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Re-Post | 9 DOCUMENTARIES TO INSPIRE YOU TO LIVE A ZERO WASTE LIFESTYLE

My first efforts to live a more sustainable life were the results of watching inspirational documentaries. While at first I was solely concerned with the toxic ingredients in every-day conventional items (makeup, cleaners, body lotions etc), this effort to live a more holistic life easily transitioned to living a being more sustainable. Swapping body lotion for coconut oil (which came in a glass jar) to using RMS body and eco-friendly under eye concealer (packaged in a glass tin with a metal jar), steps like these begun to lessen my footprint. Branching out into different movie genres, I stumbled upon these nine documentaries. All of these have inspired me in one way to live more sustainably, contributing now to my zero waste lifestyle. I hope that this list of zero waste documentaries will help you too will on your journey!     I’ve separated the 9 documentaries into two lists: The first being more investigative documentaries. These explore various topics from food wastage to the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Armed with research, these documentaries are here to teach us something and get the public riled up. The second (and a smaller list) are documentaries aimed at just showing the beauty of the world. These nature documentaries will blast your eyeballs with the stunning images of this incredible planet we live on.

INVESTIGATIVE DOCUMENTARIES

WASTED: THE STORY OF FOOD WASTE

review:

10/10 The most recent documentary that I’ve watched and one of the best. Even my boyfriend who is somewhat reluctant to my lifestyle change enjoyed every second of it.  

premise:

“Every year, 80% of the world’s water, 40% of the world’s land, and 10% of the world’s energy is dedicated to growing the food we eat, yet in the same year, 1.3 billion tons of food is thrown out. That’s a third of all food grown around the world being wasted before it even reaches a plate”- Tribeca Film. Through intriguing narratives of world-famous chef’s, Wasted! creatively shed light on this pressing issue.  

key takeaway:

Food waste is destructive to our environment and deserves more attention.  

bonus:

Anthony Bourdain’s one of the main narrators! I love Anthony Bourdain and seeing him involved in this effort brought me so much more happiness.  

where to watch:

Although it isn’t available on Netflix, I would highly recommend coughing up the $5 to stream on Amazon (unless you have Prime, then go for it for ‘free’ you lucky duck you).  

watch the trailer here

 

TRUE COST

premise:

This project aims to unveil the dark practices instituted by major clothing brands in their efforts to contribute to fast fashion. This fast fashion practice, being the intent to create to cheap garments to last only a few weeks by offering it at a cheaper price, has wreaked havoc on the environment and the lives of those working in the factories.  

review:

9/10 This documentary opened my eyes to something I didn’t even know was an issue. It has caused me to rethink all my fashion purchases in an effort to avoid this fast fashion practices. I now capitalize on second-hand stores to circumvent giving any money to these terrible companies.  

key takeaway:

The fashion industry as most of us know it is one of the most harmful sectors, both for the environment and for the local economies it takes advantages on.  

bonus:

If you change your lifestyle like I did after watching this from buying clothes in stores like Forever 21 to thrift stores, you will end up saving a ton of money.  

where to watch:

Netflix  

watch the trailer here

 

NO IMPACT MAN

premise:

Colin Beavan and his wife and young child, embark on a no-waste lifestyle for one year in one of the most energy inefficient places in the world, NYC. Taking it to what many consider the extreme, they toy with different energy saving techniques (washing clothes in a bathroom by foot and switching off their electricity for example). They spare no expense to live as close to a zero waste style, and are sure to include all the hardships, marital, family, social, and mental along the way.  

review:

9/10 I read the book first and then watched the documentary. They all did a great job of portraying all their struggles during this journey. He doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but does a damn good job of trying out new ideas to see if there’s any merit. His wife, Michelle, too is a hoot. While not her idea, she agrees to join her husband on this adventure, and with that comes times of defiance and understandable frustrations. However, she warms up to the experiment, and even evaluates her own life choices for the better. Together with their daughter, this family did a fantastic job of documenting their no-impact journey.  

bonus:

The 2009 video resolution and fashion choices bring you back in time!  

key takeaway:

Living completely a complete carbon-free lifestyle might be too extreme when living in a modern city (eating only locally grown produce is difficult); however, we can all take steps to help reduce our footprint everyday like taking the stairs, bring our reusable bags, etc.  

where to watch:

Amazon Movies  

watch the trailer here

MINIMALISM

premise:

Ok, this one isn’t inherently a zero-waste documentary. However, I think the minimalist mindset integrates well with a zero waste lifestyle as it is about living simply and taking only what you need. This documentary explores how life might be better with less.  

review:

8/10 I loved the theme of this documentary. Growing up, I certainly wasn’t a minimalist kid. I always had numerous games and gadgets. But as I grew up and moved from place to place (and into smaller rooms) throughout my college years, I’ve found it incredibly stressful owning too many things. Between lugging around boxes of shit I never or rarely used to jamming them into every nook and cranny for storage, I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize this stuff was literally and figuratively weighing me down. This documentary helped me open my eyes and better understand these stressors. I’ve now adopted some new approaches to decluttering and living with less and have managed to donate at least ½ of my wardrobe among other household items like pots and pans.  

key takeaway:

Fewer things means less to worry about, which means less stress and a happier life!  

bonus:

If you like their content, they also have an active podcast!  

where to watch:

Netflix  

watch the trailer here

GASLAND

premise:

After being asked to lease his land in 2010 by a drilling company, filmmaker Josh Fox decides to explore the impact of the American fracking industry and its impact on the environment and its dependent people.  

review:

9/10 Fox’s thorough investigation of the implications of domestic fracking left me speechless. From water faucet lines catching fire to chemically burned pets, Gasland exposes the deceit and maliciousness of the fracking industry.  

key takeaway:

The effect of fracking on the environment is immense, and one way to stop supporting their destructive actions is stop buying a large oil product: plastic.  

bonus:

Gasland 2 is out on HBO!  

where to watch:

Amazon videos

watch the trailer here

CHASING CORAL

premise:

Coral reefs are dying at an alarming rate. With the help of scientists, divers, and photographers, this documentary explores the reasons behind this (mainly warming temperatures).  

review:

10/10 Please please please watch this documentary. I was so taken aback by it that I watched it three times over the course of a weekend. Stunning visuals and time-lapses of the life coral reefs support and the rapid death of these animals (in case you didn’t know like me, corals are technically animals). Proving to be no easy feat, the crew produces of one the most beautiful nature documentaries I have ever see. Seeing their death moved me tears, and it’s hard to make me cry, I swear.  

key takeaway:

The warming of the average temperature has contributed to an increase of coral bleaching, and with that, the destruction of the marine life it supports.  

bonus:

Honestly, this whole documentary was amazing that in the entirety is a bonus.  

where to watch:

Netflix  

watch the trailer here

 

NATURE DOCUMENTARIES

to basque in the beauty of this planet

  I honestly have nothing more to say to these other than to watch all of these movies. Blue Planet 2 explores the depths of the oceans and the critters that depend on it for survival. Planet Earth 2 has got you covered with scenes of land-dependent animals. Terra reflects on the relationship between humans and all other living creatures.

blue planet 2

Watch the Trailer Here

planet earth 2

Watch the Trailer Here

terra

Watch the Trailer Here  

OTHERS:

inconvenient truth (1 & 2)

the hunt

chasing ice

march of the penguins

the ivory game

terra

—–

WRAPPIN’ IT UP!

I hope this list gives you a few things to cue up for a night in! In one way, shape, or form, each documentary has taught me something new and changed my perspective. If you’ve seen any of these and agree with my review, let me know! If you thought I’ve forgotten any, shoot me a message. I’m always looking for another excuse to stay in on a Friday night with some popcorn and a good flick. Read original article HERE      

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