9 Must See Books & Movies To Live A More Conscious Life

See here's the thing... we live in an age of "the internets." Yes, my friends, "the internets." And if "the internets" has taught us anything about life, it's that in today's world information is readily available to us, for us, from us. In fact, it's so available that we often become overwhelmed with the amount thrown our way.

Now, we (at Cladwell) are not of the mindset that humans are all running around the planet intentionally ruining the environment and employing slave labor. That would just be silly, and we believe people are generally good.

Rather, we think most of the "bad stuff" driving many industries can be attributed to most humans consuming in an unconscious state. Doing what has always been thought of as normal consumer behavior, trusting that industries are simply following the rules. 

Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. And lately, it seems certain industries have quite frankly lost their way. So what's the good news in all of this? Phew, that was getting pretty deep... so we're glad you asked.

We as conscious consumers actually have all the power. Our purchases, little by little make a huge difference. The industries, the products, the things that end up on the shelves of our favorite stores are based purely off of our demand. It's really that simple. Think about it. There probably wasn't an organic section 10 years ago at your local grocery store. And if there was, we'd bet it was pretty small. Fast forward to today. You can't go into a grocery store without a large organic section, cage free eggs, and local fruits & vegetables sourced from local farmers. The more we demand, the more the industry wants to serve us. So let's demand more. 

If you're not sure where to start or how to start, we suggest taking some time (preferably on a rainy, Sunday afternoon) to watch or read some of these gems. Trust us, you won't be disappointed.


1. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

"Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to do less, but better, and declutter and organize their own their lives, Essentialism is a movement whose time has come." 

2. Minimalism

"In their debut book, Joshua & Ryan, authors of the popular website TheMinimalists.com, explore their troubled pasts and descent into depression. Though they had achieved the American Dream, they worked ridiculous hours, wastefully spent money, and lived paycheck to paycheck. Instead of discovering their passions, they pacified themselves with ephemeral indulgences--which only led to more debt, depression, and discontent."


3. The Humane Economy

"From the leader of the nation’s most powerful animal protection organization comes a frontline account of how conscience and creativity are driving a revolution in American business that is changing forever how we treat animals and create wealth. Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States reveals how entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 CEOs, world-class scientists, philanthropists, and a new class of political leaders are driving the burgeoning, unstoppable growth of the “humane economy.”

4. Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World

"In Stirring it Up, Hirshberg calls on individuals to realize their power to effect change in the marketplace - "the power of one" - while proving that environmental commitment makes for a healthier planet and a healthier bottom line. Drawing from his 25 years' experience growing Stonyfield Farm from a 7-cow start-up, as well as the examples of like-minded companies, such as Newman's Own, Patagonia, Wal-Mart and Timberland, Hirshberg presents stunning evidence that business not only can save the planet, but is able to simultaneously deliver higher growth and superior profits as well."


5. Overdressed:  The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

"Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut. What are we doing with all these cheap clothes? And more important, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being?"

6. The True Cost

"The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary that pulls back the curtain on an unseen part of our world and asks us each to consider, who pays the price for our clothing? Filmed in countries all over the world, this unprecedented project invites us all on an eye-opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes."


7. Food Inc.

"Food, Inc. is guaranteed to shake up our perceptions of what we eat. This powerful documentary deconstructing the corporate food industry in America was hailed by Entertainment Weekly as “more than a terrific movie—it’s an important movie.” Aided by expert commentators such as Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, the film poses questions such as: Where has my food come from, and who has processed it? What are the giant agribusinesses and what stake do they have in maintaining the status quo of food production and consumption? How can I feed my family healthy foods affordably?"

8. The Omnivore's Dilemma

"What should we have for dinner? Ten years ago, Michael Pollan confronted us with this seemingly simple question and, with The Omnivore’s Dilemma, his brilliant and eye-opening exploration of our food choices, demonstrated that how we answer it today may determine not only our health but our survival as a species."


9. Poverty Inc.

"From TOMS Shoes to international adoptions, from solar panels to U.S. agricultural subsidies, drawing from over 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, Poverty, Inc. unearths an uncomfortable side of charity we can no longer ignore."