couple in their year long commitment to not buy any food.  Tackles the issues of food waste by showing how people could manage to live simply on the stuff that gets disposed of prematurely.

Food Inc.

Good look into the issue of factory farming.


Talks about the problems with industrialized farming and how shifting our focus to local, sustainable foods can not only improve our planet but ensure the future of our food supply.

King Corn

A deep look into corn, the most heavily produced crop in the US, and how pervasive it is throughout the American diet.

More Than Honey

Bees are essential to our food. If you want to understand the issue that is going on with bees and their diminishing populations (or even its just that you care about having food to eat) then watch this documentary.


Very good series on Netflix that will open your eyes to corruption within the food industry. You’ll never look at garlic the same way and find yourself truly skeptical about the quality of the honey you’re buying after watching this series.

In Defense of Food

This one has less to do specifically with the environment than the others however its an important one that goes into how disconnected we as a society have become from food, how much of our diets as a nation is centered around food that is packaged, processed and influenced by industry. This was one of those documentaries where it felt like a flashback to my undergrad years because it contains accurate information reported in a factual, straight to the point manner. The whole time I was like “uh huh, uh huh, yup, that’s right.” If you’ve ever struggled with the question of “what should I eat?” with all the bogus misinformation that gets tossed around these days, you really need to watch this one! This doc is a great stepping stone because once you understand that food is not the enemy and all its takes is focusing on simple ingredients, prepared fresh rather than eating food that was prepared and packaged then the next step is choosing foods that are grown sustainably. Seriously, check it out!


There are many more docs out there I haven’t seen yet that are probably also awesome but these are my go to’s whenever anyone asks what I’d recommend watching. Have you seen any of these? Which is your fave? 🙂

xo, Erica