6 Environmental Documentaries to Change Your Life

By Charlotte Dawson

Here at MILJÖ, we have compiled a list of environmental documentaries that we think you should watch if you’re on the path the changing the way you live, and the world. 

A few of the following documentaries are rather emotional and possibly a little hard to watch at times. However, they are super insightful and full of information. You will feel inspired and motivated once watching these films. 

Throughout this article, you will learn about some great environmental documentaries available to watch and download. Simply read through, find one that clicks with you, and get started.

These environmental documentaries will spark the urge to make a difference. Once you have finished watching, share what you have learned to spread the word. The best way to make a change is to share what you have discovered and help others do the same.

So, once you’ve finished this post, choose a documentary to sit down and watch. 


Don’t forget your tissues, or better still, grab some handkerchiefs, you may need to reuse them!



Blackfish, released in 2013, tells the story of Tilikum. A killer whale who was once widely known for his perfect performances and the deaths of trainers within Sea-World. Captured from the wild when he was just two years old. Viewers of this documentary will feel emotionally connected instantly.

Blackfish digs deeper into the story of this whale and how it came to be that these trainers died, and why Tilikum himself was so ill. 

Gabriela Cowperthwaite, the director and producer of the film, shares footage she had obtained since seeking answers for killer whales kept in captivity, and the reasoning behind why Tilikum was killed. 

She shows deeply moving interviews and video footage of how the creatures at Sea-World are kept. Gabriela also tells us about the pressures brought towards the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry. And how the death of the trainers, and eventually Tilikum affected the future of the business. 

This documentary aims to spread awareness of how some animals are treated whilst in captivity. Although there are many arguments as to why captivity is great for leading us away from certain animals becoming extinct. The care for animals still needs to change.

We also learn about how intelligent killer whales are, deeply connecting us with these mammals to understand how they must have felt being kept in small spaces and separated from their families. 

Crying yet? Don’t worry.

Thankfully, this film did impact a change, known as the ‘Blackfish Effect. Causing Sea-World to finally make changes to the shows they perform, and the breeding policies of the park. 

You can make a change by becoming aware of how animals are treated in captivity and spreading the word. You can also avoid visiting and paying into places that profit from such activities…

Watch the official trailer below.



Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

On a happier note, this series will enlighten you into thinking and living differently to meet your fullest potential. Upon completion of this series, you will understand that you don't need a whole lot, to feel a whole lot of happiness. (And you’ll save money along the way!)

If you have been seeking happiness, and a change, this series is a definite watch. Completely inspiring and eye-opening behind the reasons why you don’t need everything. 

Throughout this series, you will witness how minimalism has changed the lives of two men. They gave up the crazy rat-race, for a decluttered more fulfilling life. 

You will also watch how minimalism has changed the lives of people from all walks of life, and the different ways you can lead a minimalist lifestyle. All of these people within the series have managed to create an extremely meaningful life, whilst living with less. 

This series will leave you wondering how different your life will be if you choose to live with less and seek out minimalism. You don’t need to go full force straight away, don’t empty your wardrobe yet, or get rid of your car… 

Take it one step at a time and see what works for you. For example, use less plastic and create less waste. 

Here at MILJÖ, we have a wide range of products that can get you started living a more sustainable lifestyle.


The True Cost

The True Cost is a documentary film that goes deeper into the global clothing industry. Exposing the realities and behind the scenes of how fast fashion affects people and the planet. You will see footage from around the world, from the poorest of countries to the richest fashion shows. 

The True Cost explains all areas of the fashion industry, including what happens when the price of clothing is decreased… Of course, those manufacturing these items are now being paid a lot less, decreasing their value of life. 

Once you have watched The True Cost you will rethink your buying habits completely.

You will see some emotive, and quite traumatic scenes throughout this film, hence why The True Cost can be quite hard to witness. Once again, bring the handkerchiefs. 

However, we think minimising the fast fashion industry and our involvement is an extremely important change to make. To create a difference in the lives of those who are living in appalling conditions, just so industries can make a ton of money, and we have clothing to wear for a week before throwing it out. 

(Top tip, don’t ever throw out your clothes… Please donate or sell!)

Some of the ways you can help are to buy second-hand, online or in charity shops. You can also research small businesses and brands that manufacture their items themselves or companies that are proven to sustain and help workers. 

Be sure to use one of our Fairtrade organic cotton tote bags available in our MILJÖ store and save on plastic!


Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

Cowspiracy is a groundbreaking environmental documentary that follows the filmmaker himself, Kip Andersen, as he uncovers the truths behind the destructive meat industry. 

The biggest cause of pollution, deforestation, greenhouse gases, water consumption and more, is down to animal agriculture. Breeding, farming and manufacturing of the perfect piece of meat, is destroying the planet. 

This isn’t a cry to become a vegan or to stop eating meat. However, if veganism/vegetarianism road you are wanting to go down, please take a look at this film.

Cowspiracy is on par with Blackfish, the makers of this film put themselves on the line to uncover secrets and talk about what happens within the animal agriculture industry. During this film, you will witness how some companies will avoid commenting or discussing this matter completely…

Overall, this is an eye-opening documentary that makes you think like you never have before about the farming of animals and why so many people are turning against supporting this industry in any way, including protesting and avoiding meat and animal products completely.



2040 is a truly inspiring environmental documentary film about how the filmmaker wants to create a better future for his daughter. By the time we reach the year 2040, the filmmakers' daughter will be 21 years old and if we carry on damaging our planet, the future won’t look so pretty… 2040 touches on the reality most people will feel, especially if you have children of your own. 

We all want to make a difference for our children, to see less deforestation, to stop animals from becoming extinct, and to utilise the resources we have already to maintain a healthy planet, with a healthy ecosystem.

Thought-provoking and extremely important, 2040 shows us how the changes we choose to make today can change the future of the planet for our children. We see what the world can look like once we realise how beautiful nature is, how to save our animals, and stop hugely damaging processes that are ruining our climate. 

An innovative future-forward documentary that leaves you feeling inspired and uplifted to make important changes right now. This film shows us the changes we can make together if we embrace the solutions we already have discovered within the world and how these changes can improve our futures dramatically. 

Overall, 2040 is a beautifully made film that was created to show visually what the world can look like. An inspiring film that has now become a huge environmentally forward company that encourages you to challenge yourself to create your 2040. Their website is full of resources and you can sign up to active your own 2040 plan. 

See whatsyour2040.com to find out more and watch the official trailer below.



A Plastic Ocean

A Plastic Ocean is an environmental documentary following the story of what happened when a journalist, Craig Leeson discovered a truly horrific amount of plastic and waste within our oceans. All whilst he was searching for a blue whale… 

Teaming up with Tanya Streeter a free diver, and creating a team of researchers, and scientists. Craig continued to film to create the documentary to show us the reality of our oceans and how damaging plastic is. 

He dives deeper into how it isn’t just plastic straws or plastic bags. Humans are disposing of so much waste of all kinds, it's ending up in our oceans, killing our sea life. 

They travel to twenty different locations around the world over four years to discover and reveal some hard and alarming truths about the state of the oceans. A Plastic Ocean explains what solutions are available right now to create a change within our oceans and how to save our sea-life. 

The biggest change we need to make is our plastic consumption. Almost everything is wrapped in plastic. We encounter plastic every single day and throw it away without knowing where it’s going. Well, it is ending up in our oceans…

Assuming you are here to make a change and stop using plastic, we offer a range of metal water bottles here at MILJÖ in our store, be sure to check them out!

To Conclude

Although some of these environmental documentaries are rather hard-hitting and can evoke some emotions you weren’t expecting or didn’t want to feel. They are all still very important to create a change. All of the above films were created to enhance human life and the planet, all information given is relevant to creating a better environment for ourselves and our future. 

Even just changing the way you think about acting within this world is making a huge difference already. So, take whichever film resonated with you and start thinking about the smallest lifestyle change you can make today.

We would love to know if there are any other documentaries that you have watched, how they impacted you and how they turned you into an environmentalist. Please comment on your thoughts!

Don’t forget to keep up to date with us here at MILJÖ to see what’s in store.


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