Best Movies, Documentary, Nature/Outdoor

The Best Environmental Movies And Documentaries of All-Time

The Best Environmental Movies And Eco Documentaries Of All-Time

“What are the best Environmental Movies & Eco Documentaries?” We looked at 259 of the top Environmental films, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 25 films, all appearing on 3 or more “Best Environmental” movie lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. The remaining 200+ movies, as well as the sources we used, are in alphabetical order on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top Environmental Movies & Documentaries



25 .) Before the Flood

 Before the Flood Lists It Appears On:

  • Eco Warrior Princess
  • Mind Body Green
  • Top Documentary Films

A look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems, and native communities across the planet.

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24 .) Crude (2009)

 Crude (2009) Lists It Appears On:

  • Thought Co.
  • Wikipedia
  • Wikipedia

The story of lawsuit by tens of thousands of Ecuadorans against Chevron over contamination of the Ecuadorean Amazon.

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23 .) Earth

 Earth Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Mind Body Green
  • Wikipedia

It’s 1947 and the borderlines between India and Pakistan are being drawn. A young girl bears witnesses to tragedy as her ayah is caught between the love of two men and the rising tide of political and religious violence.

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22 .) Fly Away Home (1997)

 Fly Away Home (1997) Lists It Appears On:

  • Berkeley Wellness
  • Common Sense Media
  • Wikipedia

Amy is only 13 years old when her mother is killed. She goes to Canada to live with her father, an eccentric inventor whom she barely knows. Amy is miserable in her new life… until she discovers a nest of goose eggs that were abandoned when a local forest is torn down. The eggs hatch and Amy becomes “Mama Goose”. When Winter comes, Amy, and her dad must find a way to lead the birds South…

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21 .) Home

 Home Lists It Appears On:

  • Conservation Careers
  • Eco Warrior Princess
  • Wikipedia

With aerial footage from 54 countries, Home is a depiction of how the Earth’s problems are all interlinked.

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20 .) Hoot

 Hoot Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Grist
  • Smithsonian

A young man (Lerman) moves from Montana to Florida with his family, where he’s compelled to engage in a fight to protect a population of endangered owls.

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19 .) March of the Penguins (2005)

 March of the Penguins (2005) Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Green Global Travel
  • Wikipedia

Every year, thousands of Antarctica’s emperor penguins make an astonishing journey to breed their young. They walk, marching day and night in single file 70 miles into the darkest, driest and coldest continent on Earth. Morgan Freeman narrates this amazing, true-life tale touched with humour and alive with thrills. Breathtaking photography captures the transcendent beauty and staggering drama of devoted parent penguins who, in the fierce polar winter, take turns guarding their egg and trekking to the ocean in search of food. Predators hunt them, storms lash them. But the safety of their adorable chicks makes it all worthwhile. So follow the leader … to adventure!!

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18 .) Over the Hedge

Lists It Appears On:

  • Grist
  • Smithsonian
  • Wikipedia

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17 .) The Age of Consequences

 The Age of Consequences Lists It Appears On:

  • Eco Watch
  • Mind Body Green
  • PBS

The Hurt Locker’ meets ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES investigates the impacts of irreversible climate change, resource scarcity, mass migration, and pandemic conflict through the lens of US national security and global instability.

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16 .) The True Cost

 The True Cost Lists It Appears On:

  • Eco Warrior Princess
  • PBS
  • Wikipedia

Film from Andrew Morgan. The True Cost is a documentary film exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet.

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15 .) Who Killed The Electric Car? (2006)

 Who Killed The Electric Car? (2006) Lists It Appears On:

  • Grist
  • Thought Co.
  • Wikipedia

In 1996, electric cars began to appear on roads all over California. They were quiet and fast, produced no exhaust, and ran without gasoline… Ten years later, these cars were destroyed.

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14 .) Winged Migration (2002)

 Winged Migration (2002) Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Green Global Travel
  • Grist

The cameras of Jacques Perrin fly with migratory birds: geese, storks, cranes. The film begins with spring in North America and the migration to the Arctic; the flight is a community event for each species. Once in the Arctic, it’s family time: courtship, nests, eggs, fledglings, and first flight. Chicks must soon fly south. Bad weather, hunters, and pollution take their toll. Then, the cameras go

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13 .) Chinatown (1974)

 Chinatown (1974) Lists It Appears On:

  • Berkeley Wellness
  • Grist
  • MNN
  • Yes Magazine

Private eye Jake Gittes lives off of the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-World War II Southern California. Hired by a beautiful socialite to investigate her husband’s extra-marital affair, Gittes is swept into a maelstrom of double dealings and deadly deceits, uncovering a web of personal and political scandals that come crashing together.

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12 .) Erin Brockovich (2000)

 Erin Brockovich (2000) Lists It Appears On:

  • Grist
  • MNN
  • Wikipedia
  • Yes Magazine

A twice-divorced mother of three who sees an injustice, takes on the bad guy and wins — with a little help from her push-up bra. Erin goes to work for an attorney and comes across medical records describing illnesses clustered in one nearby town. She starts investigating and soon exposes a monumental cover-up.

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11 .) Food, Inc. (2009)

 Food, Inc. (2009) Lists It Appears On:

  • Eco Warrior Princess
  • Green Global Travel
  • Thought Co.
  • Wikipedia

Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner examines how mammoth corporations have taken over all aspects of the food chain in the United States, from the farms where our food is grown to the chain restaurants and supermarkets where it’s sold. Narrated by author and activist Eric Schlosser, the film features interviews with average Americans about their dietary habits, commentary from food experts like Michael Pollan and unsettling footage shot inside large-scale animal processing plants.

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10 .) Happy Feet

 Happy Feet Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Grist
  • Smithsonian
  • Wikipedia

Into the world of the Emperor Penguins, who find their soul mates through song, a penguin is born who cannot sing. But he can tap dance something fierce!

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9 .) Soylent Green (1973)

 Soylent Green (1973) Lists It Appears On:

  • Grist
  • MNN
  • Wikipedia
  • Yes Magazine

In an overpopulated futuristic Earth, a New York police detective finds himself marked for murder by government agents when he gets too close to a bizarre state secret involving the origins of a revolutionary and needed new foodstuff.

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8 .) The 11th Hour (2007)

 The 11th Hour (2007) Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Thought Co.
  • Uproxx
  • Wikipedia

A look at the state of the global environment including visionary and practical solutions for restoring the planet’s ecosystems. Featuring ongoing dialogues of experts from all over the world, including former Soviet Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev, renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, former head of the CIA R. James Woolse

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7 .) The Day after Tomorrow (2004)

 The Day after Tomorrow (2004) Lists It Appears On:

  • Grist
  • MNN
  • The Guardian
  • Wikipedia

After years of increases in the greenhouse effect, havoc is wreaked globally in the form of catastrophic hurricanes, tornadoes, tidal waves, floods and the beginning of a new Ice Age. Paleoclimatologist, Jack Hall tries to warn the world while also shepherding to safety his son, trapped in New York after the city is overwhelmed by the start of the new big freeze.

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6 .) Chasing Ice (2012)

 Chasing Ice (2012) Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Conservation Careers
  • Thought Co.
  • Uproxx
  • Wikipedia

When National Geographic photographer James Balog asked, “How can one take a picture of climate change?” his attention was immediately drawn to ice. Soon he was asked to do a cover story on glaciers that became the most popular and well-read piece in the magazine during the last five years. But for Balog, that story marked the beginning of a much larger and longer-term project that would reach epic proportions.

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5 .) FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

 FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992) Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • MNN
  • Smithsonian
  • Wikipedia
  • Yes Magazine

When a sprite named Crysta shrinks a human boy, Zak, down to her size, he vows to help the magical fairy folk stop a greedy logging company from destroying their home, the pristine rainforest known as FernGully. Zak and his new friends fight to defend FernGully from lumberjacks — and the vengeful spirit they accidentally unleash after chopping down a magic tree.

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4 .) The Cove (2009)

 The Cove (2009) Lists It Appears On:

  • Conservation Careers
  • Eco Warrior Princess
  • Green Global Travel
  • Thought Co.
  • Wikipedia

The Cove tells the amazing true story of how an elite team of individuals, films makers and free divers embarked on a covert mission to penetrate the hidden cove in Japan, shining light on a dark and deadly secret. The shocking discoveries were only the tip of the iceberg.

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3 .) WALL-E (2008)

 WALL-E (2008) Lists It Appears On:

  • Berkeley Wellness
  • Common Sense Media
  • MNN
  • Smithsonian
  • Wikipedia

WALL·E is the last robot left on an Earth that has been overrun with garbage and all humans have fled to outer space. For 700 years he has continued to try and clean up the mess, but has developed some rather interesting human-like qualities. When a ship arrives with a sleek new type of robot, WALL·E thinks he’s finally found a friend and stows away on the ship when it leaves.

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2 .) Avatar (2009)

 Avatar (2009) Lists It Appears On:

  • Berkeley Wellness
  • Common Sense Media
  • MNN
  • Smithsonian
  • Wikipedia
  • Yes Magazine

In the 22nd century, a paraplegic Marine is dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission, but becomes torn between following orders and protecting an alien civilization.

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1 .) An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

 An Inconvenient Truth (2006) Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Conservation Careers
  • Eco Warrior Princess
  • Green Global Travel
  • Grist
  • MNN
  • Thought Co.
  • Uproxx
  • Wikipedia

A documentary on Al Gore’s campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.

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The 200+ Additional Best Eco Movies Of All-Time



 

# Film Lists
(Titles Appear On 2 Lists Each)
26 A Civil Action Grist
Wikipedia
27 Arctic Tale (2007)
Common Sense Media
Thought Co.
28 Bambi (1942) Smithsonian
Yes Magazine
29 Blue Vinyl Grist
Wikipedia
30 Children of Men (2006) Tree Hugger
Berkeley Wellness
31
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
Eco Warrior Princess
Wikipedia
32 Earth Days (2009) Wikipedia
Thought Co.
33 Fire Down Below Grist
Wikipedia
34 Flow: For Love of Water Thought Co.
Wikipedia
35 Forget Shorter Showers Eco Watch
PBS
36
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (2011)
Wikipedia
Green Global Travel
37 Koyaanisqatsi (1982) Wikipedia
MNN
38
Revenge of the Electric Car (2009)
Wikipedia
Thought Co.
39 Revolution Wikipedia
Wikipedia
40 Safe Grist
Wikipedia
41
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Smithsonian
Wikipedia
42 The Burning Season Wikipedia
Wikipedia
43 The China Syndrome Grist
Wikipedia
44
The Future of Energy: Lateral Power to the People
Eco Watch
PBS
45 The Lorax (1972) Wikipedia
Berkeley Wellness
46 To the Ends of the Earth Eco Watch
PBS
47 Virunga
Conservation Careers
Wikipedia
48 Whale Rider (2003) MNN
Berkeley Wellness
49 Windfall Uproxx
Wikipedia
(Titles Appear On 1 Lists Each)
50 2012 Wikipedia
51 180 Degrees South
Common Sense Media
52 A Beautiful Planet
Common Sense Media
53
A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash
Wikipedia
54 A Fierce Green Fire PBS
55
A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity
Mind Body Green
56 African Cats
Common Sense Media
57 Aftermath Wikipedia
58 Amazon (IMAX)
Common Sense Media
59 American Masters PBS
60 An Inconvenient Penguin Wikipedia
61
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Wikipedia
62 Angry Inuk Wikipedia
63 Anthropocene
Top Documentary Films
64 Ashes to Honey Wikipedia
65 Baraka Wikipedia
66 Bears
Common Sense Media
67 Beasts of the Southern Wild The Guardian
68 Before Vanishing Wikipedia
69 Bhopal Express Wikipedia
70 Birdemic: Shock and Terror Wikipedia
71 Biùtiful cauntri Wikipedia
72 Black Hole Wikipedia
73 Black Snake Killaz
Top Documentary Films
74 Blackfish
Conservation Careers
75 Boy and the World
Common Sense Media
76
Burning the Future: Coal in America
Wikipedia
77 Butterfly Wikipedia
78 Call of Life
Conservation Careers
79 Can You Dig This?
Common Sense Media
80
Cane Toads: An Unnatural History
Wikipedia
81 Cane Toads: The Conquest Wikipedia
82 Captain Planet Wikipedia
83 Carface Wikipedia
84 Chernobyl Heart Wikipedia
85
Chernobyl: The Exclusion Zone
Top Documentary Films
86 Chevron vs. the Amazon
Top Documentary Films
87 Chicken Run Wikipedia
88
Children of Tsunami: No More Tears
Wikipedia
89 China Syndrome (1979) MNN
90
Climate Change Denial Disorder
Wikipedia
91 CLIMATE OF DOUBT Uproxx
92 Climate Refugees Wikipedia
93 Clouds of Smoke Wikipedia
94 Darwin’s Nightmare (2005)
Green Global Travel
95
Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster
Wikipedia
96
Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment
Wikipedia
97 Demain Wikipedia
98 Denmark Wikipedia
99 Disarm. (2005) Thought Co.
100
Disneynature: Wings of Life (2013)
Thought Co.
101 Disneynature’s Oceans Smithsonian
102
Donald Trump, The Koch Brothers and Their War on Climate Science
Top Documentary Films
103 Dr. Seuss: The Lorax
Common Sense Media
104 Dreamland Wikipedia
105
Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of 9/11
Wikipedia
106 Earthquake Wikipedia
107 Earthquake in Chile Wikipedia
108
Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson
Wikipedia
109 Elemental Wikipedia
110
Empty Oceans, Empty Nets: The Race to Save Marine Fisheries
Thought Co.
111
Encounters at the End of the World (Nominated in 2008)
Green Global Travel
112 Evolution of Organic PBS
113 Fight for the Planet Wikipedia
114
Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness
Wikipedia
115 Forbidden Forest Wikipedia
116 Forests for the 21st Century Wikipedia
117 Fractured Land Wikipedia
118 Free Willy Smithsonian
119
Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder
Wikipedia
120 GasLand (2010)
Green Global Travel
121 Glacier Exit Mind Body Green
122
Global Warming: The Signs and The Science
Wikipedia
123
Global Warming: What You Need to Know
Wikipedia
124 GMO OMG Wikipedia
125
Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey
Grist
126 Great Lakes, Bad Lines
Top Documentary Films
127 H2O Wikipedia
128
Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World
Wikipedia
129 Hell The Guardian
130 Hell and High Water Wikipedia
131 Heritage Radio Network PBS
132 Hinterland Who’s Who Wikipedia
133 How to Change the World Wikipedia
134 I Heart Huckabees (2004) Yes Magazine
135 Ice and the Sky Wikipedia
136 If You Love This Planet Wikipedia
137 Interstellar The Guardian
138 Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Common Sense Media
139
Journey to the Safest Place on Earth
Wikipedia
140 King Corn (2007) Thought Co.
141 Laloorinu Parayanullathu Wikipedia
142 Life
Conservation Careers
143 Mad Max Tree Hugger
144 Manda Bala (2007) Thought Co.
145 Material Of The Future Wikipedia
146 Matrix series Tree Hugger
147
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
Wikipedia
148
Minamata: The Victims and Their World
Wikipedia
149 Mission Blue
Conservation Careers
150 Monkey Kingdom
Common Sense Media
151 Mountaintop Removal Wikipedia
152 Muro Ami Wikipedia
153
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Common Sense Media
154 Never Cry Wolf (1983) Berkeley Wellness
155 No Impact Man Wikipedia
156 No Pressure Wikipedia
157 Oceans
Common Sense Media
158 Oil on Ice Wikipedia
159 Oil Sands Karaoke Wikipedia
160 On Deadly Ground Wikipedia
161 On the Line Wikipedia
162 Once Upon a Forest Wikipedia
163 Out of the Blue PBS
164 Paddle to the Sea Wikipedia
165 Pandora’s Promise Wikipedia
166 Plastic Bag Wikipedia
167 Plastic China PBS
168 Polluting Paradise Wikipedia
169
Powerful: Energy for Everyone
Wikipedia
170 Princess Mononoke (1997) Yes Magazine
171 Prophecy (1979) Yes Magazine
172 Rancher Farmer Fisherman PBS
173 Renewal Wikipedia
174 San Andreas Wikipedia
175 Schoolhouse Rock! Earth
Common Sense Media
176 Sea of Life Wikipedia
177 Search for the Super Battery Wikipedia
178 Semper Fi: Always Faithful Wikipedia
179 Shale Cowboys
Top Documentary Films
180 Sharknado Wikipedia
181 Sharkwater Wikipedia
182 Shored Up Wikipedia
183 Silent Storm Wikipedia
184 Silkwood Grist
185 Sizzle Wikipedia
186 Snowpiercer The Guardian
187 Space Tourists Wikipedia
188 Spoiled the Movie Wikipedia
189
Super Comet: After The Impact
Wikipedia
190
Surviving the Tsunami – My Atomic Aunt
Wikipedia
191 SWITCH Uproxx
192 Syriana Grist
193 Tapped
Eco Warrior Princess
194 Tentacles Wikipedia
195
That Should Not Be: Our Children Will Accuse Us
Wikipedia
196 The Age of Mankind
Top Documentary Films
197 The Age of Stupid Wikipedia
198 The Animal Train
Common Sense Media
199 The Bell of Chernobyl Wikipedia
200
The Breakthrough In Renewable Energy
Mind Body Green
201
The Chances of the World Changing
Wikipedia
202 The City Dark Wikipedia
203
The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos
Common Sense Media
204 The Dome
Top Documentary Films
205 The End of Eden Wikipedia
206
The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream
Grist
207 The End of the Line
Conservation Careers
208 The Forgotten District Wikipedia
209
The Fourth Revolution: Energy
Wikipedia
210 The Future of Food Wikipedia
211 The Garden (2008) Thought Co.
212
The Great Global Warming Swindle
Wikipedia
213 The Great Warming Wikipedia
214 The Happening Wikipedia
215 The Idiot Cycle Wikipedia
216 THE ISLAND PRESIDENT Uproxx
217 The Islands and the Whales PBS
218
The Last Paradises: On the Track of Rare Animals
Wikipedia
219 The Man Who Planted Trees
Common Sense Media
220 The Memory of Fish PBS
221 The Messenger Wikipedia
222
The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil
Wikipedia
223 The Redwoods Wikipedia
224 The Return of Navajo Boy Wikipedia
225
The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes
Wikipedia
226 The Rise of Vertical Farming
Top Documentary Films
227 The Road (2009) Yes Magazine
228 The Shiranui Sea Wikipedia
229 The Story of Stuff Wikipedia
230
The Story of the Weeping Camel (2004)
Green Global Travel
231
The Toxic Clouds of 9/11: A Looming Disaster
Wikipedia
232
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
Common Sense Media
233
The World According to Monsanto
Wikipedia
234 This Changes Everything
Common Sense Media
235 To the Arctic
Common Sense Media
236 Tomorrow Mind Body Green
237 Toxic Legacy Wikipedia
238
Trash Inc: The Secret Life of Garbage
Wikipedia
239 Trouble The Water (2008) Thought Co.
240 Troubled Waters
Top Documentary Films
241 Ultimate Tornado Wikipedia
242 Unacceptable Levels Wikipedia
243 Under the Dome Wikipedia
244 Under the Sea 3D
Common Sense Media
245 Up The Yangtze (2008) Thought Co.
246 Vanishing of the Bees Wikipedia
247 Vanishing Point Wikipedia
248 Voices of Transition Wikipedia
249 Vorticity Mind Body Green
250 Watch Wikipedia
251
Water & Power: A California Heist
PBS
252
Water Wars: When Drought, Flood and Greed Collide (2009)
Thought Co.
253 Watermark Wikipedia
254 Waterworld Tree Hugger
255
What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire
Wikipedia
256 What Is the Electric Car? Wikipedia
257
White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Wikipedia
258
Wind Over Water: The Cape Wind Story
Wikipedia
259 Wings of Life
Common Sense Media


18 Best Environmental Film Sources/Lists



Source Article
Berkeley Wellness View as List The Best Environmentally Conscious Movies
Common Sense Media Environmental Movies
Conservation Careers 10 Documentaries Ever Conservationist Should
Eco Warrior Princess Must See Green Films: 8 of the Best Environmental Documentaries
Eco Watch Climate Change Documentary
Green Global Travel The Top 10 Oscar-Nominated Environmental Documentaries
Grist 15 Green Movies
Mind Body Green Want To Know What The Heck Is Up With Climate Change? Watch These Documentaries
MNN Top 10 Environmental Films Of All Time
PBS Earth Day Watch List: 17 Films About Sustainability and Climate Change
Smithsonian Top Ten Kids’ Movies With a Green Theme
The Guardian Spoiler alerts: the five best climate-change films
Thought Co. Documentary Films About the Environment and Ecology
Top Documentary Films Environment
Tree Hugger Can’t get enough TreeHugger? Sign up now and have it sent straight to your inbox.
Uproxx 7 Best Environmental Documentaries
Wikipedia List of Environmental Films
Yes Magazine 10 Films to Inspire Your Inner Environmental Superhero

 

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