Must-Watch Environmental Docs To Watch On Earth Day

10 environmental documentaries that will inspire you to make a difference

April 22nd marks the 44th year people around the world will celebrate Earth Day. To show Mother Nature the respect she’s due we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the most moving and through-provoking environmental documentaries to watch that will inspire you to make a difference beyond this annual event.

An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

In 2006 former Vice President Al Gore took to the big screen to educate citizens about the effects of global warming. Gore’s passionate campaign impressed audiences around the world raising public awareness and reignited discussion surrounding climate change. Login to Netflix and see why this film earned an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Watch the trailer.

Chasing Ice (2012)

American photographer James Balog is known for his ground-breaking environmental images and in 2007 he started Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), to study the world’s glaciers and the impact of climate change on them. Using time-lapse cameras over several years, Balog and his team documented the changes of these mighty ice structures and used these images for a the feature-length and critically-acclaimed documentary called Chasing Ice. Watch the trailer.

The Cove (2009)

Former dolphin trainer and Sea Shepherd activist Ric O’Barry’s takes audiences on a harrowing and emotionally charged quest to expose the gruesome dolphin hunting operations in Taiji, Japan. Here, local fisherman engage in an annual dolphin drive hunt and O’Barry’s works to expose the brutal capture and slaughter of these porpoises, as well as the efforts of the local government to hide this practice from the public. Watch the trailer.

Encounters At The End Of The World (2007)

Renowned German filmmaker and director, Werner Herzog ventures to the remote continent of Antarctica to document the many environmental issues that plague the southernmost part of the planet as well capture the people who live and work there. Interviews with the world’s leading scientists and underwater shots of Artic glaciers will stimulate your intellect and take your breath away. Watch the trailer.

Food, Inc (2008)

After watching this Academy Award winning documentary by filmmaker Robert Kenner, you’ll never think of a plate of beef, chicken and even vegetables the same again. Kenner bravely delves into the underbelly of America’s food industry hidden away from the eyes of the consumer and government regulators, exposing corporations who put profit ahead of people’s health and well-being. Watch the trailer.

Gasland (2010)

Touted by Variety as “most effective and expressive environmental films of recent years,” the Oscar-nominated film Gasland looks at the controversial subject of hydraulic fracturing; where fluid is injected at high pressure into the ground to fracture shale rock to release nature gas. Fox shows viewers the disastrous long-term environmental and health effects fracking has had on communities in the American West. Watch the trailer.

If A Tree Falls: A Story Of The Earth Liberation Front (2011)

How far would you go to protect the plant? Filmmaker Marshall Curry looks into the origins and actions of The Earth Liberation Front (ELF), an environmental group known for its radical actions (which included arson) to stop the exploitation and destruction of the environment. Often referred to as eco-terrorists, ELF members and law enforcement are interviewed in the film, where Curry raises the question whether ELF members deserved to be sentenced as terrorists. Watch the trailer.

The Island President (2011)

The Maldives is known for its tropical weather and beautiful beaches, but as one of the most low-lying countries in the world it’s in danger of being submerged by the rising sea level. The Island President follows former President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives’s first year in office and his campaign to save his country, which culminates in his trip to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009. Watch the trailer.

Trashed (2012)

British actor Jeremy Irons takes audiences on a disturbing, yet moving exploration of global waste and its impact on land, sea and air, where once beautiful destinations are now converted to landfills. Watch the trailer.

Waste Land (2010)

Renowned artist Vik Muniz journeys from his home in Brooklyn, New York to his native country of Brazil and to its city of Jardim Gramacho, the location of world’s largest garbage dump. Here, he photographs “catadores” who are the pickers of recycle materials from this dump but Muniz’s collaboration with these impoverished workers develops into moving images of survival and the strength of the human spirit. Watch the trailer.

Tags: Earth Day

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