Intentional Living Simple Living

5 Documentaries that Will Change The Way You Think

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When I started my minimalism journey, I had no idea of what I would be introducing into my life. I did not know about ethical fashion, organic beauty, or how we effect the environment.

As I researched what a minimalist lifestyle really meant, these topics kept appearing. Curiosity got the best of me when I discovered a few different documentaries. Ever since watching them, my thinking has completely transformed.

If you think the only thing to a minimalist lifestyle is simply decluttering your life, allow me to open your eyes to a few more possibilities.

Minimalism goes far beyond what we possess. It creates a deeper connection to living intentionally, conscious consumption, and environmental impact.

While all of these thoughts may seem overwhelming, know that you do not have to conquer all of them to be a minimalist. These are simply options that have opened themselves up to me, and I want to share them with you.

I have not conquered all of these, but they have changed the way I think about every day activities, purchases, and consumption. My hope is that you find one thing from at least one documentary to implement into your life today!

Now onto the documentaries!

Upon starting my minimalism journey, I thought the only thing to this lifestyle was living with less. However, after watching several documentaries and researching a LOT, I realized there is more to it than just decluttering. These 5 documentaries specifically helped open my eyes to seeing there is a lot more to minimalism than I could have ever imagined.

The Documentaries that Changed My Thinking

1 // The True Cost

Have you heard of Fast Fashion? Well I had not until I watched this video. It really opened my mind up to who makes our clothes and that cheap is not always the best.

Because of this documentary, I look for ethically made clothing. This includes fair wages, sustainable fabrics, and eco-friendly companies. I also shop second hand to lessen the need for new clothing.

2 // Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things

I was already well into my minimalism journey before watching this documentary. However, it verified my passion for this lifestyle, and reminded me to stay conscious of my consumption. If you have just beginning your journey or just getting started, this one is a great motivator!

3 // Plastic Paradise

This documentary broke my heart. It shows you how senseless humankind can be. Scientists created a product that only breaks down with sunlight. It lasts for years and years beyond its useful life, and harms the environment more than you can imagine.

Personally, I have started to replace plastic with either wood, glass, or metal. Of course, I only do this with plastic that is no longer usable.

Another change I have made, thanks to this documentary, is trying to use plastic bags more than once. I save any I accumulate for multiple things.

If you do not watch any of the other documentaries on this list, please watch this one! It will make you reduce the influence plastic has in your life!

4 // Happy

This was a neat documentary, and not what I expected. I do not want to go into too much detail, but I will say that you create your own happiness, not anyone else.

After watching this documentary, I see all too often that we allow others to choose how we feel, instead of taking our feelings into our own hands. Let us change that!

5 // Living on One Dollar

Want to see how silly first world problems can be? This documentary follows a group of college boys that move to a struggling country to see if they can make a living on one dollar a day.

After watching this documentary, I found a new appreciation for my lifestyle, and I do my best not abuse the blessings it offers.

This documentary also took my thoughts back to The True Cost, because most of our clothing is made from countries just like the one in this documentary.

What documentaries have you watched that have changed the way you think? I would love any recommendations!


  • Reply
    May 22, 2017 at 4:20 am

    Thank you for this Erin…I love documentaries and Minimalism was so good….I actually bought it when it was first released I was so anxious to see it. 😉 I haven’t seen any of the others on your list but will be watching for them. Did you see these on Netflix?

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      May 23, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      I did see these on Netflix, but some of them are no longer available through Netflix. Minimalism was a good one, and I wish it would have been available sooner! It would have helped me so much with my purging! To me, all of these documentaries are very inspirational, and make me want to change more than I ever dreamed about my life.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    The only one on this list that I have already seen is Living On One Dollar. I loved it — it was really amazing! The producers also have a documentary about refugees that was powerful. Thanks for the list. I’ll try to see the others.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing, i’ve pinned this so i can watch them all.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    I need to check all of these out! I had heard of Living on One Dollar, and a lot of people said it is a true eye opener!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      May 23, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      Please do, Cara! Living on One Dollar broke my heart open for sure, but in a good way. If you get the chance to watch it, let me know what your thoughts are afterwards.

  • Reply
    Lillian Ortiz
    May 25, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    What a GREAT POST TOPIC! I LOVE documentaries! I always find good ones on Netflix. ^_^ I’m going to have to be sure to check some of these out! Never seen any of them!!

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