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Five Documentaries About Climate Change for Beginners

In this day and age there are hundreds of sources for people to learn about environmentalism. I think that the easiest way to ‘convert’ someone is to make them watch a documentary. When I was 11 years old I didn’t want to read a bunch of books and studies about climate change. I found most of the facts to be boring and confusing. So, I watched a documentary that really opened my eyes to the effects of climate change.

There are so many documentaries about climate change and I haven’t even watched half of them. Although, the documentaries I have watched have taught me so much about different factors that contribute to climate change and how we can solve this issue.

I have recommended five documentaries that I believe people should watch to learn more about environmentalism. These documentaries, I believe, cover the important facts and solutions that everyone should know. Each one is different as it takes on different perspectives and various environmental concerns.

The 11th Hour


Directors: Nadia Conners, Leila Conners
Year Released: 2007
At the beginning of my green journey I watched a documentary produced by my favourite actor and celebrity crush at the time: Leonardo DiCaprio. This documentary provides a general scope of climate change. It gives the basic information you need to know like the origins and causes, and how humans can battle this problem. Keep in mind that this documentary is 11 years old and some things may have changed but I think that it is still relevant in 2018.

The 11th Hour

An Inconvenient Truth


Directors: Davis Guggenheim
Year Released: 2006
This is also an older and more general documentary about climate change but still provides relevant information and can inspire eco-action. Al Gore (kind of the Green King) explains in detail his own experience of battling with the effects of climate change, and the problem of having non-believers in power.

An Inconvenient Truth

The True Cost


Directors: Andrew Morgan
Year Released: 2014
The True Cost documentary shows the effects of the Fashion Industry on the planet and the people who work in the industry. I was genuinely shocked about the mistreatment of sweatshop workers in the fast fashion industry. In this documentary they show everything, including how the dyes and cotton in clothes affect our air, water and land. Watching this documentary changed my perspective on fashion and even inspired me to stop supporting fast fashion brands.

The True Cost

Before the Flood


Directors: Fisher Stevens
Year Released: 2016
Leonardo DiCaprio’s second documentary about climate change shows how much we haven’t really improved since his last documentary. This time DiCaprio traveled across the globe to see the effects of climate change. What I liked about Before The Flood is that DiCaprio provides a more personal narrative on climate change instead of just giving out facts and figures. He reflects on his own carbon footprint, his journey towards sustainability and how he is taking action.

Before the Flood

What the Health (2017)


Directors: Kip Andersen, Keegan Kuhn
Year Released: 2017
Yet another shocking documentary that will make you want to throw out every meat and dairy product in your home. What I liked about this documentary is that it was not  ‘vegan propaganda’ – in other words it didn’t only tell you ‘meat is bad and plants are good’. It provides more than enough information and shocking facts about the food we eat, how it affects our health, the community and the environment. I think that it is essential for everyone to watch this documentary. It will not only convert you into a vegan but will also essentially save your life.

What The Health

The 11th Hour(2007) and An Inconvenient Truth(2006) might be difficult to find now but the other documentaries are all available on Netflix. You don’t have to watch all five documentaries. If you want a more general idea on climate change then I suggest you watch Before The Flood(2016).

There are also movies that are based on environmental issues. Some of my favourites are Interstellar (2014), The Simpsons Movie (2007), Erin Brockovich (2000) and Contagion (2011).

I hope that you watch all of these movies and documentaries. You can never learn too much.


– Kayla Shivana

Follow my cruelty-free and sustainable journey on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

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