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Green Documentaries: 8 Environmental Documentaries That Will Make You Think

Don’t worry it’s just allergies. That’s what a person who sat down next to us last week said as she coughed and sneezed and worked her way through a box of tissues. Three days later we come down with “allergies” too. Thank you unnamed person. And while normally we would use our sick days to veg on the couch and watch ’80s sitcoms, reality shows we’re too embarrassed to watch when other people are around and part 5,674,232 of Who My Baby Daddy? on Maury, we decided to go the sophisticated route—well as sophisticated as you can get while doing shots of Nyquil and wearing a Snuggie. So, we made some lemon grass fennel ginger tea, loaded up a bunch of documentaries we downloaded months ago and pushed play. Well, here it is folks, even in our sick sick state [insert pity here] we’ve come up with a play list for you: documentaries that will make you think, make you reconsider, and most importantly, make you inspired to do, well, anything.


Now we’re not about giving people false hope, but we also have a strong belief that anything and everything is possible. This documentary is about Dr. Max Gerson, who cured hundreds, not by prescribing them medication or by selling any magical “cure” of his own making, but by putting those with terminal illnesses on a natural, vegan diet—no processed foods, no artificial sweeteners. Follow Garrett Kroschel, a teenager raised in Alaska as he searches for proof that Gerson’s simple diet works, travels across the country, visiting with doctors, scientists and survivors—and investigates Gerson’s claim that the medical industry has been suppressing simple, natural cancer cures for years in favor of more profitable ones.



This is the story of a Fifth Avenue family as they gradually give up almost everything over the course of a year in order to make no net impact on the environment. Colin Beavan and his wife, Michelle Conlin give up electricity, learn how to generate no trash, bring worms into their kitchen, give up beauty products, stop buying clothes, and plenty of other things in their extreme way of going green to prove that if they can do all of that, everyone can do a little something.


This will scare you. Anger you even.  Food, Inc. delves deep into the food industry, showing how what we eat is a worldwide business only run by a handful of people. Kenner shows the men and women who are working to reform an industry  run by monopolies and politics, including organic farmers who are often sued by corporations who claim ownership of nature, which they have genetically modified to withstand more pesticides. If you watch nothing else, watch this. Learn about where your food comes from.


While the world is 97 percent water, only 3 percent is fresh water, even less is drinkable. This documentary shows how water, a natural resource, has become a business. Narrated by Malcolm McDowell, this award-winning documentary from director Sam Bozzo is about corrupt governments, corporations, private investors–and even a former president who bought land atop the world’s largest water aquifer–who have taken steps to control the world’s water supply. You may never drink bottled water again.

Filmmakers Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand follow a group of people traveling around the U.S. to see what people believe is truth and speculation about global warming. Meet a journalist who came upon scientific documents edited by the U.S government and former government officials who stepped down when they were basically asked to lie to the public.

A group of low-income families in South Central Los Angeles, post-riots, turns acres of wasteland into a beautiful community garden. Enter: real estate developers, politics, and greedy bastards.

Soda, ice cream, bread, peanut butter, gum, candy, cake, hamburgers, French fries: what do all of these have in common? Corn. Friends Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis move to America’s Corn Belt to plant an acre of the nation’s most-subsidized grain and follow their crop into the food supply. They encounter genetically modified crops and small family farms turned fast-food suppliers swayed by the heavy hand of major corporations.


Back in 1974, Philippe Petit spent 45 minutes on a high wire he rigged between the Twin Towers, walking, laying down 110 stories above Manhattan balanced on a thin wire, and lived to tell the story. Obsessed with the Towers before they were even built, Petit snuck into the buildings many times, dodged security, made false ID’s and broke many laws to make the preparations, not to destroy but to give the world something beautiful and accomplish the seemingly impossible. Is this an environmental documentary? Not so much. But you should watch it anyway.

More articles filed under Body, Mind, Planet,Green Facts,Living

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