10 Must Watch Sustainability Documentaries (and where you can watch them for FREE)

10 Must Watch Sustainability Documentaries (and where you can watch them for FREE)

I’m a bit of a documentary hoarder, if ever there were such a thing. Basically, I make long lists of all the documentaries that I want to watch (with them having been recommended to me somewhere along the grapevine) but I never get around to actually watching half of them. Instead, I hoard them with every intent to watch them but then life gets in the way, and they get pushed down my priority list and you know how the story goes. It may be that my problem is I have more of a thing for hoarding and making lists then, right?


Well, I’m proud as punch to say that these ones I have actually watched and can highly vouch for. These sustainability documentaries are more than just thought provoking. They will change your perspective on the world. Watching them should be top of the priority list for everyone. 


These particular sustainability documentaries have really helped me in my educational journey. They’re films that painted the bigger picture and will hopefully help you grasp some of the concepts that I go off on tangents about on the odd (or daily) occasion.


Did I mention to you that you can access them all for FREE. There’s a website called “Documentary Lovers” that hosts a wide library of documentaries to provide a community of learning for people to access across the world from any electronic device. Pretty neat hey! Especially when it’s an important message like sustainability that needs to be heard! So drum roll please. This is what I’ve come up with (the titles are links that will direct you to the video). So bookmark this page, share, spread the word, plaster posters around the neighbourhood  or plant a tree in the mayor’s front yard in honour. Do what you see fit to spread the good word!


1. Green Gold

John D. Liu looks at how permaculture principals are transforming desert landscapes throughout the Middle East, China and South America. It’s a story about restoration and hope. One that will take us into the future and has the potential to bring communities out of the desperate cycle of poverty and hunger whilst replenishing the natural landscapes around them. It takes the Permaculture movement to a grand scale. One that makes me so freaking excited.


2. A Farm for the Future

Rebecca Hosking returns to her family’s farm in the UK to take on the responsibility of farming the land as her parents head in to retirement. In the face of rising oil prices though, she is faced with the challenge of finding news ways to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels. Does she revert back to more traditional and sustainable farming methods? Or does she opt for the dirty way out, and continue on the modern path of conventional farming? (Ok, so that was a crappy cliffhanger and I think you know the answer but it’s worth the watch!)


3. Edible CIty: Grow the Revolution

This depicts the potential for the power within people from all walks of life to live and breathe a revolution by working together; by way of greening our cities with edible gardens. It’s something that is both practical and enriching for the community. Explore the movement that is transforming and nourishing communities around the world. It’s a quirky documentary that shows just how a sustainable food system can and is working.


4. An Inconvenient Truth

If you haven’t heard of this documentary, you should probably get yourself out of that cave of yours. Or not. It’s probably impacting on the earth less than the rest of us. ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is the famous Al Gore documentary where he sets out to debunk the climate change skeptics. Climate change is real and it’s happening around us today. This documentary is factual and scientific for all those nerds out there who geek out over that stuff. It’s highly compelling for the rest of us.


5. The Devasting Effects of Pollution in China

A film about the horrid effects of pollution that is plaguing the city of Linfen in China; officially one of the most polluted cities in the world. When people can’t even hang their clothes on the line because they get covered in black soot and children are playing all in a slurry of toxic sludge, you know we have a problem. Will we see this scale of pollution increase as our increasing dependence on industrial production leads us down this destructive path? You won’t look at our clean blue skies in quite the same way after you’ve watched this.


6. Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution

Permaculture is all about creating a permanent culture and systems on this planet. This film provides a great introduction on how to incorporate more self-resilience and sustainable practices into our everyday lives. It’s a movement that is quietly gaining momentum all around the world and proving that working alongside nature is the only sustainable way for humans to maintain themselves as a species on this planet. If you want to understand what I’m harping on about half the time, I recommend giving this a go.


7. Dirt! The Movie

The title is pretty self-explanatory really. This is a movie about dirt. Dirt is essentially the life-force of this planet. It’s what gives life to the plants we eat. Without it, we would be a lost species. This documentary delves into the nitty gritty side of this precious resource and where we stand as a human race on top of it. You’ll be kissing the soil beneath your feet wherever you trod from now on in.


8. World without Oil

This is an interesting perspective on on of the most important commodities in the world; oil. It takes a fictitious scenario (or so we can only hope) of what might happen to our cities and way of life if we were to suddenly run out of oil tomorrow. The time lapse is pretty cool and it’s as though it’s straight out the scripts of some post-apocalyptic movie which is, as I’m sure you can understand, probably why I enjoyed this so much.


9. What in the world are they spraying?

The agrochemical and geo-engineering industry is booming, much to the degradation of people’s health and the state of the environment. This documentary unravels the twisted truth behind this industry, the lies they are trying to mask and who it really is benefiting. It’s placing the magnifying glass on corporate interests and asking the questions that we should all be directing our attention to. Why would they want to control the weather and change the composition of soil and water?


10. Beyond 2012

A look into the future drawing on the philosophies of a myriad of traditional cultures and religions. Maybe a bit hokey pokey for some, but it’s a look into the human mind that goes beyond the typical and predictable apocalyptic scenarios and rationally inclined. It’s interesting at the very least and hopefully mind-opening.

Now it’s your turn! What sustainability documentaries do you love and recommend watching?

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support!

Posted on by Emily Uebergang Posted in EcoLiving

About Emily Uebergang

Urban hippie by day, wandering gypsy by night. Emily is all about sustainable living and writes like she's out to try and save the world or something. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+

5 Responses to 10 Must Watch Sustainability Documentaries (and where you can watch them for FREE)

  1. Small Footprints

    Wow … that’s a great list! And thank you for the introduction to Documentary Lovers … what a fabulous site!

  2. Tara S

    Farmageddon, Food Inc., and the Polyface Farm DVD. Netflix also has a little 20 minute documentary on Chipotle that’s really good.

  3. Emily Uebergang

    I’ve spent too many hours on that site… haha

  4. Emily Uebergang

    Thanks for the recommendations! Will be adding those to the list 🙂

  5. Pingback: Pandau | PBS World to broadcast Hunger documentary in April

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