Watch these eco films online for free (sort of)

Educate yourself on your food/environment/planet and enjoy!

*Yes, I know Netflix isn't free per se, but once you're a member, you can instantly watch any of these films on your computer without any limits for $10 a month. I highly recommend it. And, no, Netflix did not pay me to say that.

(All descriptions and films are from Netflix, unless otherwise noted.)

[image-1] (Hulu): "The Future Of Food offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade."

Food, Inc.: "Drawing on Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, director Robert Kenner's Oscar-nominated documentary explores the food industry's detrimental effects on our health and environment. Kenner spotlights the men and women who are working to reform an industry rife with monopolies, questionable interpretations of laws and subsidies, political ties and rising rates of E. coli outbreaks."

King Corn: "In Aaron Woolf's thought-provoking documentary, friends Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis move back to America's Corn Belt to plant an acre of the nation's most-grown and most-subsidized grain and follow their crop into the U.S. food supply. What they learn about genetically modified seeds, powerful herbicides and the realities of modern farming calls into question government subsidies, the fast-food lifestyle and the quality of what we eat."

[image-2]: "Actor Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary on the global environmental crisis paints a portrait of a planet at risk while also offering some exciting and radical solutions for making life on earth sustainable. Tapping the brains of leading scientists and thinkers -- including Stephen Hawking and Mikhail Gorbachev -- the film ultimately delivers a hopeful message: Our planet may be in crisis, but that doesn't mean it's too late change."

No Impact Man: "A Fifth Avenue family goes very green when writer Colin Beavan leads his wife, Michelle Conlin, and their baby daughter on a yearlong crusade to make no net impact on the environment in this engaging documentary. Among their activities: eating only locally grown organic food, generating no trash except for compost and using no carbon-fueled transportation. Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein's film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival."

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash: "Award-winning filmmakers Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack examine the world's dependency on oil and the impending chaos that's sure to follow when the resource is dry in this straight-from-the-headlines documentary. Through expert interviews on a hot-button topic that might represent the world's [image-3]most dire crisis, the film underscores our desperate need for alternative energy and spells out in startling detail the challenge we face in finding it."

Blue Gold: World Water Wars: "Narrated by Malcolm McDowell, this award-winning documentary from director Sam Bozzo posits that we're moving closer to a world in which water -- a seemingly plentiful natural resource -- could actually incite war. As water becomes an increasingly precious commodity, corrupt governments, corporations and even private investors are scrambling to control it … which leaves everyday citizens fighting for a substance they need to survive."

Amazon: IMAX: "This enthralling IMAX presentation lets you explore the Amazon River and experience the vitality and magical wonder of the Amazonian rain forest, which is fast disappearing because of unchecked clear-cutting and burning. Narrated by Oscar-winning actress Linda Hunt, the film also chronicles an amazing collaboration between an American scientist and a tribal medicine man on a mission to find a rare root with curative powers."

Whale Wars: "Greenpeace co-founder Paul Watson leads a motley crew of self-styled "eco-pirates" -- known as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society -- on a high-seas mission to end illegal whale hunting in this exhilarating Animal Planet series. The gang's three-month voyage takes them to the frigid waters of the Antarctic, where they encounter plenty of life-threatening drama as they fight to prevent Japanese ships from slaughtering the majestic sea mammals."

Whaledreamers: "This award-winning documentary centers on the Mirning of Australia, a tribe whose bond with whales is jeopardized by a variety of outside forces. Throughout human history, whales have been featured in the mythology of cultures around the world. Hosted by musician Julian Lennon, the film takes viewers on an odyssey into their natural world, revealing their inextricable connection to human civilization of the past, present and future."

[image-4]: "Documentarian Tom Jackson turns his lens on some inconvenient truths about energy titan Exxon Mobil and its effect on climate change. Spotlighting the company's efforts to fund skewed media campaigns and support global-warming skeptics, Jackson builds his case in interviews with leading writers and scientists in the field of climatology. The film also explains the science behind global warming, as well as offering up some solutions to the crisis."

The Botany of Desire: "While visiting places like Peru, Kazakhstan and Amsterdam, learn from author Michael Pollan as he explains the natural history of apples, tulips, marijuana and potatoes and describes how common plants such as these deftly manipulate human desires. Based on Pollan's best-selling book, this documentary encourages viewers to look at the world from a vastly different perspective and improve their relationships with nature."

Also see:

-What are the best eco films of all time? by Lee Stewart of Change2

-New Eco-Films Debut at Sundance 2010

With the rise in popularity of eco-related documentaries and docudramas, just about every subject related to environmentalism has been covered — from GMO food to the slaughtering of whales to global warming.

Luckily, there are a good number of these films that are available online that you can watch for free* — and I don't mean by downloading them illegally. Here's a list of the most popular, highly rated, and most interesting-looking environmental documentaries I could find.

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