Films, videos, and television
A note about our selections:
We find the following items to be insightful, timely, and worthy of discussion. We have no agenda in listing them other than to foster learning, broaden perspectives, and spark discussion. For a full list of all films and videos that we have featured in the past, click here.
An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
A great primer on climate change with a sobering message, Al Gore AB'69 argues that if we act boldly, quickly and wisely, we can solve the climate crisis.
Erin Brokovich (2000)
Based on a true story, Julia Roberts plays Erin Brockovich, a small-town woman who takes on chemical company PG&E after coming across suspicious medical records from a nearby town.
Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)
This documentary goes back to the mid-1990s to dig out the GM EV1 electric car, a popular green vehicle quickly buried by auto industries and politicians.
The 11th Hour (2007)
This documentary offers exciting and radical solutions from leading scientists and innovators to help save the planet from total climate catastrophe.
This Pixar blockbuster is a futuristic look at an Earth so polluted by mass consumerism that humans had to leave it. Wall-E has an environmental agenda, but gets the message across without preaching.
Planet in Peril (2007)
Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Jeff Corwin travel 13 countries in this two-part CNN documentary on some of the world’s most pressing environmental issues, including global warming, species extinction, and water pollution.
The true-life account of Karen Silkwood (played by Meryl Streep), an Oklahoma nuclear plant worker who blew the whistle on her company’s dangerous practices and then mysteriously “disappeared.”
A Civil Action (1998)
Based on a true story, John Travolta defies stereotypes about personal injury lawyers, suing a major corporation for contaminating a town’s drinking water with industrial solvents.
Planet Earth (2006)
This Emmy-winning BBC series travels the world to show the connection between animals, big and small. The beautifully scenic shots alone will give you a renewed appreciation for Mother Earth.
The End of Suburbia (2004)
The white picket fence never seemed so threatening. This documentary looks at the good, bad, and ugly of suburbia, and asks whether this lifestyle can ever be truly sustainable.
A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (2006)
This documentary looks at our addiction to oil and the inevitable chaos that's sure to ensue once it runs out. The film outlines the challenge while highlighting our desperate need for an alternative energy source.
This documentary investigates how the world's largest corporations and governments are responding to Earth's looming environmental disaster and examines whether major corporations and governments are up to the challenge.
This award-winning documentary builds a case against the growing privatization of the world's fresh water supply, asking the question, “Can anyone really own water?”
Food, Inc. (2008)
This documentary reveals surprising, and often shocking, truths about what Americans eat, how it is produced, and where the nation's food supply is headed.
- TED website list of videos on "Environment"
- Leyla Acaroglu: Paper beats plastic? How to rethink environmental folklore
- Saul Griffith: High-altitude wind energy from kites
- Cat Laine: Engineering a better life for all
- Catherine Mohr: The tradeoffs of building green
- Mitchell Joachim: Don't build your home, grow it!
- Natalie Jeremijenko: The art of the eco-mindshift
- Mike Biddle: We can recycle plastic
U.S. EPA YouTube Channel
PBS e2 series: Design, Transportation, Energy
e2 is an ongoing PBS series about the economies of being environmentally conscious with a combination of policy, technology and ingenuity from energy consumption to building efficiency. It chronicles global efforts to solve pressing ecological challenges.
Big Ideas for a Small Planet (Seasons 1, 2, 3)
Have a suggestion?
Our lists are not designed to be a comprehensive resource, and they are always a work in progress. If you have suggestions for additional content to be featured on this page, simply email us a link with more information. Thank you!
In the spotlight:
Leyla Acaroglu: Paper beats plastic? How to rethink environmental folklore
TED Long Beach, 2013 – Most of us want to do the right thing when it comes to the environment. But things aren’t as simple as opting for the paper bag, says sustainability strategist Leyla Acaroglu. A bold call for us to let go of tightly-held green myths and think bigger in order to create systems and products that ease strain on the planet.
John Francis: Walk the earth ... my 17-year vow of silence
For almost three decades, John Francis has been a planetwalker, traveling the globe by foot and sail with a message of environmental respect and responsibility (for 17 of those years without speaking). A funny, thoughtful talk with occasional banjo.
Steve Howard: Let's go all-in on selling sustainability
The big blue buildings of Ikea have sprouted solar panels and wind turbines; inside, shelves are stocked with LED lighting and recycled cotton. Why? Because as Steve Howard puts it: “Sustainability has gone from a nice-to-do to a must-do.” Howard, the chief sustainability officer at the furniture megastore, talks about his quest to sell eco-friendly materials and practices — both internally and to worldwide customers — and lays a challenge for other global giants.
Robyn O'Brien: TEDxAustin, 2011
Described by The New York Times as "Food's Erin Brockovich," Robyn shares her personal story and how it inspired her current path as a "Real Food" evangelist. A former Wall Street food industry analyst, Robyn brings insight, compassion and detailed analysis to her research into the impact that the global food system is having on the health of our children.