Sustainability: The Bigger Picture

Now that winter has come, it’s the perfect time to curl up under a blanket with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and watch some Netflix (when you don’t have finals of course. Or even if you do, that’s perfect, too!).

In contrast to last week’s post, I wanted to bring attention to some of the bigger topics in sustainability, brought to you by the best medium in the universe: movies!


Climate Change: Happy Feet

Happy Feet is a cute, animated film about — you guessed it — dancing penguins! Directed by George Miller, who also directed Mad Max: Fury Road, it highlights the effects that global warming and human exposure have on the Antarctic wildlife. We follow Mumble the penguin as tries to find his identity, experiencing love, hate, and all the negative by-products of human activity. This movie loves to pull on people’s heartstrings, but, don’t worry, it’s still a fun watch!


Pollution: Plastic China

Have you ever asked, where do all my recycled plastic bottles and plastics go? Plastic China answers just that. This award-winning documentary, directed by Juiliang Wang, focuses on 11-year old Yi-Jie, who lives next to a recycling plant in China. All she wants to do is go to school, but she and her family are stuck cleaning and processing mountains of plastic waste. We get an intimate look into her everyday life and witness as she struggles with health, relationships, and her dreams.


Endangered Oceans: Chasing Coral

Life under the sea is gorgeous and teeming with vibrant colours, right? Well, in recent years, global warming has caused the gorgeous coral reefs to hibernate and turn ghostly white, a phenomenon called coral bleaching. In Chasing Coral, director Jeff Orlowski and his team dedicate themselves to filming these amazing creatures and their unfortunate fate. Their goal: to help us understand what we can do to prevent the death of an ecosystem. There’s so much left to find out about life under the sea, and this film only begins to cover it.


Waste and Consumerism: WALL-E

WALL-E, directed by Andrew Stanton, is an animated comedic-fantasy starring a garbage collecting robot, named WALL-E. On his great adventure, he befriends robots and extremely technology-dependant humans in space! The exaggerated childish society developed in this story is hilarious, but it shows us what could happen if we continue our irresponsible consumerism.


World-wide action: Forget Shorter Showers

To give everyone a different perspective and a bit of a shock, I’ve added this 10-minute short film to the list. Forget Shorter Showers is a little more critical of everyday sustainability. Rather, director Jordan Brown wants people to look at the bigger picture of sustainability and create radical change. This isn’t to say that our personal efforts at keeping our Earth healthy are meaningless (they do benefit our environment!). However, it’ll push you to think: what am I doing to create change and how can I get involved in global sustainability?


It can be scary doing things alone, but as part of a larger group, like SustainSU, we can make a difference!


Daphny Budaz
Blog Team Leader, Bcom Operations Management

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