Take advantage of these quarantine times to reflect about your consumption practices. We share 3 films that will likely inspire you.

The drastic increases in production and consumption that took place since the industrial revolution are unquestionably at the root of the ecological crisis the planet is facing today. There has been too much consumption of goods and services that aren’t essential and whose value is questionable.

In these times of quarantine, all these overconsumption habits are being compressed. All over the world, the economy is on hold. Perhaps it is time to take advantage of this period to try to understand these links and question our consumption patterns. That’s why we’re sharing 3 documentaries on minimalism, voluntary sobriety and ecological consumption you can watch during your quarantine.

1 – No Impact Man: Can You Save The Planet Without Driving Your Family Crazy?

One day Colin Beavan, an average American, realizes his lifestyle is not sustainable and that economic growth and mass consumption are incompatible with protecting the planet. He then decides to take up a challenge: to live while minimizing his impact on the planet, i.e., to become the No Impact Man.

The film, released in 2009, follows Colin Beavan’s amazing journey in his quest to reduce his environmental impact in the heart of New York. From practical advice to concrete examples and the difficulties encountered, the documentary follows all the stages of Beavan’s transformational process.

Even if the film projects itself very far into extremes (why, for example, refuse the use of public transport?), it is still a good way to start considering how to change your consumption patterns so they become more in line with your ecological values.

2 – “Minimalism”: A Documentary About The Important Things

Minimalism, released in 2015, explores the same themes: reduced consumption, living with less, get rid of what is superfluous… Matt d’Avella’s documentary follows different personalities engaged in this sobriety process: from entrepreneurs and families to journalists and even traders.

The film is particularly interested in the impact of these more conscious lifestyles on people’s quality of life and on their personal development.

3 – The Clean Bin Project: A Life Without Waste?

The Clean Bin Project, on the other hand, questions a more specific problem: the huge amount of generated waste. Each of us produces huge quantities of waste each year: 4.51 pounds per person per day is how much waste Americans produced back in 2017. The US represents only 4% of the world’s population, however, it produces 12% of global municipal solid waste. 

Although some waste is recyclable or biodegradable, a huge (variable, but likely the largest share) amount of waste is poorly discarded. It then becomes pertinent to wonder how can we reduce our waste. This is the question that the movie tries to highlight through the form of a challenge that Jen and Grant launch: who will manage to drastically reduce its consumption and daily waste generation?

[Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash]