Waste-less themed films

There seems to be a spate of documentaries of late that deal with the theme of trash and reducing our consumption. All of them are quite interesting in their own ways, although most of them are a bit American-centric. Still, it’s possible to make links from what one sees in these films to wherever you may live in the world. Many of them are quite inspirational and can give students ideas about what they can do in their neck of the woods.

One of the first films that I saw on this subject is Trashed, which I screened for the middle and senior students at my school two years ago. It’s quite powerful and it is global in its scope.

The next film is Reuse! Because You Can’t Recycle the Planet. This is quite a nice film. The filmmaker travels across the mainland of the United States exploring unique ways people are reusing and upcycling trash. There are plenty of ideas here that can be replicated regardless of where one lives.

The next film is called The Clean Bin ProjectThis one is also something that can be replicated. It involves a couple who decide to have a contest of sorts: to see who can consume the least amount in a year.

There are also some older, shorter films that are not necessarily so American-centric. The first is a twenty-minute film that is available on Youtube and that is set in Ghana, entitled Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground. It is about e-waste, something that is certainly relevant to India, which has been a digital dumping ground for the West for quite some time.

There’s also a terrific Ted Talk by Arvind Gupta, a man who seems to have been doing upcycling long before the word was even coined. He primarily makes toys from trash, but many of these toys are also terrific tools for teaching children science. You can watch his talk here.


Finally, there is a nice, short comedic film in Tamil (with English subtitles) called Maattram. It is about the role of trash in our lives. It’s definitely entertaining and educational at the same time.

Enjoy and get inspired to consume less and reuse! 🙂


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