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WaterBear is a free streaming service dedicated to the future of our planet

Looking for new documentaries to binge watch? Here's a load of good films for free

Written by
Rhys Thomas

So you’ve exhausted Netflix, and most of the other million streaming services you’ve subscribed to while getting through the lockdown evenings? Well that’s fine, here’s a new one you’ll probably like. Plus it’s free, and educational. 

The platform was founded by Ellen Windemuth, the Executive Producer of Bafta and Oscar-winning documentary My Octopus Teacher. It also has support from a load of NGOs and activists such as Maisie Williams and Lily Cole.

Basically, it’s an app and website (TV viewing is in the pipeline) where you can stream a load of documentaries (including some award-winning ones) and original content, all focussed on the future of the planet. The general themes are “biodiversity, climate change, circularity and community”, which is essentially all things about the planet from gentrification to climate change and back again. All for free, and without ads! (at the time of writing at least). You don’t have to enter card details when you subscribe either. 

In addition to being a streaming service, there’s also sections called “Connect” and “Take Action”, which allow members to learn more about issues within the docs, as well as providing links to places where you can donate to charities working on the issues from the films. 

So say you watch something about some penguins, and you think to yourself, ‘ah, it’s a shame those penguins are going through all that’, you could click on the “Take Action” tab and see if there’s a way to donate, or you could click the “Connect” tab to see if you can volunteer in some form. 

The “Take Action” tab also has a section dedicated to responsible tourism, and you can book “adventures” there too, which is good to know for when you can get away again. Examples include helping to rewild part of the Scottish Highlands and a Rhino Conservation Tour in South Africa. These are not free. 

If you liked My Octopus Teacher and want to check out WaterBear, their documentary Africa’s Hidden Seaforest might be a good start, as it features unseen footage from My Octopus Teacher. 

For more information visit


If learning without leaving the house is your thing, why not have a look at the best virtual classes to take while at home

For more things to do at home, see our list of the 101 best things to do when you’re stuck at home. 

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