Here's what to watch on Earth Day 2015, whether it's at the movie theater or on the couch at home.
Since 2009, Disneynature has released five wildlife documentaries for Earth Day, spectacularly spotlighting "Earth" and "Oceans" and iconic creatures in "African Cats," "Chimpanzee" and "Bears." This year's film "Monkey Kingdom" follows a colony of macaque monkeys in Sri Lanka, specifically a young mother at the bottom of the societal hierarchy, her struggle to survive, and her ultimate triumph. Narrated by Tina Fey, the film opens April 17, and for every ticket sold during opening week, Disneynature will make a donation to Conservation International’s efforts to protect monkeys and other endangered species.
An adventure series with an environmental sensibility, "Angry Planet" follows storm-chasing adventurer George Kourounis as he seeks out the planet's most extreme weather and deadly natural phenomena to investigate their impact on climate change. It premieres April 17 on Pivot.
They may not actually rule the island like the animated "Madagascar" movies depict, but there are 103 species of lemurs native to the wild jungles and forests of the place, and a few of them are spotlighted in Nat Geo Wild's "Land of the Lemurs," which premieres April 19.
In case you missed the Deepwater Horizon disaster documentary "The Great Invisible" when it was released theatrically last fall, you'll have another chance. Marking the fifth anniversary of the documentary that explores the environmental effects of the Gulf oil spill, the film premieres April 20 on PBS's "Independent Lens" and on Pivot.
Most people would be shocked to learn that the average American throws away $1,365-$2,275 worth of food every year, and if food waste was reduced by just 15 percent, the savings would be enough to feel 25 million people. The growing problem of food waste and what to do about it is the subject of "Just Eat It," a documentary premiering on MSNBC on April 22. A panel discussion moderated by Tom Colicchio of "Top Chef" featuring advocates and experts will air immediately afterward.
A still from "Operation Orangutan." (Photo: Nat Geo Wild)
With 97 percent of our human DNA, orangutans are our closest animal relative. Sadly, due to habitat loss, poaching and illegal trade, these amazing creatures are on the brink of extinction. But as the Nat Geo Wild documentary "Operation Orangutan" depicts, the people at Borneo's Animal Rescue Center are doing something to save young primates that have been orphaned by the deaths of their mothers or liberated from miserable captive conditions. There, the baby and juvenile orangutans are taught to forage for food, navigate the trees and learn to live on their own so that they can eventually return to the wild. Narrated by Miranda Richardson, it premieres April 22.
In honor of Earth Day, Fandor, an online film service, has curated a selection of environmental documentaries under the banner "Down to Earth," including such titles as "No Impact Man," "The Big Fix," "Greenlit" and "Brave New West."
Fox has enlisted its talent roster to film PSAs in which they give eco-tips on everything from reducing plastic use (Rainn Wilson) and switching off lights (Terry Crews) to carpooling (Jada Pinkett Smith), washing in cold water (Mindy Kaling), and using recycled paper (Kevin Bacon and Will Forte). You can see all 38 clips here and share them via social media.
NBCUniversal will incorporate environmental themes into its programs including "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," "Late Night with Seth Meyers," "Access Hollywood" and "Access Hollywood." "Today" will feature green household and lifestyle tips on Earth Day and throughout the week, while "NBC Nightly News" will examine the environmental impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill five years after the incident. Telemundo's "Noticiero" will feature segments on climate change while the USA Network will host vignettes with Earth Week change-makers and "Days of Our Lives" will highlight community gardening. The company's "The More You Know" PSA campaign will feature new green messages from such personalities as Al Roker, Andy Cohen, Maria Menounos. Ian Ziering, Mark Feuerstein, Jim Cramer, Sam Champion, Alison Sweeney and the Reverend Al Sharpton.
Related on MNN:
- 30 great ways to celebrate Earth Day every day
- 8 epic videos of our planet
- How well do you know your planet?