I’m always wanting to learn more about how I as an individual, as well as us as a collective species, can better support (and in effect, save) the only planet we have. These 12 Books on Sustainability, Zero Waste & Saving Our Planet are one step in learning and better understanding our generation’s largest threat and crisis.
I’ll be honest with you. I’ve got every one of these books on my “to read”-list, but many of them terrify me. I have a tremendous amount of anxiety about the state of the world and the climate crisis, so some of these books are likely to add even more unease to my worried mind.
However, I think the more alarming titles in this list are great for climate crisis deniers and people who really need a proper wake up call to help motivate them to stop their wasteful and destructive way of living.
So make sure you add some, or all of these 12 Books on Sustainability, Zero Waste & Saving Our Planet to your reading list.
12 Books on Sustainability, Zero Waste & Saving Our Planet
Excerpts collected from Goodreads.
1. How We Can Save The Planet by Mayer Hillman, Tina Fawcett and Sudhir Chella Rajan
Mayer Hillman explains the real issues of the climate crisis in this book. What role technology can play, how you and your community can make changes, and why governments must act now to protect our planet for later generations. This book takes us out of the problem and into the solution of our global crisis.
2. The Water Will Come by Jeff Goodell
The Water Will Come is the definitive account of the coming water, why and how this will happen, and what it will all mean. As he travels across twelve countries and reports from the front lines, acclaimed journalist Jeff Goodell employs fact, science, and first-person, on-the-ground journalism to show vivid scenes from what already is becoming a water world.
3. Being the Change: Live Well and Spark A Climate Revolution by Peter Kalmus
How a climate scientist and suburban father cut his climate impact down to one tenth the US average and became happier because of it. Being the Change merges science, spirituality, and practical knowledge to offer a deeply optimistic message: living without fossil fuels is not only possible, it can be better.
4. 101 Ways To Go Zero Waste by Kathryn Kellogg
In 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste, Kellogg shares tips on how to reduce our environmental footprint by reducing the amount of trash we dispose of, along with DIY recipes for beauty and home; advice for responsible consumption and making better choices for home goods, fashion, and the office; and even secrets for how to go waste free at the airport. “It’s not about perfection,” she says. “It’s about making better choices.”
5. The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker
One of today’s most influential minimalist advocates takes us on a decluttering tour of our own houses and apartments, showing us how to decide what to get rid of and what to keep. He both offers practical guidelines for simplifying our lifestyle at home and addresses underlying issues that contribute to over-accumulation in the first place. The purpose is not just to create a more inviting living space. It’s also to turn our life’s HQ–our home–into a launching pad for a more fulfilling and productive life in the world.
6. The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
In his travelogue of our near future, David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await–food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe. But the world will be remade by warming in more profound ways as well, transforming our politics, our culture, our relationship to technology, and our sense of history. It will be all-encompassing, shaping and distorting nearly every aspect of human life as it is lived today.
The Uninhabitable Earth is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation.
7. The Turning Tide On Plastic by Lucy Siegle
Plastic flows into our lives from every direction and most of it is not recycled. Instead it is incinerated or ends up in landfill, where it will sit for hundreds of years, or enters the world’s seas where it fragments into tiny pieces to become microplastics – the environmental scourge of our times.
Turning the tide on Plastic is here just in time. Journalist, broadcaster and eco lifestyle expert Lucy Siegle provides a powerful call to arms to end the plastic pandemic along with the tools we need to make decisive change. It is a clear-eyed, authoritative and accessible guide to help us to take decisive and effective personal action.
8. Love Earth Now by Cheryl Leutjen
Do you find yourself wondering what on Earth you can do about the dire environmental challenges of our time? Do you wish you could do something to make a difference, but doubt you have the time, energy,money or power?
Love Earth Now is your go-to guide for discovering what you can do to effect meaningful change, starting right now.
9. Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken
In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here–some are well known; some you may have never heard of. They range from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income countries to land use practices that pull carbon out of the air. The solutions exist, are economically viable, and communities throughout the world are currently enacting them with skill and determination. If deployed collectively on a global scale over the next thirty years, they represent a credible path forward, not just to slow the earth’s warming but to reach drawdown, that point in time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline. These measures promise cascading benefits to human health, security, prosperity, and well-being–giving us every reason to see this planetary crisis as an opportunity to create a just and livable world.
10. How to Give Up Plastic by Will McCallum
Plastic is not going away without a fight. We need a movement made up of billions of individual acts, bringing people together from all backgrounds and all cultures, the ripples of which will be felt from the smallest village to the tallest skyscrapers. This is a call to arms – to join forces across the world and to end our dependence on plastic.
11. Earth in Human Hands by David Grinspoon
For the first time in Earth’s history, our planet is experiencing a confluence of rapidly accelerating changes prompted by one species: humans. Climate change is only the most visible of the modifications we’ve made—up until this point, inadvertently—to the planet. And our current behavior threatens not only our own future but that of countless other creatures. By comparing Earth’s story to those of other planets, astrobiologist David Grinspoon shows what a strange and novel development it is for a species to evolve to build machines, and ultimately, global societies with world-shaping influence.
12. To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out The World by Lucy Siegle
An expose of the fashion industry written by the Observer’s ‘Ethical Living’ columnist, portraying current practice as inhumane and environmentally devastating. Siegle believes that, in spite of current problems, it is possible to be an ‘ethical fashionista’, and she sets out her ideas on how such a situation could be achieved.”
Bonus: Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet by Ashlee Piper
I’m currently reading this book.
Give a Sh*t guides you through the transition to a kinder, healthier, more conscious, and sustainable life like no book has done before. With a humorous and nonjudgmental tone, savvy eco-friendly lifestyle expert Ashlee Piper walks you through easy-but-impactful shifts anyone can make to live and be better every damn day.