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Image / Editorial

5 Netflix documentaries to watch for Earth Day 2020


by Erin Lindsay
22nd Apr 2020
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To honour Earth Day this year, educate yourself on some of the most pressing issues facing the planet right now


While other news has understandably taken over our news feeds over the last few weeks, the planet’s environment woes rage on, and the responsibility still lies with us to solve them. Today is Earth Day, a day to remember why our efforts to curb our carbon footprints are so important, and to delve into why our planet and environment are so precious.

Since we can’t do much from our homes right now, the best thing you can do under the current measures is try to educate yourself on the environment and how your habits affect it. Whether it’s your clothes shopping habits, your plastic consumption, or what you eat, we could all be doing more to help the environment, and it helps to know where to start.

Netflix is a treasure trove of great documentaries, and when it comes to environmentalism, the streaming platform has some brilliant watches. Give tonight’s movie marathon an Earth Day theme, and pay attention to these five sustainability watches.

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

Cowspiracy explores the impact that animal agriculture has on the environment and investigates the policies of various environmental organisations on this issue – and why they seem so reluctant to talk about it. Cowspiracy makes the case that animal agriculture is the primary source of destruction on the environment, and interviews countless officials and activists on the subject, often getting pushed back in the process. The film received a lot of controversial feedback on its release in 2014, but while you may not agree with everything it raises, it is an eye-opening watch about how our meat consumption may be aiding the destruction of the planet.

Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things

If you’ve been made more aware of the abundance of stuff in your house since the beginning of quarantine, this is the watch for you. Minimalism explores why we are so obsessed with obtaining more and more stuff, and contrasts it with views of those who reject that way of life, and focus on minimal consumption. A really eye-opening watch if you’re more interested in the psychology behind consumerism, and want to reduce your own to better the planet.

Rotten

Rotten looks at the food industry worldwide, and how what we buy and eat on this side of the world affects those who produce it elsewhere. Knowing what goes into what you eat is incredibly important, and the more we can focus on buying and eating local, the better for those all around the world who are producing our food. This is a watch that will make you angry, but will hopefully make you more mindful of how you consume food.

A Plastic Ocean

Our oceans are bearing the brunt of our plastic consumption, and seeing it up close and personal really hits home to how terrible the issue is. A Plastic Ocean follows explorers Craig Leeson and Tanya Streeter and a team of international scientists as they travel the world to investigate the causes and consequences of plastic pollution. A reminder to all of us to reduce our plastic use where we can, and to avoid single-use plastics – in 2020, there’s really no need to use them.

Our Planet

For a simple, beautiful reminder of what we’re fighting for in our environmental efforts, what could be better than a David Attenborough documentary? Our Planet shares the wonder and extraordinary beauty of nature around the world, in over 50 countries, from jungles to deserts to oceans. We all need to do better by our flora and fauna friends, and Our Planet is the perfect watch to remind us.


Read more: There should be an ‘Covid-19’ category on Netflix: here’s what I’d add to the list

Read more: How Abbeyfealegood shone a heartfelt and humorous light on life in rural Ireland

Read more: First look: Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood will be your new Netflix obsession

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