7 Documentaries to Inspire A Zero Waste Lifestyle

The global effect of excessive waste is not going to disappear anytime soon magically, and while some have taken actions towards better waste management, others are not so certain on how to go about it or are merely nonchalant. It is a fact that humans need to have a visual representation of events in order to better believe and understand. And so we have put together a list of 7 riveting and informative documentaries that will inspire you towards a zero-waste lifestyle.

1. Minimalism: a Documentary about the Important Things

Talking about beautifully filmed documentaries, this is an eye-opening, fascinating, and thought-provoking documentary. It focuses on two men, Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn, as they drastically reduce their possessions and stick strictly to their basic needs. It also peeps into the lives of minimalists from different walks of life; families, artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, etc.

This is an excellent documentary if you wish to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. It addresses in detail, consumerism and how unsatisfying and unfulfilling it can get. You can watch the full documentary on Netflix, iTunes, or Amazon Prime Video.

 2. Tomorrow

Beyond waste production, this 2015 documentary film by Journalist and NGO director Cyril Dion and filmmaker Melanie Laurent, focuses on people suggesting solutions and practical actions that need to be taken to curb waste, as opposed to waiting for the worst to happen with the threat of climate change.

Tomorrow also addresses issues on agriculture, economy, energy, education, and democracy and how they can negatively or positively provide tangible solutions to waste management. You can catch this inspirational and educative documentary on Vimeo, iTunes, or Amazon Prime Video.

3. Plastic Paradise

Journalist Angela Sun in this documentary Plastic Paradise takes a look into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (Trash Island) and the effects it is having on the local wildlife. Watching this documentary tells you the amount of disposable plastic we consume each day and the harm it does.

This is one documentary that will have you rethinking about your indiscriminate use of plastic and the need to embrace a zero-waste lifestyle. Watch Plastic Paradise on Amazon Prime Video or Vimeo.

 4. True Cost

It is said that the fashion industry is the second most pollutant industry after oil and gas. From the director, Andrew Morgan comes this groundbreaking documentary filmed from the brightest runways to the darkest slums around the world, and it features interviews with the world’s leading influencers, including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth, and Vandana Shiva. True Cost focuses on the human and environmental impact behind every piece of clothing you own.

It calls on us the consumers of the fashion industry to ask more questions regarding how these clothes are made and the untold costs that go into making them. The documentary also makes you see reasons to buy fewer clothes in a year, give out those you no longer use or need, and buy more into locally made wears. Catch this fascinating documentary on Netflix.

 5. The Clean Bin Project

A Canadian couple, Jen and Grant, challenged each other to cut down on their level of consumerism and aim to produce minimal waste in a year.

The documentary will have you continually going on and on about reducing the waste in your home and life. You can watch The clean Bin Project on Vimeo, iTunes, and Amazon Prime Video.

6. Just Eat It!

This is another excellent documentary from the Canadian couple Jen and Grant. It addresses the issue of waste from farms, through retailers to consumers. They also show you a glimpse of the billions of dollars worth of good food that is chucked in the bin in North America yearly, and then they pledge to completely quit grocery and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away.

Just Eat It! brings farmers, retailers, inspiring organizations, and consumers to the table in a cinematic story that is compelling and sure to inspire you towards a zero waste life. You can watch this educative and engaging documentary on iTunes and Amazon Prime Video.

7. Trashed

Rounding up our list of documentaries is the very graphic documentary, Trashed. Trashed stars lead actor Jeremy Irons as he takes viewers on a journey to beautiful locations around the world as he uncovers the extent and effects of the global waste problem. It is a meticulous, brave investigative journey that takes Irons and the viewers from a place of skepticism to sorrow.

But the most beautiful thing about this Cannes Film Festival nominated documentary is the way it ends with a glimmer of hope. It is a hard-hitting documentary that will make you understand the issues of pollution better and leave you feeling motivated to do better. You can find Trashed on iTunes or the Trashed website.

In case you find it difficult getting a version of any of these documentaries in your preferred language, you can always look up professional translation services from sites such as The Word Point.


It is a fact that wasteful consumption has adverse effects not only on humans but also on animals and plant life. If we continue to pollute the environment with our excessive waste, then there is no telling what the world will become in couple of years.

Let us know which of these documentaries you have watched and have inspired you towards living a zero-waste lifestyle. Also, if you think there are some documentaries we should have put on this list, please let us know in the comment section below.


About the Author

Frank Hamilton is a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.

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