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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MNSU chapter.

Normally I don’t get to spend much time watching shows on Netflix, which is fine by me. However, under the unusual circumstances we have found ourselves in over the last few months, I have gotten to spend some time watching quite a few shows, movies, and documentaries. 

Yes, I watched some shows that probably weren’t the most educational or great for my brain, like Love is Blind (which I really enjoyed by the way!). But I did use that time to search for some more educational things that I could use to learn about some topics I am interested in, such as the environment, climate change, and health. 

Since April was Earth Month, and I am on the environment/health kick, I figured I’d share some of my favorite documentaries to keep you inspired and educated as well, and maybe open your eyes to some things you never knew about our planet or about yourself! I will share more resources for you below if you decide you are interested in educating yourself further. 


Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

Released June 26th, 2014, Cowspiracy follows Kip Andersen, a man just becoming increasingly aware of the issues that humans are causing for our environment, and we watch his quest to find a solution to one of the biggest environmental issues on our hands.


I thought that this documentary was extremely eye-opening and caused me to think about the ways I live my life. As you watch this man’s journey to figure out how to live a sustainable life, I promise you will re-consider things that you do (or specifically eat) every day, and how that might be impacting the planet more than you know. 


You can learn more on https://www.cowspiracy.com/


Chasing Coral

A 2017 documentary, with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this documentary follows a team of divers, photographers, and scientists who journey across the world to document and record the disappearance of Earth’s coral reefs. They want to wake up the world to what is happening before the coral reefs are completely gone. 


You will realize the extent of climate change within the first 20 minutes of this documentary. Watching the bleaching of coral reefs all across the planet isn’t something that is super fun to watch, but it is a huge eye opener to a problem people don’t know that much about. This documentary is meant to share the problem with the world, in hopes that it will inspire action to protect and save these reefs. An extremely moving and eye-opening documentary, and I really enjoyed the interviews with the scientists and divers who carried out the mission, many of whom have been studying coral reefs their whole lives. 


To learn how you can take action to save coral reefs, visit https://www.chasingcoral.com/take-action/


A Plastic Ocean

When he sets out to film a documentary on blue whales, former television presenter Craig Leeson finds an alarming amount of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. The film explains how plastic reaches the ocean, and floats around the world, impacting life along the way. The film shows exactly why the issue of plastic pollution is such an important issue, and what can be done to change it. 


I am going to be honest, this one made me sad. Seeing the damage plastic does to seabirds and many other animals, it doesn’t become real until you watch the film. It makes you rethink your plastic consumption immediately and gives some alternative things that you can do to reduce the plastic you use at home! Because you might think that one person’s plastic waste doesn’t have a huge impact, but reducing it, even a little, does make a difference, and this film will prove it to you. 


Check out https://plasticoceans.org/ to learn more!


Mission Blue

Mission Blue is a film released in 2014, which documents the life and work of Sylvia Earle, a famous oceanographer, as well as a marine biologist and environmentalist. The film and Earle’s life work inspire action to explore and protect the planet. Mission Blue, created by Earle, has united global support to inform the public and raise awareness to create a worldwide network of marine protected areas called Hope Spots. 


Watching Sylvia Earle’s story and all of her life’s work play out on this documentary is inspiring to say the least. The interviews she does throughout the documentary about the changes that humans have made to the oceans in only the past 50 years is shocking, and quite alarming. Her idea to create Hope Spots across the planet is HUGE, and after watching the documentary, I hope that you look into Hope Spots further. I ordered her book after watching this documentary (The World is Blue, published in 2009) because I am so interested in what she has to say about how humanity’s fate lies with the fate of our oceans


You can visit https://mission-blue.org/ if you want to learn more about Sylvia and her Mission Blue! 


What the Health? 

Another film by Kip Andersen, the director of Cowspiracy, this documentary follows along with Kip again as he investigates the secret to preventing and reversing many chronic diseases that plague humans. He questions the practices of leading health and pharmaceutical companies, and why the keep what he discovers so hush-hush. 


I saved this film for the end of my list because if you aren’t as interested in the health of our environment, maybe you will be more interested in YOUR OWN HEALTH. Wow. A huge eye opener. Now, I am not saying I completely changed my diet after watching this BUT it definitely influenced my life in more ways that one. And that is after only watching this documentary one time. ONE TIME. Please take an hour and 37 minutes to just educate yourself. I am not saying you need to go vegan, I am definitely not going vegan right this second, but I am saying it’s worth the watch. 

Even if you don’t watch the documentary, you can visit https://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/ to learn a little bit more about what we put into our bodies and why you might want to reconsider, even just a little bit.

Hey there! I'm Maddie. I am a senior at Minnesota State University, Mankato and I am studying Communication Disorders. In my free time I like to read, wander thrift stores, eat great food, laugh a-lot, add songs to my Spotify, and spend time with the people that I love. Right now, I am super into learning about minimizing my waste and doing what I can to create a healthier planet and a stress free mind!
I am senior at MNSU and am studying to get a degree in Marketing with a minor in Mass Media. I love cooking, being around friends and family, going on little adventures, and just having fun.