May 24, 2022

If you can’t get out, celebrate Earth Day at home with these docs

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Earth Day falls on Friday, which also coincides with National Parks Week (April 16-24). If you’re not out there experiencing all that our national parks have to offer, there are still ways to explore and learn from the comfort of your home, with a variety of streaming programming celebrating our national parks, offering education about our natural world and urgently calling for action to preserve life on planet Earth.

Start off with the new Netflix series “Our Great National Parks,” narrated by former President Barack Obama. While the first episode serves as an overview, the subsequent episodes hop around the globe, stopping in Kenya, Indonesia, Chile and California. Of course, if you’d like to focus more on America’s national parks, there’s the classic PBS docuseries by Ken Burns, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” Stream it through PBS or purchase the series through iTunes or Amazon.

Disney+ has a stacked “Earth Month” collection on their service, where they’ve gathered a variety of National Geographic and Disneynature documentaries that will appeal to the youngest and oldest in your home. They will also be releasing two new documentaries on Friday, the Disneynature doc “Polar Bear,” narrated by Catherine Keener, and “The Biggest Little Farm: The Return,” a follow-up to the hit 2019 documentary “The Biggest Little Farm,” streaming on Hulu and Kanopy. This sequel goes back to Apricot Lane Farms to take another look at how the farmers there have worked to develop biodiversity and the interconnectedness of nature in their farming practices.

If you’re looking for something new that’s a bit more action-oriented, the new documentary by Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell, “The Revolution Generation,” narrated by Michelle Rodriguez, will be in theaters and available to rent digitally on Earth Day. While this film takes a wider scope than just environmental issues, looking at the new generation of politicians and activists working across a variety of social justice issues, climate change is front and center as one of the main issues featured in the film, as young activists work toward securing the future of this planet. The Tickells’ previous film, “Kiss the Ground” (2020), narrated by Woody Harrelson, takes a look at the global movement towards regenerative agriculture, and is currently streaming on Netflix.

For another film about a young climate change activist, stream Nathan Grossman’s documentary “I Am Greta” on Hulu. The film chronicles the life and work of Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, who has become the face of the young movement fighting to urge worldwide action on climate change.

There are many, many additional inspiring documentaries exploring the wonders of the natural world and threats that we all face due to climate change. These are just a few, but hopefully they offer an inspiring jumping off point to explore more films on this topic. Happy Earth Day.

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