minimalism · zero waste

Cowspiracy, True Cost, and other documentaries to watch

If you go to the very first post I wrote on this website, you’ll know that the reason why I even started looking into the zero waste movement, minimalism and getting rid of plastic in my life was a documentary I watched on Netflix called “True Cost”.

I watched it on a weekend, which enabled me to spend a truly productive weekend of watching every single environmentally-themed documentary Netflix had. I firmly jumped down the rabbit hole.

I want to share the titles with you because if they were so much help to me, they might become an inspiration to you as well.

Though, before I share my insights, I do feel the need to point out, that like with any other movie or even a TV show, there is narrative, which isn’t always objective. The producers of the documentaries have their own agenda and the story they want to tell.

As a rule, you shouldn’t mindlessly watch any kind of media. Even the documentaries I’m about to recommend from my Netflix queue are ones you should research after the fact to make sure they aren’t emphasizing or exaggerating the problem they are portraying.

Are you ready to the list?

TRUE COST

It’s the first documentary I watched on Netflix after it was recommended to me on YouTube. It hit closest to home for me, because it described the world of fast fashion and how damaging it is not only to the environment but to the people who are employed in those horrible factories in Bangladesh and other Asian countries.

After that viewing, personally, I would recommend you go on a YouTube watching spree to learn more about fast fashion, and its impact on our lives.

There are several videos I would recommend as a follow up:

WHAT THE HEALTH and COWSPIRACY

These two documentaries have been produced by the same producer/director and have been instrumental in my giving up meat (though not the other animal products). Out of all the documentaries on my list I feel like those had the strongest and most obvious agendas that they were trying to push – veganism. It was also the least approachable for people outside the United States or from different monetary brackets. There’s an obvious ideology and the creator doesn’t even attempt to explore the other side of the coin. It’s as if it doesn’t occur to him there might be people who can’t afford to go vegan, no matter how much they would like.

I’m putting these movies on the list because they do raise some very important points and it’s worth considering. Though I feel a little more comfortable recommending you watch them because there’s a very good review video on YouTube by Unnatural vegan who analyzes all the inconsistencies. That combo will provide you with the best amount of information I feel.

In addition, if you want to learn more about the impact the agricultural industry has on the environment you might want to check out the following videos on YouTube:

SUSTAINABLE

It’s a movie Netflix recommended I watch after my Cowspiracy viewing. And let me tell you, it was a very nice change from the doom and gloom of the previous two movies I mentioned. On top of that, it raises some similar (and in certain cases the exactly same) facts and figures about the sustainability of cattle raising and the animal/agricultural industry. On top of that, it provides some solutions that are being implemented by small-time individual farmers, giving me hope that there’s a future where I can have my pepperoni pizza without having such a terrible impact on the environment. Of course, the solutions proposed are just a drop in the ocean, but I’m of the opinion that every little bit helps.

MINIMALISM

I will admit, I watched that movie way before I started exploring the world of zero waste and low impact living. Certainly way before Marie Kondo had her super cute TV show on Netflix. But it didn’t really speak to me because I lacked context and the right frame of mind. 

Back there, during my first viewing of the movie, I treated it like a curiosity. Like this science fiction movie where people can actually pack all of their worldly possessions into a single suitcase. It was fun, but it was impossible, and so I forgot about it soon after I watched it.

Once I started binge-watching Netflix documentaries, I saw the Minimalism movie again and I asked myself why wasn’t I exploring minimalism all those years before. And I think I figured it out. The movie didn’t offer any solutions for me. It told a story, yes. It presented the ideal. But offered no way for me to relate to the minimalists. It wasn’t until I stumbled onto the minimalists on YouTube and their bite-sized informational videos that gave me specific steps on how to embrace the culture. I liked what I saw and could implement small steps almost immediately.

So here’s your follow up viewing on the topic of minimalism:

Here’s my starter kit for lowering your impact on the environment: movies that have inspired me.

Do you have any documentaries that are not on the list but you would recommend? Let me know in the comments below or on social media!

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