15 Best Environmental Documentaries On Netflix In 2023

Richard Williamson

Best Environmental Documentaries On Netflix

Are you looking to expand your knowledge about the environment while enjoying some quality entertainment? Look no further! In this article, we have compiled a list of the 15 best environmental documentaries available on Netflix in 2023. 

These documentaries will not only educate and inspire you, but they will also give you a deeper understanding of our planet and the urgent need for environmental conservation.

Netflix has become a treasure trove of thought-provoking documentaries, and this selection is no exception. From exploring the devastating effects of climate change to shedding light on innovative solutions for a sustainable future, these films cover a wide range of topics that are sure to captivate your attention.

With stunning visuals, expert storytelling, and captivating narratives, each documentary will take you on a journey that will leave you feeling informed and empowered to make positive changes in your own life.

So grab some popcorn, settle into your favorite spot on the couch, and get ready to embark on an eye-opening adventure through these must-watch environmental documentaries on Netflix in 2023!

15 Best Environmental Documentaries On Netflix In 2023

If you’re looking for the best environmental documentaries on Netflix in 2023, there are a few standout films that you should definitely check out.

Seaspiracy (2021) is a thought-provoking documentary that explores the impact of commercial fishing on our oceans.

Our Planet and A Life on the Planet, both narrated by Sir David Attenborough, offer stunning visuals and important messages about conservation and climate change.

Another must-watch is A Plastic Ocean (2016), which uncovers the shocking reality of plastic pollution in our seas.

Lastly, The Ivory Game sheds light on the illegal ivory trade and its devastating effects on elephant populations.

1. Seaspiracy (2021)

Revealing shocking truths about the devastating environmental destruction caused by human behavior, “Seaspiracy” is a groundbreaking documentary that challenges notions of sustainable fishing and exposes the urgent need for change. 

Filmmaker Ali Tabrizi takes viewers on a journey to uncover the alarming realities of our impact on the oceans.

What starts as a celebration of the ocean quickly turns into a deep dive into the harm we inflict upon it. 

From plastics and fishing gear polluting the waters to destructive practices like bottom trawling and by-catch, “Seaspiracy” highlights how humanity is wreaking havoc on marine life and, in turn, endangering our entire planet. 

The film also sheds light on illegal fishing and devastating hunting practices that further contribute to this destruction. By presenting these issues in a compelling and eye-opening way, “Seaspiracy” forces us to confront uncomfortable truths about our role in this crisis.

As you watch “Seaspiracy,” you’ll be captivated by its engaging storytelling style that keeps you hooked from start to finish. 

Through powerful visuals and thought-provoking interviews, Tabrizi presents an urgent call to action for viewers who care about preserving ocean life and safeguarding our future. 

This documentary serves as a wake-up call, reminding us of our responsibility to protect our oceans and make sustainable choices that can help mitigate the damage already done.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Ali Tabrizi
  • Release Date (Streaming): March 24, 2021
  • Runtime: 1 hour and 29 minutes

15 Best Alien Movies On Netflix – Beyond The Stars

2. Our Planet

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, ‘Our Planet‘ takes viewers on an awe-inspiring journey through Earth’s remaining wilderness areas, showcasing the diversity of habitats and their animal inhabitants in breathtaking detail.

This eight-part series, produced in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, is a testament to the beauty and fragility of our planet. With stunning photography and cutting-edge technology, ‘Our Planet’ transports you to remote corners of the globe, from the Arctic wilderness to the jungles of South America.

As you watch this documentary, you will be captivated by the incredible footage captured by over 600 crew members who filmed in 50 countries across the world. 

The project took four years to complete, highlighting just how dedicated and passionate these filmmakers were about showcasing Earth’s natural wonders.

From majestic polar bears swimming through icy waters to vibrant tropical birds soaring through rainforest canopies, ‘Our Planet’ offers a mesmerizing glimpse into the lives of these remarkable creatures.

Movie Information

  • Creators: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey
  • Starring: David Attenborough
  • TV Network: Netflix
  • Premiere Date: April 5, 2019
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Executive Producers: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey

3. A Life on the Planet

Immerse yourself in the powerful journey of ‘A Life on the Planet,’ as filmmaker Ali Tabrizi uncovers the heartbreaking reality of human-induced devastation in our oceans, leaving us with a sinking feeling that we are drowning our planet’s most precious ecosystems.

This compelling documentary sheds light on unsettling truths about the extensive environmental degradation caused by human actions. 

Tabrizi initially set out to celebrate the ocean’s magnificence, but instead found himself delving into the profound harm humans are inflicting upon fragile marine ecosystems.

With ‘A Life on the Planet,’ you will witness firsthand the extent of damage inflicted upon our oceans and gain a deeper understanding of the urgency to take action. 

The film explores how activities such as overfishing, pollution, and climate change have pushed marine ecosystems to their breaking point. 

Through stunning visuals and personal narratives from scientists and activists, Tabrizi brings attention to lesser-known truths about our ocean’s decline.

Do not miss this eye-opening documentary that prompts reflection on our own role in preserving or destroying this delicate balance. ‘A Life on the Planet’ serves as a wake-up call for all viewers, urging us to reconsider our choices and make sustainable decisions that can help reverse these devastating trends before it is too late.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Ali Tabrizi
  • Streaming Release Date: March 24, 2021
  • Runtime: 1 hour and 29 minutes

4. A Plastic Ocean (2016)

Take a deep dive into the shocking reality of our polluted oceans with ‘A Plastic Ocean‘, a powerful documentary that exposes the devastating impact of plastic waste on marine life. 

Directed by Craig Leeson and released in 2016, this eye-opening film takes viewers on an exploration of the world’s oceans, revealing the alarming amount of plastic pollution that is wreaking havoc on our marine ecosystems.

With its original language being English, ‘A Plastic Ocean’ brings to light the urgent need for action and highlights the detrimental consequences that plastic waste has on not only marine animals but also human health.

Through stunning visuals and compelling storytelling, ‘A Plastic Ocean’ paints a grim picture of our current situation. 

The film showcases the vast amounts of plastic debris floating in our oceans and delves into how this pollution affects creatures such as whales, dolphins, turtles, and birds. It reveals heartbreaking scenes of animals entangled in plastic or mistaking it for food, leading to injury or death.

Moreover, ‘A Plastic Ocean’ explores the long-term effects of microplastics entering the food chain and ultimately ending up on our dinner plates.

By addressing these pressing issues head-on, ‘A Plastic Ocean’ serves as a wake-up call for individuals around the globe to take action against plastic pollution. 

It encourages viewers to reconsider their consumption habits and advocate for more sustainable alternatives.

This thought-provoking documentary reminds us all that we have a responsibility to protect our oceans and preserve them for future generations.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Craig Leeson
  • Producer: Adam Leipzig, Jo Ruxton
  • Writer: Craig Leeson, Mindy Elliott
  • Release Date (Streaming): Mar 20, 2017
  • Runtime: 1h 40m

15 Best Animal Documentaries On Netflix – Wildlife Wonders

5. The Ivory Game

The Ivory Game exposes the shocking truth behind the global ivory trafficking crisis, revealing the deep-rooted corruption and devastating impact on African elephants. This gripping documentary takes you on a harrowing journey as filmmakers go undercover for 16 months, infiltrating and documenting the dark underbelly of this illegal trade.

The film sheds light on how ivory has become a prized status symbol for middle-class Chinese, driving poachers to slaughter African elephants in record numbers.

Through captivating storytelling and hidden camera footage, The Ivory Game brings to life the heart-wrenching reality of these majestic creatures facing extinction. 

As you watch this documentary, you will be immersed in the ruthless world of ivory trafficking and witness firsthand the lengths people will go to profit from this illicit trade.

It is a wake-up call that highlights not only the environmental consequences but also the human cost associated with this crisis.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English
  • Directors: Kief Davidson, Richard Ladkani
  • Producers: Kief Davidson, Wolfgang Knöpfler, Walter Kohler
  • Release Date (Streaming): May 23, 2017
  • Runtime: 1h 52m
  • Production Co: Terra mater Factual Studios, Netflix

6. Kiss the Ground

Kiss the Ground, directed by Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell, presents a thought-provoking exploration of regenerative agriculture as a solution to combat the devastating impact of climate change on our planet’s topsoil.

The documentary brings together activists, scientists, farmers, and politicians who are all united in their belief that regenerative agriculture is key to saving the Earth’s topsoil and mitigating climate change.

Through interviews and real-life examples, Kiss the Ground showcases how regenerative farming practices can restore soil health, increase biodiversity, sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and ultimately create a more sustainable future for all.

This eye-opening documentary not only educates viewers about the importance of regenerative agriculture but also inspires them to take action.

With its engaging storytelling style and compelling visuals, Kiss the Ground captivates audiences and encourages them to rethink their relationship with food production.

By highlighting success stories from around the world where regenerative farming has transformed degraded land into thriving ecosystems, this film instills hope that positive change is possible.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English
  • Directors: Joshua Tickell, Rebecca Harrell Tickell
  • Producers: Joshua Tickell, Bill Benenson, Rebecca Harrell Tickell, Ryland Engelhart, Darius Fisher
  • Writers: Joshua Tickell, Johnny O’Hara, Rebecca Harrell Tickell
  • Release Date (Streaming): Sep 22, 2020
  • Runtime: 1h 25m
  • Production Co: Benenson Productions, The Redford Center, Big Picture Ranch

7. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (2020)

Narrated by David Attenborough, A Life on Our Planet explores the profound impact of humanity on nature and offers a compelling vision for preserving our planet’s biodiversity and ensuring a sustainable future. 

Through stunning visuals and heartfelt storytelling, this documentary takes you on a journey through Attenborough’s life as he reflects on the changes he has witnessed in his lifetime and the urgent need to take action.

Attenborough’s narration is captivating, drawing you in with his soothing voice and genuine concern for the state of our planet. As you watch, you can’t help but feel a sense of responsibility and urgency to make a change. 

The film showcases the devastating effects of deforestation, pollution, and climate change, but also highlights inspiring examples of reforestation projects and innovative solutions that give hope for the future.

A Life on Our Planet is not just a wake-up call; it is a call to action. It encourages individuals to make small changes in their daily lives that can collectively have a big impact. 

From reducing plastic waste to supporting sustainable farming practices, this documentary empowers viewers with tangible steps they can take toward creating positive change.

Movie Information

  • Rating: PG (Thematic Content)
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English
  • Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes, Keith Scholey
  • Producer: Jonnie Hughes
  • Release Date (Streaming): Oct 4, 2020
  • Runtime: 1h 23m
  • Production Co: World Wildlife Fund, Altitude Film Entertainment, Silverback Films, Netflix

8. When Two Worlds Collide

In the documentary ‘When Two Worlds Collide,’ a fierce battle unfolds between an indigenous environmental activist and powerful corporations as they clash over the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. 

The film, directed by Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel, sheds light on the ongoing struggle faced by indigenous communities as they fight to protect their ancestral lands from large businesses that prioritize profit over environmental preservation.

The film takes viewers on a gripping journey as it explores the complex issues surrounding deforestation in the Amazon. 

It highlights the devastating consequences of unchecked corporate greed, showcasing how indigenous people are often left to bear the brunt of environmental degradation. 

Through captivating footage and interviews with key players, ‘When Two Worlds Collide’ exposes viewers to the harsh realities faced by those fighting for environmental justice.

As you watch this thought-provoking documentary, you’ll be drawn into a narrative filled with tension and emotion. You’ll witness firsthand the passion and determination of indigenous activists who refuse to back down in the face of adversity. 

‘When Two Worlds Collide’ serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of preserving our natural resources and protecting vulnerable communities from exploitation.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: Spanish
  • Directors: Heidi Brandenburg, Mathew Orzel
  • Producers: Taira Akbar, Heidi Brandenburg
  • Release Date (Theaters): Aug 17, 2016 (Limited)
  • Release Date (Streaming): Mar 16, 2017
  • Box Office (Gross USA): $10.4K
  • Runtime: 1h 43m
  • Distributor: First Run Features
  • Production Co: Yachaywasi Films, First Run Features

9. Untamed Romania

Little did we know that amidst the chaos of Romania’s cities lies a world of untamed beauty and mystery. In the documentary ‘Untamed Romania,’ director Tom Barton-Humphreys takes us on a mesmerizing journey through the hidden landscapes of this Eastern European country.

From lush forests to towering mountains, Romania is home to some of Europe’s most pristine and untouched wilderness. As you watch ‘Untamed Romania,’ you’ll find yourself captivated by the breathtaking scenery and diverse wildlife that call this country their home.

The film showcases the Carpathian Mountains, which are not only stunningly beautiful but also serve as an important habitat for bears, wolves, and lynxes. 

You’ll witness the incredible phenomenon of bird migration in the Danube Delta, where millions of birds pass through during their annual journey. 

And let’s not forget about the majestic Transylvanian Alps, with their picturesque meadows and ancient forests that have remained unchanged for centuries.

But it’s not just about showcasing nature’s wonders; ‘Untamed Romania’ also sheds light on the conservation efforts taking place in this remarkable country. The film highlights how local communities are working together to protect these precious ecosystems and ensure a sustainable future for both humans and wildlife.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English (United Kingdom)
  • Director: Tom Barton-Humphreys
  • Producer: Alex Paun
  • Writer: Tom Barton-Humphreys, Alex Paun
  • Release Date (Streaming): Oct 21, 2019
  • Runtime: 1h 30m
  • Production Co: Off the Fence

15 Best Bodybuilding Documentaries On Netflix – Empowering Films

10. Night on Earth

Imagine yourself immersed in the captivating world of the night, where Samira Wiley takes you on an exhilarating journey through the nocturnal wonders in ‘Night on Earth.’

As you enter this enchanting realm, your senses are heightened as you witness nature’s most secretive creatures come to life. 

From the depths of the ocean to the vastness of jungles and deserts, this documentary unveils a hidden world that is rarely seen by human eyes.

With each episode, ‘Night on Earth’ transports you to different corners of our planet, showcasing how animals have adapted to thrive in darkness. 

The use of cutting-edge technology allows for stunning visuals that capture every movement and behavior with incredible detail. You can feel your heart race as predators stealthily stalk their prey and witness breathtaking moments like bioluminescent organisms lighting up underwater caves.

Not only does ‘Night on Earth’ provide an awe-inspiring experience, but it also sheds light on the importance of preserving these habitats and ecosystems. 

Through Samira Wiley’s narration, you gain a deeper understanding of how delicate these environments are and how human activities can impact them.

It serves as a wake-up call for viewers to take action toward conservation efforts and protect these fragile ecosystems for future generations.

Movie information

  • Starring: Samira Wiley
  • TV Network: Netflix
  • Premiere Date: Jan 29, 2020
  • Genre: Documentary

11. Chasing Ice

Embark on a breathtaking journey through the icy realms of James Balog’s ‘Chasing Ice,’ where you’ll witness the heartbreaking allegory of Earth’s melting glaciers and feel your soul shiver with the gravity of our changing planet.

As you delve into this powerful documentary, prepare to be captivated by the stunning cinematography that showcases the beauty and fragility of these majestic ice formations. 

The film takes you alongside Balog and his team on their daring mission to assemble a multiyear chronicle of the planet’s rapidly melting glaciers.

Through Balog’s lens, you’ll witness firsthand the devastating effects of climate change as massive chunks of ice break off from glaciers, crashing into the ocean with thunderous roars. 

The urgency is palpable as time-lapse footage captures these immense ice structures shrinking before your eyes, leaving behind nothing but barren landscapes. It serves as a wake-up call, reminding us all that our actions have consequences for this delicate ecosystem.

In addition to its visually stunning imagery, ‘Chasing Ice’ offers an emotional narrative that will resonate deeply within your core. 

Balog’s passion for capturing these disappearing wonders shines through as he faces various challenges and risks in documenting this environmental crisis. 

His dedication serves as a reminder that we all have a role to play in protecting our planet.

Movie Information

  • Rating: PG-13 (Brief Strong Language)
  • Genre: Documentary, Biography
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Jeff Orlowski
  • Producers: Jerry Aronson, Paula Dupré Pesmen, Jeff Orlowski
  • Writer: Mark Monroe
  • Release Date (Theaters): Nov 9, 2012 (Limited)
  • Release Date (Streaming): Aug 10, 2016
  • Runtime: 1h 14m
  • Distributor: Submarine Deluxe
  • Production Co: Diamond Docs, Exposure

12. Chasing Coral

Prepare to be mesmerized by the stunning underwater cinematography in Jeff Orlowski’s documentary ‘Chasing Coral,’ as divers and scientists embark on a mission to uncover the alarming mystery behind the unprecedented disappearance of coral reefs worldwide.

Through breathtaking visuals, this film takes you on an ocean adventure that not only showcases the beauty of these vibrant ecosystems but also sheds light on their rapid decline.

Dive deep into the heart of this underwater mystery as you witness firsthand the devastating effects of climate change and human activities on these fragile marine habitats.

In ‘Chasing Coral,’ Director Jeff Orlowski brings together a team of dedicated individuals who are passionate about raising awareness and understanding the importance of coral reefs.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Jeff Orlowski
  • Producers: Jeff Orlowski, Larissa Rhodes
  • Writers: Davis Coombe, Jeff Orlowski, Vickie Curtis
  • Release Date (Streaming): Jul 15, 2017
  • Runtime: 1h 33m

13. Mission Blue

Mission Blue‘ takes viewers on a captivating journey through the ocean’s depths, revealing the devastating impact of human activities on these delicate waters. Filmmaker Ali Tabrizi begins by showcasing the beauty of the ocean, drawing viewers in with stunning visuals and mesmerizing underwater scenes.

But as the documentary progresses, it delves into the harsh reality of environmental degradation and its consequences. 

With a keen eye for detail, Tabrizi exposes alarming truths about how our oceans are being harmed by human behavior. 

From overfishing to pollution and climate change, ‘Mission Blue’ leaves no stone unturned in exploring the wide range of threats that marine ecosystems face today.

Through powerful interviews with scientists, activists, and experts in marine conservation, the film sheds light on the urgent need for action to protect our oceans. 

As you watch ‘Mission Blue,’ you can’t help but feel a sense of responsibility and concern for the future of our planet. 

The documentary serves as a wake-up call, urging viewers to reevaluate their own behaviors and make more sustainable choices.

It reminds us that we have a collective duty to preserve our oceans for future generations and prompts us to take action in whatever capacity we can.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Ali Tabrizi
  • Release Date (Streaming): Mar 24, 2021
  • Runtime: 1h 29m

14. My Octopus Teacher (2020)

Now that we’ve explored the depths of the ocean with ‘Mission Blue,’ let’s dive into another captivating environmental documentary on Netflix: 

My Octopus Teacher‘ (2020). Get ready to be captivated by the incredible bond between a diver and an octopus living in a kelp forest off the coast of South Africa.

In this mesmerizing film, you’ll witness firsthand the enchanting friendship that develops between filmmaker Craig Foster and a curious octopus. 

As Foster explores the underwater world, he forms an unlikely connection with this intelligent creature, learning valuable lessons about resilience and interconnectedness.

Through stunning cinematography and heartfelt storytelling, ‘My Octopus Teacher’ transports you into a realm where humans and marine life coexist in harmony.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English
  • Directors: Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed
  • Producer: Craig Foster
  • Writers: Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed
  • Release Date (Streaming): Sep 7, 2020
  • Runtime: 1h 25m
  • Production Co: A Netflix Original Documentary, The Sea Change Project, Off the Fence

So grab your popcorn and prepare to be both educated and entertained as you witness this extraordinary tale of friendship beneath the waves. You won’t want to miss out on experiencing ‘My Octopus Teacher’ – a true testament to the wonders of our natural world.

15 Best Autism Documentaries On Netflix – Unlocking Awareness

15. Earthlings

As we delve into the devastating reality of animal exploitation, filmmaker Shaun Monson sheds light on the unfathomable suffering endured by animals in various industries, presenting a powerful and thought-provoking narrative in ‘Earthlings.’ 

Through this eye-opening documentary, Monson takes us on a journey that exposes the harsh realities of factory farms, research labs, puppy mills, and more.

With each scene, he forces us to confront the uncomfortable truth about our treatment of animals.

‘Earthlings’ is a documentary that aims to challenge our perception and understanding of animal welfare. It serves as a wake-up call for viewers to reevaluate their choices and actions towards animals. 

By showcasing graphic and disturbing footage from these industries, Monson compels us to question the ethics behind our everyday consumer choices.

In this film, Monson not only acts as the director but also takes on the role of writer. His passion for animal rights shines through in every frame as he seeks to give voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. 

The runtime of ‘Earthlings’ is 1 hour and 35 minutes – a relatively short duration considering its impactful message.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Shaun Monson
  • Writer: Shaun Monson
  • Runtime: 1h 35m

Final Thoughts

Here are the 15 best environmental documentaries on Netflix in 2023. They’ve opened our eyes and sparked a sense of responsibility for our planet’s future. 

But, let’s be honest, does watching really change enough?

While these films educate us, it’s ironic to watch from comfy couches with disposable cups. 

The world suffers as we stay in comfort. Sharing online won’t save the planet. Let’s move beyond screens to real action. 

Let’s make sustainable choices now. The time for change is now – our planet can’t wait.

Leave a Comment