Best Sustainability Documentaries on Netflix

We’ve put together a list of our top picks for best sustainability documentaries on Netflix. These films range from food sustainability, ocean conservation, to the true cost of fast fashion. Each director has a unique way of exploring the issues we face collectively. With some of these films being controversial and thought-provoking, while others are a humorous and light-hearted, each one is a passionate exploration of sustainability. Here are our top picks for the best sustainability documentaries on Netflix. Happy watching!

Rotten: Netflix Original Series

Released in January 2018, this docu-series travels deep into the heart of the food supply chain to reveal unsavory truths and expose hidden forces that shape what we eat. Produced by Zero Point Zero, this true crime genre series explores corruption in our food, the effects of ecosystem destruction and our relationship with food in general.


This film is an investigation documentary on the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system, from the large agricultural issues of soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use – to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. Sustainable is a film about the land, the people who work it, and what must be done to sustain it for future generations.

The True Cost

Fast fashion is big business, this is a story about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva. True Cost is a documentary that sheds light on the impact our fashion choices have and the environmental and social effects of those decisions.

Chasing Coral

This film is a wake-up call from the ocean. Never before seen footage of coral reefs are vanishing at an unprecedented rate before your eyes. In this film, divers, photographers and scientists set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.

In Defense of Food

Based on Journalist Michael Pollan’s book by the same name, this film examines the industrially-driven Western diet to show how it has ruined our health, then offers solutions for the future.


Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution. It is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rain forest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged. It’s not all doom and gloom though; this documentary has a surprisingly humorous approach at times to reveal the environmental effects of large-scale factory farming on the planet, and offers a path to global sustainability for a growing population.

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Thing

Less is the new more. This may not fall directly under the lines of sustainability; however buying less has less effect on the environment. This film asks the question ‘How might your life be better with less’? This film takes the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life including families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists and scientists, all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.


This visually stunning documentary reflects human’s relationship to other species on Earth.  As humanity becomes more and more isolated from Nature, this film examines how do we now wish to interact with other species that live around us? Terra explores how our definition of nature has an effect on human history, and how it can change the course of events to come.

These films explore different facets of sustainability and the effect of humans on the planet. I hope you enjoyed our top picks for the best sustainability documentaries and docu-series on Netflix. Do you have any favorites to add? We would love to find out what you think are the best sustainability documentaries on Netflix. Share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comment section below.

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