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The Environmental Crisis—Brought to You by Netflix

I think we can all agree that Netflix can sometimes be a waste of time. But, what if I told you Netflix can be an excellent source for learning? 

Netflix has many interesting documentary series. Instead of always binge-watching your favorite shows, consider replacing one episode with one of those documentaries. That hour of procrastination will change into a much more productive one!

This article will introduce documentaries related to environmental issues in particular.  Listed below are documentaries great for learning about global warming and climate change.  They can be a great way to learn more about the scientific side of this issue. As we are approaching another Global Climate Strike on March 19th, join me in learning more about our climate crisis by watching those documentaries. 

The links are embedded in the titles so don’t forget to add them to your list! 


“Science experts and celebrity activists unpack how the earth’s soil may be the key to combating climate change and preserving the planet.” (Cited from Netflix)

Did you know soil plays a huge role in maintaining our ecosystem and reducing CO2? Can you explain why grass-fed meat is better than manufactured livestock? This documentary describes how soil health affects global warming. It also offers a glimpse of hope in reversing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. 

Chasing Coral

“Divers, scientists, and photographers around the world mount an epic underwater campaign to document the disappearance of coral reefs.” (Cited from Netflix)

Highly recommend this one. It captures the bleaching of corals caused by the sea temperature rise, and that itself is pretty depressing. But I found myself emotionally attached to corals after watching this because they are really beautiful and interesting creatures. Losing our corals can have a tremendous effect on our ecosystem, and this documentary made me realize that we need to do better to save them. 

BRAVE BLUE WORLD: Racing to Solve Our Water Crisis

“From reuse to every generation, innovations across five continents are explored in this documentary about building a future for sustainable water.” (Cited from Netflix)

The water crisis is not a story of the future, it is the crisis of today. The problems are serious, but a series of innovations introduced in this film gives hope for the future. This film gives a great introduction to water issues that we are currently facing. 


“Rainforests cleared. Species lost. Earth imperiled by climate change. But he knows what we must do to save the world.” (Cited from Netflix)

This film reinforces the importance of biodiversity. The beautiful nature captured in this documentary is breathtaking, but the cruel reality might make you sad. The facts presented in this film, how our CO2 level rose over the last 60 years, many natural habitats disappearing, etc,  can be devastating. But this film should act as a wake-up call on everyone not taking action yet to save our planet.

BROKEN: episode on Recycling Sham

“Corporations market single-use plastic products as recyclable. In fact, much plastic recycling ends up as landfill — or on beaches in Southeast Asia.” (Cited from Netflix)

I think a lot of times we do not think about our garbage after we take them out. Same for recycles, we think our part is done once we separated them correctly. Not many think about where they actually end up. But exposing the dark side, this episode might change how you look at your recycling bin. 

Were there any documentaries you were interested in?  One thing l love about great documentaries is that they affect you in a way that changes your perspective and makes you reflect on your own life. It can motivate us to change the actions we take. Hopefully, those films will positively influence you too.   

Ellie Eshima

ICU Japan '21

Ellie is currently a senior at International Christian University, majoring in Psychology.
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