Your Guide to Sustainability Documentaries on Netflix

One thing I may have missed in our post Baby Steps Towards Sustainable Living is the importance of self education. There are an endless number of outstanding books and videos on YouTube, both of which I am sure to address in the future, but today I will share some of my favorite documentaries you can stream on Netflix.

What The Health

After this article was initially posted, I had multiple posts on social media asking why this film wasn’t included. The answer was very simple: I hadn’t seen it! Now that I have, I completely understand. “What The Health” is the follow-up film from the creators of the award-winning documentary “Cowspiracy” that exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick. It is a great companion film to the next documentary on our list, “Forks Over Knives”

Forks Over Knives

I start off our list with Lee Filkerson’s “Forks Over Knives” because this one has inspired change in our family’s diet. This film examines a study by researchers Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn that found that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. This film might just save your life.


More Than Honey

In “More Than Honey,” Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof provides an inside look at the industrial apiary business across the globe. This movie is a cinematographic masterpiece that explains the crises our pollinators are currently facing.


Fed Up

Did you know that there are 600,000 food items in America and that 80% of them have added sugar? Did you know that our current generation of youth is the first expected to live a shorter life than their parents? That’s insane. Katie Couric and Stephanie Soechtig’s film, “FED UP,” is an examination of America’s obesity epidemic and the food industry’s role in aggravating it. It may just change the way to eat.



This is another film that inspired change for our family. Is asks, how might your life be better with less? “MINIMALISM: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE IMPORTANT THINGS” examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life—families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.


Food Inc.

Another great film. “Food Inc.” is a perfect illustration of F. William Engdahl’s book ‘Seeds of Destruction‘, which explains how international agribusinesses are trying to monopolize vertically and horizontally food production on a world scale. Unfortunately at the cost of our health.


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EJECT! Why we chose to leave “normal” behind.

“There’s no law of physics that says we have to be an unsustainable society – in fact, quite the opposite. The planet’s ready to work with us if we’re ready to think differently, but we do have to make that jump and start to do things in new ways.”

Alex Steffen 


Chase here, back to talk a little bit about what motivated Victoria and I to make the radical changes we are about to embark on. I feel like I should apologize in advance, this may end up being a little bit depressing but surely no more so than taking in the evening “news”. On second thought, maybe it needs to be. Maybe a cold shot of truth will shock someone out of apathy and into action.

Having children reorganizes your priorities in a literal heart beat. One example of this, shortly after the birth of our first child, Kendal, we moved away from the urban neighborhood we were living in and loved and bought a nice little house in a nice little suburb. Why? Because the school district was better and a kid needs to have a yard, right? But that is just the tip of the iceberg. You suddenly become much more concerned about things like where your food comes from and what is in it, the potential developmental impact from the media your child views, the direction society and government are heading in, etc, etc.. You really just want to make sure you set your children up for success so they can be better off than you are. And that is the rub. As a member of the first generations in 100 years that are demonstrably worse off than their parents, everything around us seems to be approaching a cliff.


Sadly, Victoria and I have a really hard time identifying any facet of modern life that is sustainable and we feel good about. Much of our “food” is poison and producing it is as bad for the environment as it is for us to consume, massive public and private spending and debt, ever-increasing political polarization and conflict, cronyism and corruption at all levels of government, the slow but stead erosion of privacy and civil liberties: for the sake of our children, things can’t go on like this!

Humans, by our very nature, hate change. We avoid it all cost until a crisis forces us to accept it. Despite warnings from their doctor, many don’t change their diet until they have a heart attack. Warnings are everywhere right now and all anyone talks about is what Kim K was wearing in some photo and who won the war of words in Washington DC today. That is what brought us to where we are. As parents, we couldn’t continue to live with our heads in the sand and hope for the best. We had to take action.

We started looking at what others were doing and that is when we first came across things like minimalism, intentional communities, sustainable living, and ecovillages. Admittedly, at first glance we thought some of it was a bit extreme. Then we realized that much of this stuff was just simply the way people lived up until a few decades ago. People built their own homes, produced their own food, lived within their means, shared and worked with their neighbors. Ever since that epiphany we have been working towards making changes before all of us are forced to.

There have been many baby steps in getting ready for the upcoming BIG jump and I will discuss some of those in future posts. Whether you decide to make a massive lifestyle change like we have or you just want to integrate more sustainablity in your existing lifestyle, baby steps are a great place to start.

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