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Our commitment to a sustainable lifestyle started off as a desire to make a more positive impact during our travels, but has since evolved into a much deeper understanding of the plethora of sustainability issues we face in our day to day lives. 

Slow living, minimalism, ethical fashion, responsible food choices, and global warming are all topics that have become increasingly important to us over the last few years.

And it’s not just us… The topic of sustainable living seems to be top of mind in today’s pop culture. Documentaries, in particular, have been streaming on our screens helping to shine a light on environmental issues.

If you are looking to gain a better understanding of sustainability issues around the world, here are 10 sustainable documentaries that will help shine some light and hopefully, get you started on a journey to a more sustainable lifestyle

Inconvenient Truth

You can’t talk about environmental films and not have this make the list! This Oscar-winning documentary, narrated by former Vice President Al Gore, discusses the effects of global warming and what we need to do NOW (and quickly) to save our planet Earth.

Planet Earth II

As a sequel to the BBC docu-series of the same name, Planet Earth II looks at the beauty of Mother Nature and how we need to continue having her be as incredible as she can be. It gives an up-close look at the animals, habitats and eco-cultures around the world. 

Warning: This documentary may inspire serious wanderlust!

True Cost

Do you ever stop and wonder about the clothes you’re wearing and where they were made? This documentary reveals some of the untold and harsh truths about who makes the latest and greatest apparels and the impact it has on the clothing industry (and our planet). 

It inspired us to completely rethink what we wear and what brands we support and has lead to a total overhaul of our shopping patterns. Definitely worth a watch!

Earthlings

Are you traveling soon and thinking about swimming with dolphins, or riding an elephant? Once you watch Earthlings, you’ll want to think again! This American documentary, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, shows a candid look at how humans use animals for entertainment, food, clothing and scientific research.

A Plastic Ocean

Take a dive into the ocean and ride along with underwater filmmakers who showcase the interactions between sea creatures and humans. You’ll see how exquisite sea life can be; and will make you think twice about using plastic straws. 

Food Inc.

Another renowned film that examines the process in which food is grown, manufactured and distributed, which includes a look at the dietary habits of Americans.

This film sparked controversy for many as it includes scenes from inside an animal processing plant, which may or may not strike a cord for some to start living a vegan lifestyle.

The Cove

This Academy Award-winning film (for Best Documentary) takes a look into the capture and mistreatment of dolphins in Japan, with the purpose of informing and educating the public about these harsh practices.

Minimalism

Ah, a buzzword we hear too often these days. Our society thrives on having the latest and greatest of things, from clothes to gadgets, and everything unnecessary in between. This film documents the daily lives of people of different backgrounds – artists, scientists, Wall Street brokers – who all have a common goal: live life with less.

Before the Flood

This documentary follows actor Leonardo DiCaprio as he discusses the dangers of climate change with environmentalists, world leaders, and other influential figures. His purpose is to tackle the issue of ‘man-made global warming’ before Earth becomes unsustainable to life.

Cowspiracy

Do you ever wonder where your food comes from and if, at all, sustainable and ethical policies are put into place? Cowspiracy dives into this question by exploring the impacts of animal agriculture on the environment and hopes to find the solution to a path to true sustainability.

Hopefully, these ten documentaries (plus tons more out there!) will help to solidify your commitment to living a more sustainable lifestyle!

Have you seen any of these films before? Which documentaries can you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

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