Green on the big screen

Lately, the binge-watching craze has taken over the way we consume television.  Who hasn’t seen at least one episode of Breaking Bad or House of Cards? You never really hear about people binge-watching documentaries so I guess I’m an odd one. Documentaries are a convenient and entertaining way to learn about complex issues. But if documentaries aren’t your thing, don’t fret! This list contains drama, animation and even action!

Earlier this month, the UH Office of Sustainability hosted a screening of “Wall-E”, which takes place 700 years in the future and depicts a planet consumed by garbage. The movie screening, which was one of numerous RecycleMania events held across campus, drew close to 60 students.

While coordinating the event, I considered which films I’ve seen through different stages of my life that impacted the way I think. While many films are focused on the recycling principle, these films bring up something more complex and dynamic. Can you guess what it is? YOU!

DamNation – Many people are aware that dams block up flowing water to make electricity. However, this film really hits hard on the negative effects of human development, particularly on ecosystems.

More Than Honey – Because of my fascination with bees, this is one of my favorites on this list. “More Than Honey” brings up relevant questions: Will our continued treatment of food sources make most of our fruits and vegetables disappear? Or will we spend our summers using q-tips to pollinate every single flower by hand? I’d rather leave pollination up to the bees.

Addicted to Plastic – We know that plastic is in almost everything now. This film shows the intricate history behind plastic production and highlights plastic’s eye-opening resting place: in the gut of an animal or on the seafloor.

Princess Mononoke – This movie’s animation and storyline is amazing. Most importantly, it portrays all sides of the ancient battle between preservationists, conservationists, and those that disregard the environment.

GMO OMG – While I have some slight issues with the facts presented in this film, the overlying message is clear – GMOs have herbicide and pesticide-resistant genes in their DNA. This means they can be doused with chemicals with no fear of the crop being ruined. That can’t be good right?

TRASH – This is a good drama/action film which highlights the plight of two Brazilian boys. The characters live in large heaps of garbage, working and sleeping next to the filth accumulated as a result of unsustainable practices.

Here are some other movies that might pique your interest:

  • Food, Inc.
  • Erin Brockovich
  • Avatar
  • Fern Gully
  • Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind
  • Chinatown
  • Soylent Green

-Casey Hall


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