Earth Day Entertainment: Celebrate the Planet With These Eco-Friendly Offerings

"Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist" features never-before-seen footage of the Sea Shepherd Society campaigns, such as the stink-bombing of a Japanese whale-processing vessel.

It’s been 42 years since the first Earth Day, and what was initially a grassroots demonstration on behalf of the planet is now a global enterprise. Events of all sorts will commemorate the annual celebration, including movies and TV shows to view on Earth Day, April 22, and the anniversary weekend.

Fans of Animal Planet’s Whale Wars series, which documents the ongoing struggles between Japanese whalers and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson and his ship’s crew, will want to check out the documentary Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist. The film chronicles 30 years in the global battle to save ocean wildlife, as seen through the eyes of filmmaker and Sea Shepherd crewman Peter Jay Brown, and will be available starting April 22 on Video on Demand and digitally via iTunes, VUDU, Amazon and Xbox Live.

Several channels will present new nature specials. On April 22 at 8 p.m. ET Nat Geo Wild will air War Elephants, which documents the efforts to rehabilitate pachyderms that still bear the scars of the 1977–1993 civil war in Mozambique that decimated the African nation’s elephant population and traumatized the survivors.

Discovery’s spectacular Frozen Planet series about the polar regions has been extended to include the a marathon of the original Sir David Attenborough-hosted episodes culminating with “On Thin Ice,” April 22 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, preceded by a marathon of the Attenborough-narrated episodes that aired in the U.K., starting at 2 p.m. The version that has been airing in the U.S. is narrated by actor Alec Baldwin.

In the clean-energy sector, PBS takes a look at how different communities approach power conservation in Energy Quest USA, premiering April 22 at 4 p.m. ET, and examines global energy policies in Powering the Planet, following at 6 p.m. on that date and with an encore April 26 at 9 p.m. ET.

In conjunction with its “Green Is Universal” initiative, NBCUniversal is celebrating Earth Week with more than 100 hours of environment-related content across its television and Internet channels, ranging from conservation reports on NBC Nightly News to eco-business on CNBC to green celebrity features on Access Hollywood, Access Hollywood Live and E! At, you’ll find easy eco tips from celebrities like Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi, who recommends washing clothes in cold water; all the advice is available in a downloadable smartphone app called One Small Act.

Not to leave out the littlest environmentalists, kiddie channel Sprout will educate preschoolers about caring for the planet on Earth Day morning.

Check out “Green Screen” in the latest issue of VIVmag for more information about eco-documentaries, including Revenge of the Electric Car, To the Arctic 3D and Disneynature’s Chimpanzee. What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?

Photo credit: Courtesy Kelsey Stevens