Streaming platform offers free environmental films, powers activism, encourages recycling

More than 800 award-winning shorts and feature films looking at the future of life on Earth and human civilization are now available to watch without charge. 

WaterBear, a video streaming platform with serious sustainability and green credentials, is offering free access to its archive of more than 800 shorts and features, in every English-speaking country on the planet. 

The site hosts films about climate change, NGOs, volunteer organisations, eco-travel, and more, with content committed to environmental concerns. Major works that have recently been made available include ‘Ablaze’, which looks at a group of climate activists aged between eight and 20 years, exploring how they utilise citizen-power to get the local government’s ear. Meanwhile, ‘Two Kinds of Water’ is journalist Dan McDougall’s new multi-award winning expose of the challenges facing Senegalese fishermen in the face of climate change, over-fishing, and contested waters. Elsewhere, the site offers in-depth explorations of everything from sustainable construction to waste management and recycling engagement. 

In addition to watching videos, users can also connect with over 80 groups and organisations dedicated to saving the planet, helping spread information about their causes and how they operate. An option to make direct donations is also included, and activist campaigns are listed. These include an ongoing call for whistle-blowers to sign up in a bid to end corruption within the fossil fuel industry, helping insiders understand ‘their rights under U.S. law to come forward with evidence of fraud in the oil and gas, coal, and industrial logging industries’.  

In December 2020, the International Energy Agency published new research debunking several reports on the environmental impact of streaming services, suggesting that the real-terms impact of using such platforms was ‘modest’. However, this depends on the device, network connection, and playback resolution. You can read the full report here. In comparison, the neural networks currently powering advertising on platforms like Facebook and Twitter have the potential to become ‘black holes’ of energy, capable of exhausting the entire global power supply, according to research by the University of Copenhagen


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