Published: 3rd June 2021

11 documentaries for budding environmentalists

Is your teen a Gen Z climate activist? Perhaps you're looking for ways to decrease your family's carbon footprint?

Explore the big wide world around you with your kids this World Environment Day with our list of 11 documentaries that discuss climate change and the world around us. 

Our Planet

scenes of animal hunting

Experience our planet’s natural beauty and examine how climate change impacts all living creatures in this ambitious documentary of spectacular scope.

An Inconvenient Truth

Contains images of ecological disasters

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.

The 11th Hour

Contains brief distressing images

The 11th Hour is a documentary on the problem of global warming presented by the actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Disturbing images

There is a scene in which a seal pup is shown being culled with a baseball bat and another in which a dead body is seen floating in the New Orleans flood waters.

Chasing Coral

infrequent mild bad language

Divers, scientists and photographers around the world mount an epic underwater campaign to document the disappearance of coral reefs.

2040

infrequent mild sex references

2040 is an Australian documentary in which director Damon Gameau proposes ways to improve our planet and fix the climate crisis.

Sex

Gameau describes his ideal date for his daughter as someone 'who is very kind - and very impotent'.

Very mild bad language includes 'hell' and 'God'.

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

infrequent strong language

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch is a documentary exploring the impact humans have had on the planet.

Language

There is infrequent strong language ('f**k').

Verbal references are made to elephant poaching. There is brief natural breast nudity.

The True Cost

disturbing images

The True Cost is a documentary about the impact of fashion on people and the planet.

Disturbing images

In the aftermath of a factory collapse, there is some sight of dead or injured people. In another scene, the aftermath of a riot includes sight of a heavily bloodied person lying injured beneath a sheet. There are also some scenes of rioting in which people fight with police.

Infrequent mild bad language ('shit').

Honeyland

infrequent strong language

Honeyland is a documentary in which the last female beehunter in Europe has her livelihood threatened by new neighbours.

Language

There is infrequent strong language ('f**k'). Milder terms include 'ass'.

There are images of medical detail when a woman changes the dressings over a wound on another woman's face. Cattle are shown in some distress as they are herded and roped by their horns, and other scenes feature non-gory images of dead calves. There are also mild scenes of bereavement.

I Am Greta

infrequent strong language, eating disorder references

I Am Greta is a Swedish documentary which follows the life of the young climate activist Greta Thunberg.

There is infrequent strong language ('f**k').
There are scenes in which a teenage girl and her parents discuss a period when she became unwell from not eating properly. In another sequence, a father insists that her daughter take a break from a large protest in order to eat something.

Seaspiracy

animal killing

Passionate about ocean life, a filmmaker sets out to document the harm that humans do to marine species — and uncovers alarming global corruption.

How To Change The World

strong language, images of bloody real animal slaughter

How To Change The World is a documentary about the history of Greenpeace and its most famous campaigns.

Language

There is occasional use of strong language ('f**k'). Milder terms include 'bastard' and 'shit'.

Disturbing images

Scenes show whales being harpooned and butchered onboard whaling ships; the sea is red with blood and we see whale carcasses being dragged through the water. Other scenes show baby seals being clubbed to death and dragged through the snow. There are also images of skinned seal carcasses.

There are some images of natural full frontal nudity.

There are some undetailed passing references to marijuana.

To find out where you can stream, buy or rent these documentaries, check out Find Any Film.