on Sustainable, Eco, Green Topics
1. David de Rothschild’s EcoTrip Series (8 episodes, 25 minutes each)
This is a Sundance channel series and David has a really enthusiastic attitude towards discovering the truth about daily habits and products we use. He also has a pretty nice accent to listen to. Topics of this TV series include chocolate, cotton, gold, paper, light bulbs, bottled water, cell phones, and salmon.
2. No Impact Man (91 minutes)
I really enjoyed this movie – it shows you how life might work if you decided to reduce your impact to nothing. Takes place over the course of one year with a husband, wife and child. I especially liked seeing Michelle (wife) try to deal emotionally with changes like not using toilet paper anymore (!). This film is honest and will make you realistically think of what you would be willing to change – or not. Takes place in NYC, too – so involves city living at less impact.
3. Radically Simple (35 minutes)
A shorter film showing how one man changes his ways to become happier with less. Doesn’t get an overall good rating, but will at least show you the perspective of one man and how he tries to reduce his use of the earth’s resources.
4. Fuel [Fields of Fuel] (112 minutes)
A documentary relating to fossil fuels and the world’s dependence on them. The pleasant surprise is that this film is made by a guy who grew up in Australia with a very natural upbringing, then ends up in America and promotes his passion for biofuel and his green machine vehicle… he’s honest, determined and earned the Grand Prize at Sundance film festival.
5. Crude (104 minutes)
Thought-provoking and a true story, this film explores the massive oil waste that is destroying indigenous communities in South America. It focuses on the battle between Chevron and the local community that experienced their lives changed by big oil’s greed that caused an environmental catastrophe.
6. Blood Into Wine [Maynard Keenan of Tool is now a winemaker!] (99 minutes)
Here we have a documentary that is not really about sustainability at first, but about winemaking. The awesome thing about this movie is that you begin to realize that it’s all about sustainability and respecting the earth – getting back to your roots and doing something that is satisfying and honorable. Not to mention it’s a pretty great story about what the world-famous lead singer of Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer is doing these days.
7. King Corn [You are what you eat] (90 minutes)
This 2007 documentary is called “Enormously entertaining!” and give you in depth knowledge of corn and how much it is used throughout society – not just for foods and additives, but so much more!
8. Hemp Revolution (72 minutes)
Hemp’s many applications will surprise you – paper, fuel, medicine, textiles, food, and oil. This will explore the many uses as well as the prohibition and how it’s reputation of an illegal drug has overshadowed those.
9. The Business of Being Born (84 minutes)
Baby delivery and sustainability – this is more of an “ethical” perspective of sustainability. Sustainable baby delivery – not wasting manpower, money, resources, and energy… vs. the modern hospitalization for deliveries. Very interesting. If you’re into “natural” then you should watch this – male or female.
10. Babies (84 minutes)
Yes, another baby one… why? because this one is completely different and shows how babies are raised in different parts of the world. It is so interesting to see the things that are important depending on where you’re from… a San Franciso mother does baby yoga and buys toys, whereas the mother in Namibia is calm and cool as her babies are thrilled playing in the mud… this is sweet and gives a great variety of perspectives on the human condition and where different cultures set their priorities.
11. Ken Burns: The National Parks: America’s Best Idea (6 episodes, ~100 minutes each)
Wow – can you imagine what all of the stunning national parks’ land would look like if our ancestors had not preserved it? Find out how our National Park System came to be and how it changed the course of America’s land development – not to mention open the eyes of our government. If you’ve ever enjoyed a day in a National Park, you should watch at least one of these episodes.
12. The Botany of Desire (114 minutes)
Based off of Michael Pollan’s book of the same name, this film will take you through the history of four common plants that have had a significant influence on the cycles of humanity’s desires. You’ll be able to see the natural world from a new perspective and refreshing imagery. Not your typical heavy hitting political documentary.
13. 180 Degrees South (86 minutes)
The imagery in this movie alone is stunning, not to mention the story told by two driven outdoorsmen who use their achievements and connections to work on preserving land in Patagonia. They make huge steps towards protecting land from environmental threats against the will of many – but positive change to years to come.
All About Our Food System
14. Food Matters (80 minutes)
Focused on obesity and our overall food health
15. Food, Inc. (93 minutes)
All about our Food Industry in America – as you’re probably thinking – it is disturbing. Features author Michael Pollan and Fast Food Nation’s Eric Schlosser.
16. How to Cook Your Life (92 minutes)
Rather than the typical negative reality of the food industry – this one talks about inspiring culinary creations, how food nourishes our bodies, minds, and spirits. Respect your life by serving yourself healthy foods.
17. The Future of Food (88 minutes)
More on GMO’s and biotechnology on food that we eat up every day. Get ready for the hard core truth!
18. Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat (104 minutes)
Focusing on America’s sky-high obesity rate and what is causing it. This reviews all the angles and hmmm… does it have to do with overconsumption?
19. The Beautiful Truth (91 minutes)
This documentary is based on the Gerson Method of nutrition, but really shows how big Pharma and processed foods are causing major diseases. The creation of processed foods and very unnatural drugs to cure the diseases that are caused by the processed foods – is a vicious cycle that could be prevented if we go back to sustainable eating and living… less processed – less energy consumption.
20. Tapped (75 minutes)
All about bottled water, the effects on the environment, how it is bottled and where it really comes from… just because it’s water, doesn’t mean it’s “clean”.
21. Blue Gold: World Water Wars (89 minutes)
This award-winning film takes a close look through documentary style narrative at water. It covers control of it, use of it, selling of it, and problems that result of the unwarranted abuse of power of it. This does a great job of showing the tug of war between the earth’s resources and humanity.
22. Collapse (80 minutes)
How the world’s economy is directly related to the energy that we consume. Features political theories, propaganda roles, and big business lies.
23. Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices (97 minutes)
How is Wal-Mart able to sell things at such low prices? well, you’ll find out what one man discovers as he looks into his previous employer. This relates to ethical topics in sustainability and over-consumption.
24. The Cove (91 minutes)
This movie will truly move you to reconsider where all of your food comes from and how it was obtained. The actions that a group of very passionate people took to expose the truth about what was happening in a small cove in Japan shows determination and bravery. You’ll see the terrible truths about exploiting dolphins for a profit. This is a heart-breaker – but also give you hope that individuals who are passionate enough really can make a difference.
25. Blood Diamond (143 minutes)
This may not be a documentary, but it will give you insight into one of the largest UNethical, money-making industries – diamond mining. It’s not so bad to watch Leonardo DiCaprio, but in addition to that, you’ll be able to see how African workers are exploited and mistreated – even murdered – for greed. There is also the environmental impacts of mining – although this mainly focuses on the human side of the story.