The Best Environmental Documentaries to Watch Right Now

Documentaries are a wonderful way to get an education on a subject which may be far removed from everyday life. For succinct and in-depth understandings of complex subjects, documentaries are a unique way to gain detailed and comprehensive understanding without study, field research, or investigate work.

Environmental documentaries are unique in their ability to bring landscapes, habitats, and complex issues of conservation and ecology to our living rooms all across the world. How else can we understand the importance of the migratory pattern of caribou and the effects of oil pipelines, or the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon?

We’ve compiled a list of the best environmental documentaries that will allow your to travel to far-off, stunning landscapes, understand complex topics about our earth, and feel closer to wildlife than ever before. Below are three of the most impactful documentaries in the past few years that address everything from climate change to beekeeping.

HoneyLand (2019) – This remarkable film had the honor of being nominated not only for best documentary, but for best international feature as well. It is a carefully woven story about the balances between human cooperation with nature and our instincts to better our lives–and what that means for those around us. Available free on Hulu or AppleTV, or to purchase on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Vudu.

Before The Flood (2016) – Climate change is the subject of this Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio-produced film–including those who deny it. The scope of this film is broad and far-reaching, with DiCaprio traveling all over the globe and speaking with a plethora of celebrities, scientists, and public figures, including the British astronaut Piers Sellers, whose voice lends a sense of urgency as he was dying from terminal cancer and considered it his final duty to pass along the message conveyed in the film. Available on Disney+.

Virunga (2014) – An incredible story about the people who risk their lives every day to keep the delicate balance between man and nature hanging on by a thread in war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Virunga National Park protects the last of the mountain gorillas, and those who work there are not safe from armed and incredibly dangerous groups for whom poaching is a method of survival. Virunga is available on Netflix.

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