The must-watch documentaries to check out on World Environment Day

03 Jun 2021
By Hazel M., Freelance writer, journalist and total bookworm at Unite Students

Looking after our planet is more important than ever before – from global warming to declining species, it’s time to step up and take action.

But, first, you may want to know more about what the issues are before deciding what to do about them.

And it can all start by watching some key documentaries this World Environment Day.

What is World Environment Day?

By definition, World Environment Day is ‘the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment’.

And as the world’s leaders get ready to descend on the UK for this year’s G7 Summit, there’s no better time to scratch up on that knowledge and find out why we need to take action.

So, with that in mind, here are some of the top documentaries you can check out right now to help you get started.

The best part? You can watch them all on Netflix.

David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet

Sir David Attenborough is an iconic figure when it comes to understanding the world’s natural environment. Over decades, his documentaries have allowed us to bear witness to the incredible wonders of this planet, and this latest feature-length programme is a testament to that knowledge.

Here, he uses that experience to discuss the unsustainable rise of the human population and the destruction it’s wreaking on our environment. But don’t worry; it’s not completely hopeless. He also offers some advice on what we can do right now to make a difference.


This documentary caused waves of controversy when it first aired back in 2014, as it called out the devastating impact of animal agriculture and named it the leading cause of environmental destruction.

While some of its content has been argued against by both critics and supporters of the animal industry, the fact remains that this is a very insightful look into the dark secrets of an industry that, up until this point, had not been looked at with enough depth or seriousness.


Seaspiracy very much follows on from Cowspiracy, but, rather than agriculture, it instead looks at the global fishing industry and its impact on our oceans. Released earlier this year, it’s already caused mass calls for better ocean protections to tackle overfishing, as well as encouraging people to think twice about a seafood-rich diet.

Kiss The Ground

Narrated by actor Woody Harrelson, Kiss The Ground is a full-length documentary that explores regenerative agriculture and how it may be a way to save the planet’s topsoil, restore lost ecosystems and create abundant food supplies.

A Plastic Ocean

Much like BBC’s Blue Planet II series, this documentary explores the harsh reality of plastic pollution in our oceans. It looks at the root causes of what is a monumental world problem, while also proposing solutions on how to make real change.

Our Planet

It would be rude to finish this article without mentioning Our Planet. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, this ground-breaking original series is a look at how climate change is affecting all living creatures, while exploring the planet’s natural beauty and everything it still has to offer.

Watched these and now want some tips on how to live more sustainably? Check out Sarah’s top tips right here.

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When not stringing words together, can usually be found on the local beach with her cocker spaniel pup, Huey.