Earth Day Selections On Netflix - April 2021
When most people think of the month of April, images of budding flowers and winter melts come to mind, to say nothing of concocting plots to subject close friends and family to life-altering practical jokes. But there’s a more important and critical day occurring in April that everyone in the world should take note of: Earth Day. Considering the sorry state of affairs the planet is in when it comes to the environment, it might be a good idea to remind yourself how beautiful the earth is and just what humans could lose if we don’t clean up our act. Here are some nature-themed documentary films and television series to help you celebrate our pale blue dot.
Our Planet & David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
If you’re wondering just how climate change has impacted the Earth’s wildlife, look no further than Our Planet, the eight episode series that charts the effect human activity has had on the animals of the planet. Hosted by famed naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough, the series presents a sobering look at the state of the planet through the dwindling natural habitats and declining biodiversity.
A companion film, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, not only follows the impressive, decades-long career of the titular natural historian, but showcases his thoughts regarding climate change.
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
If there’s one thing people should have learned by being locked away from their friends and families for a year, it is what the truly important things in life are. Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, seeks to introduce people into adapting the “less is more” approach to life by having them eschew worldly possessions for a simple life based on sustainable practices and personal relationships. Showing people how to adapt this lifestyle is sure to reduce an individual’s carbon footprint.
Snowpiercer is a unique science-fiction adventure starring Chris Evans of Captain America fame. Following a disastrous and ill-fated attempt to offset climate change through scientific engineering, the entire planet has been transformed into an ice-covered wasteland. Humanity’s survivors have boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that circles the globe. Unfortunately, the train’s compartments are segregated by social class, with the elites in the cushy compartments and the common folk in steerage. Chris Evans leads the revolt to regain optimal conditions for the train’s oppressed minority.
Corporations have gotten a bad rap as of late, mostly owing to the fact that they deserve it. Greedily and ruthlessly obsessed with the almighty dollar, many corporations have eschewed basic human rights and safeties to secure a healthy bottom line. Dark Waters explores the true story of one such corporation’s attempt to hide their culpability in the deaths and burgeoning sicknesses of hundreds of livestock and people in a small American town. Mark Ruffalo plays the attorney that brings them to justice.
72 Dangerous Animals: Latin America & Asia
If ever you needed a reminder of just how dangerous some of the animals on this planet are, look no further than 72 Dangerous Animals: Latin America and its companion series, 72 Dangerous Animals: Asia. Each series is twelve episodes long, and showcases animals from each continent who are lethal to human beings in a contest ranked by deadliness. Successive episodes displace one contender from another until the viewer is left with one, conclusive winner.
It’s not exaggerating to say that many people grossly underestimate or simply have no idea just how vital coral reefs are to our ecosystems. Without them, the biodiversity in our oceans would be deprived of a major food source, destroying the chain of life and unleashing untold havoc on our planet. Chasing Coral is a documentary film that follows a team of divers as they chart the disappearance of this vital resource from shorelines around the globe.
Feeding 7.7 billion people on a daily basis was never going to be an easy task and unfortunately for humanity, the way we’re attempting to do it is driving the planet to environmental catastrophe. Cowspiracy takes a look at how modern animal agriculture has had the single largest negative impact on our environment. Global warming, deforestation, water depletion and the creation of ocean dead zones are a direct result of making sure people can have their drive-thru Big Macs on demand.
Synonymous with the terms “bloated budget” and “box office flop,” Waterworld takes place in a not-so-distant future where the polar ice caps have melted and most of the world has been covered by water. Starring Kevin Costner as the mysterious Mariner, he comes to the aid of a young woman and child looking for the mythical “Dryland.” Aside from being a cautionary tale for potential filmmakers of working over budget, the film also shows audiences just how bland, barren, and depressing a water-covered world would be.
A Plastic Ocean
From shopping bags to beer pack rings, it’s safe to say our world runs on plastic. Although highly convenient and relatively cheap and simple to manufacture, unfortunately, plastic is non-biodegradable and its introduction into the environment has been catastrophic. Nowhere is this more evident than in our world’s oceans, as the documentary film A Plastic Ocean illustrates. Bags end up in the stomachs of sealife, cutting them off from vital nutrients, and pack rings end up around their necks, killing them slowly. And we haven’t even discussed the Great Pacific garbage patch...
Into the Wild
Constant reminders of the environmental doom our planet seems to be heading for can wreak havoc on one’s morale, perhaps leading them to renounce everyday life and live off the grid. In case you’d like to see how such a scenario would play out, check out the filmInto the Wild. Based on the true story of Christopher McCandless, who after graduation decided to backpack across the United States, the film shows the benefits and drawbacks of living free in nature.
In case none of these selections floats your boat, try the following environmentally-themed films, documentaries, or TV series: