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  • Writer's pictureAlizée CCM

Documentaries that changed our lives.

Here at Zer'0 Waste Shanghai, we are a well-assorted family from all over the world, with different paths and backgrounds until we all had our personal awakening moment.

Often it came from a documentary or a movie which opened our eyes, urging us to take action and start playing a small part of the change.

Today, we want to share with you the documentaries that changed our perspective and made us rethink of our lifestyle.


Alizee - Zero Waste Founder

It was the first documentary that I saw when being introduced to sustainability. Even though today, I’ve been impacted by many others, such as True Cost, Plastic Ocean, etc. “The Dark Side of Chocolate” showed me how little we know about products that we, in the West, use every day. Especially me, being Belgian and chocolate being such a pride, it was shocking to see how bad that industry is. Today I only buy chocolate that is fair trade, vegan and doesn’t contain palm oil.

You can find it on YouTube.


Eva - Marketing & Communication

I watched this documentary 5 years ago with my daughter. At that time, I already knew about the “plastic issue”, but watching this documentary made me realize that I was part of the problem: I was still buying in plastic packaging and bottles, thinking that they were somehow recycled.

Through the gorgeous images of this documentary, we also learnt how fundamental is the ocean for our life on the planet. As the movie finished, my daughter and I made a list of plastic things we would remove from our day-to-day life. Even though it’s not easy, specially having kids, but we improve together everyday.

You can watched it here at this link


Federica - Content Writer

It is hard to mention one single documentary, but I would go for Cowspiracy. It literally broke my heart in tiny pieces. Once you watch it, there will be no coming back, you'll have to start accounting for your choices, if not making one.

I used to be one of those judging vegetarians or vegans as extreme or even ridiculous.

I realized that I wasn't understanding and I wish I was self-conscious and educated as I am today. For inexplicable (yet very explicable!!) reasons, the impact of our diet is still an underestimated and taboo topic. Meat consumption is not simply an ethical issue, it’s global catastrophe that can’t go unseen any longer.

You can find it on Netflix, on YouTube or learn more here


Sandy - Content Writer

One documentary that stands out is National Geographic’s Before the Flood, starring Leonardo DiCaprio on his journey as the United Nations Messenger of Peace.

The film takes you to various natural environments around the world that are obviously being affected by climate change. Between five different continents and the Arctic, DiCaprio meets with scientists and researchers, telling us how the world is slowly succumbing to the disastrous actions humans, politics and economic interests have done in these past few decades.

Admittedly, having DiCaprio as the main storyteller may give off the feeling that the film is sensationalized. However, I think that as the influential Hollywood star he is, he was able to deliver the empowering message that we all can do something, leaving the audience with heavy heart but still a little bit of hope.Also, did you know that it takes 2700 liters of water to make one single T-shirt?

This documentary showed me the dark side of our fancy clothes and forced me to rethink our daily shopping behavior.


Natal - Content Writer

Somehow we all know what we should do to protect our environement: eliminate plastic, reduce meat consumption, be more responsible in our product choices.

Little we think about the way we dress.

After the oil industry, the fashion industry, with its fast-fashion business model, turned to be the second-largest polluter of the planet.

In the documentary “The True Cost”, the filmmaker travels the world to map the situation of the garment industry. Fast-fashion has an extremely harmful impact on the environment: dying treatments are usually made with toxic chemicals that cause water pollution, not mentioning very poor working conditions and low wages of workers in garment factories and the unbelievable amount of textile waste.

The documentary is available on Netflix and Youtube.

And you?

Which is the documentary that influenced your life the most?


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