19 Movies And TV Shows To Watch On Earth Day thumbnail

19 Movies And TV Shows To Watch On Earth Day

From Cher meeting the world’s loneliest elephant to My Octopus Teacher, you can’t help but be inspired.


Cher & The Loneliest Elephant

an elephant and cher the singer

Courtesy Smithsonian Channnel

In this series, Cher travels to Pakistan to help rescue Kaavan, a malnourished and neglected animal known as the “world’s loneliest elephant.” All alone in a broken down zoo, Cher was so moved by Kaavan’s story and a TV crew follows as she embarks on a journey to save him.

Where to watch it: Paramount+


A World of Calm


If you haven’t yet checked out this series, I can’t recommend it enough. Each episode is about a specific topic and is narrated by a different actor. So, for example, there’s an episode about trees narrated by Keanu Reeves, coral cities by Lucy Liu, and outer space by Idris Elba. While you could choose what you watch by your favorite celebrity, all eight episodes are worth checking out in full.

Where to watch it: HBO Max


Night on Earth

flamingos in the night


Narrated by Samira Wiley, this movie is pretty much exactly what you’d imagine — an in-depth look at wildlife across the planet and how they exist at night. For a film that takes place almost entirely in the darkness, you won’t believe the colors that come out at night.

Where to watch it: Netflix


I Am Greta

Greta Thunberg with her father, Svante Thunberg

© Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

This documentary serves as a great introduction to Greta Thunberg for those who are new to her and her school strike for climate action, but if you do know Greta already, it also pulls back the curtain to reveal her personal life at home with her parents.

Where to watch it: Hulu


Earth Moods

a waterfall settled in the middle of a rainforest

National Geographic for Disney+

If you’d like to transport yourself to remote location during a global pandemic, Earth Moods is the most stress-free way to do it. However the show isn’t a traditional nature documentary like the rest of this list. Instead, each 30-minute episode offers breathtaking views of nature around the world paired with music made exclusively for the series. Honestly, this series is my new go-to for something relaxing to have on in the background.

Where to watch it: Disney Plus


My Octopus Teacher

an octopus and a hand

© Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Set in a South African kelp forest, this documentary follows an unsuspecting filmmaker as he befriends an actual octopus in the bottom of the ocean. While you might not think you care much about these two, you’ll feel absolutely inspired by the end of the film. This movie is picked up an Oscars nomination for Best Documentary.

Where to watch it: Netflix


Chasing Coral

photo of healthy coral versus the same coral that has been bleached

Courtesy of Netflix

This educational look at coral bleaching is a shocking call-to-action to save our dying coral reefs and why they’re so important to the functioning of our oceans. This is one of my favorite nature documentaries (and I wrote about it back when it came out in 2017), so make time for this one if you haven’t watched it yet.

Where to watch it: Netflix


Dancing with the Birds

bird with long sticks in its mouth


Stephen Fry narrates this inside look at the life, times, and ~mating rituals~ of birds. Not only are the species of birds unlike any you’ll ever see before — and I mean that, they are spectacular — but you’ll be surprised how much laughing out loud you’ll be doing over a nature documentary.

Where to watch it: Netflix



five orca whales in the ocean

Netflix / youtube.com

If you’re looking to watch a documentary that’ll certainly spark some conversation, why not try Netflix’s 2021 doc, Seaspiracy? It takes a look at the underwater population and how humans have been overfishing and doing damage to our oceans that cannot be undone.

Where to watch it: Netflix


The Island President

President Mohamed Nasheed

Chiara Goia / © Samuel Goldwyn Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

This inspiring true story from 2011 tells the tale of then-President Mohamed Nasheed and his efforts to save his country of the Maldives — which happens to be the lowest country closest to sea level on the planet — from the disastrous effects of climate change.

Where to watch it: Discovery Plus


One Strange Rock

a cave with a light shining down onto three people

National Geographic

From National Geographic comes this behemoth of a documentary series by  Darren Aronofsky. Will Smith hosts this incredible, high def look at life on planet earth and the crucial ecosystems that interact with each other to make the magic happen. This series spotlights places on this planet are simply other-worldly and made me question if I was looking at footage of Mars or not. 

Where to watch it: Disney Plus


The Story of Plastic

plastic bottle floating in the ocean


If you’ve ever wondered what happens to the plastic you purchase after it’s been thrown away, The Story of Plastic will explain the entire process to you in great detail. Warning: you may never buy plastics again after learning more about our global plastic consumption and waste.

Where to watch it: Discovery+


Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

animated cartoon earth with people on it

© Apple TV+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

See the world through the eyes of children experiencing it for the first time in this animated movie based on a book of the same name. Jacob Tremblay, Ruth Negga, and Chris O’Dowd lend their voices to this animated series.

Where to watch it: Apple TV+


The Great Global Clean-Up

zac efron with a beard in front of a mountain

Discovery Channel

If you’re looking for a special that’s filled with celebs your kids will know, Zac Efron, Zach King, Cody Simpson, Liza Koshy, Lil Dicky and others appear to advocate for cleaning up the planet.

Where to watch it: Discovery Plus


The Biggest Little Farm

sheep and cows grazing in a meadow

© Neon / Courtesy Everett Collection

2018’s The Biggest Little Farm is the dramatic story of how a farm began after two people were inspired by the love of their newly-adopted dog. This film is filled with beautiful images of sweeping hills, and, of course, the adorably lovable animal residents of the farm.

Where to watch it: Hulu


Rock The Park

a mountain and water with logo


Rock The Park follows hosts Jack and Colton as they make their way through all of America’s national parks. Each episode focuses on a different park across the country. I promise that even if you’ve visited them before, you’ll still learn something new.

Where to watch it: HBO Max


The Secret World of Trees

still from trailer of a mountain and trees

Janson Media / Via youtube.com

This 2019 documentary takes the audience deep inside the inner workings and communication of trees. Did you know that trees can talk to each other and even warn each other of danger coming their way? Learn that and so much more in this fascinating film.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video


Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story

a banana and the words

Peg Leg Films / Via foodwastemovie.com

This searing documentary takes a look at the massive amounts of food waste we produce across the globe and offers some potential solutions to tackle the issue. To start, we could all stop throwing away food just because it doesn’t look “perfect” or “pretty.”

Where to watch it: Hulu


Our Planet

a monkey in the trees

Huw Cordey / Netflix

This series made quite an impact on us (as well as our dogs) when it came out in 2018 — and yet the message remains even more important today. While some of the realities of how humans have changed the animal kingdom exposed in Our Planet are hard to take, it’s an impactful, emotional, and beautiful journey narrated by David Attenborough. If you’ve seen this one already, make sure to check out A Life On Our Planet, from 2020, which is even more timely (and heartbreaking).

Where to watch it: Netflix

What are your favorite things to watch on Earth Day? Let us know in the comments.

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