Film Review: Optimistic ‘Seeding Change’

The preponderance of documentaries on climate crisis are so deeply depressing, with the prospects for the future so dire, one can hardly make it to a conclusion where there might be a minute or two devoted to flickering possibilities of survival but only if human habits and behavior changes entirely overnight. It’s still kind of depressing.

The value of Richard Yelland’s hour-long report “Seeding Change: The Power of Conscious Commerce” is that it doesn’t get stuck in the morass of human-caused steps to apocalypse — the fires, the floods and upheavals that are the stuff of nightly newscasts — and jumps quickly to a handful of companies that have already taken up the challenges for largely altruistic reasons (but have made money as well), have proven results, and are expanding their empires for customers who have been clamoring for such approaches.

Divided into individual segments on companies taking on climate issues on their own, it’s like peeking in at booths at an environmental trade show (which may be how they found some of them — they speak of one such fair, the  OSC, or Organic Sustainable Community, where they’ve met and traded ideas).

The common factor driving all of the businesses is toward a “triple bottom line,” seeking not just financial success, but but social and environmental soundness as well. While it’s not quite a promotional film for each company, it surely makes one take mental notes of which brands to seek or where to pick them up — the online thrive.org is a learning house. They’re not all brands new to the market — Dr. Bonner’s has been making environmentally-minded soaps since 1948 and it is the long haired grandson David Bronner who is carrying on its traditions (and its famously wordy labels) into the 21st century. The more eccentric aspects of the Bonner story has previously been told in Sara Lamm’s 2006 “Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox.”

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