April doesn’t just bring showers, it also brings Earth Day! Celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd with your students presents a great opportunity to share resources about various environmental issues and the activists on the frontlines of the climate movement. This can inspire your students to implement sustainability into their everyday lives or amplify the environmental activism they’re already doing. Since improving our environment doesn’t stop at Earth Day, below is a roundup of documentaries, books, and podcasts to help keep students engaged and informed.
Don’t overfish! In this documentary, Director Ali Tabrizi weighs in on the global fishing industry. He challenges notions of sustainable fishing to reveal how human actions cause widespread environmental destruction. Tabrizi explains that there’s no such thing as sustainable fishing and calls for us to save marine life, so that we can save the planet.
Here’s a preview of what you can expect! Seaspiracy | Official Trailer | Netflix
David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet
David Attenborough is a celebrated naturalist, broadcaster, and biologist who dedicated his life to environmentalist advocacy. In this documentary, he reflects on both the critical moments of his lifetime and the catastrophic changes he has seen. Attenborough examines some of the biggest challenges we face after years of neglecting the well-being of our planet and reveals possible solutions that can help save it. His powerful message of hope at the end is sure to resonate with students.
Here is a preview of what you can expect! The Year Earth Changed — Official Trailer | Apple TV+
I Am Greta
Think you’re too young to be an activist? The documentary, I Am Greta, will prove you wrong. Swedish director Nathan Grossman follows Greta Thunberg, a shy student with Asperger’s who became a widely known teenage climate activist. Her story is told using never-before-seen footage, beginning with her solo school strike for climate action outside the Swedish Parliament. Since then, she has garnered global support for her cause to end climate change, sparking school strikes around the world. The film ends with her wind-powered journey across the Atlantic Ocean to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City.
Here is a preview of what you can expect! I Am Greta • Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original Documentary
Kiss the Ground
Kiss the Ground is an award-winning documentary that explores the importance of regenerating the Earth's soils. The documentary demonstrates how regeneration will stabilize the climate, keep species off the extinction list, restore water and ecosystems, and improve global food supplies. Created by filmmakers Joshua and Rebecca Harrell Tickell and narrated by Woody Harrelson, the film features environmental activists alongside the world’s leading experts in science and farming. If there’s one message students can take away from this film, it’s that we need to work together in order to save the planet.
Here is a preview of what you can expect! Kiss the Ground - Official Movie Trailer (2020)
This Radical Land: A Natural History of American Dissent by Daegan Miller (2018)
In a series of essays, Miller spotlights various ideas about conservation and environmental justice, calling for sustainable development during a time in American history that prioritized the expansion and extraction of natural resources. This book will inspire students to think critically about environmentalism as a radical and innovative act.
There Is No Planet B by Mike Berners-Lee (2019)
In his handbook on preserving the planet, Berners-Lee makes it clear that there is no shortage of ways in which we can integrate sustainability into our lives. He traces underlying causes to current environmental and economic issues we face, from wildfires to carbon targets, and offers a big-picture plan full of hope and guidance.
As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock by Dina Gilio-Whitaker (2019)
In this historic account of “Indigenized environmental justice,” Gilio-Whitaker examines how settler colonialism and climate change are inextricably linked. She also calls for society to learn from the Native community’s extensive history of environmental activism and summarizes the important leadership of Native women in their centuries-long struggle to maintain food and water security. Featured in the book is the Standing Rock protest from 2016 that put a national spotlight on Indigenous activists.
This podcast is packed with episodes that will show students how small modifications to their lifestyle can help the environment. Hosted by Jen Gale, this podcast brings together remarkable people to talk about the daily life changes they are making, the sustainable businesses they’ve created, and the environmental campaigns they’re running. Shout out to Jen Gale for encouraging us to be environmentally friendly, no matter how big or small!
No matter where students are on their environmentalist journey, they’ll love the Sustainably Geeky podcast. Listeners receive advice from everyday folks who share a common belief of respecting the environment and a desire to live a more sustainable lifestyle.