In my desperate search for content to save me from another Friends re-watch, I have delved deep into Netflix to find documentaries, and have returned fruitful. Benefit from my labors, and check out these 4 documentaries (or docu-series) with an eco-friendly message!

Have no fear, Cowspiracy didn’t make this list. I know you’ve seen it, or at least you are tired of reading about it. I hear you. And I’m here for you, with 4 Netflix (and one Amazon Prime) recommendations that you may have 1) not heard of yet or 2) haven’t viewed as “environmentalism” documentaries.


Before the Flood

Leonardo DiCaprio talks to some of the most prominent world leaders-Pope Francis, President Obama, Sec. General Ban Ki-moon, Elon Musk, among others-about how to solve the climate crisis. It’s more than your general apocalyptic climate change documentary; for one, it’s a National Geographic film, so the footage is amazing. The interviewees are powerful, to state it weakly. Plus, the documentary imposed a voluntary carbon tax on itself to offset the carbon used to produce the film (travel, lighting, etc.), which is pretty incredible. 

Our Planet (specifically, episode 2, Frozen Worlds)

If you haven’t already seen Our Planet, you’re missing out. Is has everything you could want in a nature documentary (baby animals, weird birds, David Attenborough), and is by far the most visually impressive nature doc to-date. However, unlike its predecessors, Our Planet doesn’t just give you a “the climate is changing and all of this could change” disclaimer at the end of an episode; it reminds you brutally and beautifully. Episode 2 focuses in on icy climates, and there’s one particular segment about walruses that will absolutely tear your heart out. But, you know, in an informative and beneficial way.

The True Cost

Even if you’re already aware of the environmental and social consequences of the fast fashion industry, The True Cost is worth a watch. It takes you from runways to sweatshops, taking you to the starting point of the cheap clothes in popular stores. The True Cost isn’t an indictment of affordable clothing–we should note that not everybody can afford new Fair-Trade outfits when needed–but it does ask us to look a little closer at what we wear.

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

Hear me out. Marie Kondo’s organization techniques and anti-consumerist philosophy is not only therapeutic, it’s environmentalist. If you’re unfamiliar with Marie Kondo, here are the basics: she’s a professional organizer who’s book (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Upbecame a Netflix series. Her whole idea is that your belongings should “spark joy,” and if they don’t, you don’t need them (which might seem strange at first, but it’s a Shinto-derived concept that makes more sense outside of a Western frame.) Marie Kondo’s soothing Netflix show will remind you to buy less, live simply, and prevent waste.

Non-Netflix Bonus: Rise (season 1 episode 7, Poisoned River)

Rise is a Vice docu-series that travels to “Indigenous communities across the Americas to meet people protecting their homelands and rising up against colonization.” S1 E7 focuses on the Krenak People in Brazil, after a massive toxic spill contaminated their water, hunting grounds, and culture. At the end of the day, Indigenous communities should be at the center of most environmental, and it’s important to realize that climate change and environmental crises tend to disproportionately damage Indigenous and minority communities. Episodes of Rise are available to rent on Amazon and YouTube, and free on Amazon Prime.

By Julia Nall, Social Media Director.