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World Environment Day 2023: Educate yourself with these 12 films on Netflix

These kid-friendly movies are an excellent way to start the conversation about climate change…

It’s World Environment Day today (Monday June 5). This globally celebrated holiday was established to create awareness about protecting our environment and encourage more eco-friendly practices so that future generations can enjoy a cleaner and less-polluted planet.

And with all the environmental problems that the planet faces today, understanding it all can be overwhelming. As it is, climate change is challenging to discuss with kids. But thankfully, Netflix has made it its mission to inform, educate and highlight these important issues to help parents and kids come together.

Ready to go green for your next family movie night? These kid-friendly movies – full of beautiful images and powerful themes about nature and the environment – are an excellent way to start the conversation.

So, in honour of World Environment Day, let’s take a look at 12 documentaries, series and films on Netflix that are perfect for your budding eco-friendly crew.

Izzy’s Koala World

Izzy’s Koala World

Set in Australia, 11-year-old Izzy Bee and her veterinarian mum have made it their mission to rescue and rehabilitate koalas in need. Follow Izzy as she rescues and forms remarkable friendships with koalas.

Recommended for all ages.

Octonauts: Above and Beyond

With new dangers popping up on land, the Octonauts prepare to protect lands and animals near and far from peril by using their intelligence, courage, and teamwork.

Recommended for all ages.

Spirit Rangers

Spirit Rangers

Celebrate Indigenous people and cultures with this animated family series about Native American siblings Kodi, Summer and Eddy, who help their family protect the California national park they call home by transforming into animal spirits.

The new season launched on May 8. Recommended for all ages.

Chasing Coral

This documentary follows a team of divers, scientists, and photographers as they document the effects of climate change on coral reefs around the world. Through exceptional cinematography, viewers are offered an intimate look at these fragile ecosystems – and how human activity threatens their existence. Chasing Coral highlights the importance of taking responsibility for the environment by inspiring action to protect our planet.

Recommended for ages 7+.

My Octopus Teacher

This Academy Award® documentary is unlike any other entries mentioned here. It is one of the best tales about human-nature interactions and emphasises how much humans can learn from nature. Shot over ten years, the story follows filmmaker Craig Foster who forms a bond with an eight-legged invertebrate off the coast of South Africa and how the octopus’ life inspires the narrator and impacts his life.

Recommended for ages 7+.

Our Great National Parks

This documentary is a five-part series relating to the best national parks in the world through the lives of its wildest residents. Highlighting extraordinary species and habitats, the series travels to countries such as Australia, Indonesia, Kenya, Chile, and the United States to illustrate the importance of protecting the world’s remaining wildernesses and making them accessible for all. The best part? The film is narrated by former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Recommended for ages 7+.

The Magician’s Elephant

Did you know that elephants are known as “gardeners of the forest” for spreading tree seeds that capture carbon? In this animated series, orphan Peter asks if his long-lost sister is alive when a fortune teller passes through town. The fortune teller’s mysterious answer (“An elephant will lead you to her!”) sets off a remarkable chain of events.

Newly launched on March 17. Recommended for ages 7+.

The Magic School Bus Rides Again

Ms Frizzle’s sister takes her class on wild science adventures in this update of the beloved animated show. Sustainability shows to watch are Episode 1: “Frizzle of the Future” and Episode 10: “The Tales Glaciers Tell” from Season 1.

Recommended for ages 7+.

The Sea Beast

The Sea Beast

This heart-warming animated film follows aspiring sea monster hunter Maisie as she stows away on the ship of a legendary monster hunter. Heading into uncharted waters, Jacob and Maisie gain a new understanding of the aquatic creatures’ place in their world.

Recommended for ages 7+.

Down to Earth with Zac Efron

Down to Earth with Zac Efron

Let actor Zac Efron and podcaster and wellness expert Darin Olien walk you through the importance and nuances of sustainability, nutrition and more as they travel across Iceland, Peru, Australia, and more, learning about environmental efforts around the world. Now’s the perfect time to catch up as Season 2 premieres later this year.

Recommended for ages 13+

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

Born to a family of farmers, Malawian agricultural engineer William Kamkwamba made headlines in 2001 when he built a functioning windmill out of old bicycle parts and scraps to supply water and save his family and village from drought and famine. (At the time, he was just 14 years old.) Adapted from Kamkwamba’s autobiography, this film offers an intimate portrait of a family experiencing the frontlines of climate change through extreme weather changes, hotter summers, and shorter rainy seasons, which leave their very survival and livelihood in peril.

Recommended for ages 13+

The Minimalists

Can our lives be better with less? Long-time friends Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus share how they’ve built a movement out of minimalism and why that’s better for us – and the planet.

Recommended for ages 13+

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