The Best Documentaries About Climate Change (Without All the Doom and Gloom) | Savoir Flair


The Best Documentaries About Climate Change (Without All the Doom and Gloom)
by Lydia Medeiros 3-minute read September 5, 2023

Want to educate yourself on the climate crisis without spiraling into eco-anxiety? We've curated a list of documentaries that balance hard facts with hopeful solutions. Knowledge is power, so let's power up.


After the United Nations released their harrowing report about the state of our world, we went into an immediate panic. After all, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, did not mince words when he warned that unless action is taken soon, major cities will be underwater. “This is not fiction or exaggeration. It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies,” Guterres said. He noted that high-emitting governments and corporations were not just ignoring the issue, they were also “adding fuel to the flames by continuing to invest in climate-choking industries. Scientists warn that we are already perilously close to tipping points that could lead to cascading and irreversible climate effects.”

If this scares you, good. But it should not paralyze you. We have the capability and the responsibility to educate ourselves on what is happening on our planet. There are a plethora of available documentaries and websites we can get lost in while trying to make sense of what is happening. Eco-anxiety is real. However, with Netflix’s recently launched collection of over 170 sustainability stories under the heading ‘One World Infinite Wonder’, we decided to give you a list of our favorite documentaries that will not only teach you more about what is happening and what we can do about it, but will also leave you feeling empowered and just a little bit hopeful. If everyone does their part, we can change the world.




A Life On Our Planet is broadcast journalist David Attenborough’s intimate and personal documentary, recounting his lifetime of 93 years visiting every continent on Planet Earth as he documented its wild and wonder. Attenborough marvels at the beauty around us, but also warns about humanity’s impact on the natural world across the globe that he has witnessed firsthand in all his travels.

article NETFLIX


Fantastic Fungi is an incredibly magical documentary about the mysterious power of mushrooms to help heal our world. Utilizing time-lapse, mushrooms are seen to clear oil spills, regenerate life, heal with medicinal properties, be the conduit for tree communication with its underground fungal network, and be a sustainable solution in action for over 3.5 billion years. Honestly, it’s a trip.

article APPLE TV


Narrated by Woody Harrelson and featuring lovable celebrities like Ian Somerhalder, Gisele Bündchen, and Tom Brady, Kiss the Ground is a documentary that explores the regenerative effects of the world’s soil that will “rapidly stabilize the earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems, and create abundant food supplies.” The film is artfully woven together with compelling footage from NASA and NOAA, and artfully depicts how soil could very well be the key to unlocking the solution to secure our future.

article NETFLIX


My Octopus Teacher won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for a very good reason: it is an incredible film. It follows the unlikely friendship between filmmaker Craig Foster and a wild, common octopus living in the kelp forests off the coast of South Africa. Foster follows his octopus teacher for a year as she invites him into her life and shows him where she lives, sleeps, eats, and learns.

article NETFLIX


Netflix’s original docu-series, Our Planet, featuring David Attenborough, is a beautiful look at the diverse natural habitats around the globe, as well as the animals who inhabit them. It also addresses the growing concern of human impact on the environment, in particular, how it pertains to these living creatures. The British docu-series attempts to educate, raise awareness, and provide tangible solutions for humans to participate in order to save not only our planet, but also every specie who calls this place home.

article NETFLIX


“Little animals go on big adventures across the US” is the official description of this fun movie. Although Netflix markets Tiny Creatures as a documentary, it isn’t really a documentary, nor is it a mockumentary. It’s Jonathan Jones’ (filmmaker from Our Planet II) pseudo-documentary on the world’s smallest critters – as shot in his own backyard during 27 days of lockdown in England. It’s scripted, at times you can tell it’s a set and not the wild wild west of Arizona, but it is a fun movie that leaves you with a sense of appreciation for what these tiny creatures really do go through beneath our very eyes.

article NETFLIX



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