Sustainable living is important. It will not only give you the opportunity to make a change and ‘save the world’, but it also lessen your monthly outcome. Unfortunately, there are those who still don’t get how important it is to live a sustainable life.
This list of books is going to make you aware of environmental issues. You’ll also realize that you have to take an action to solve them (by having a sustainable living). If you’re already living sustainably, then great, because you’ll definitely love reading these books.
1. The Hidden Life of Trees
What are you going to think when you know that trees are social beings? What will you think when you know that trees ‘talk’ to one another, work together to grow, tend their young and sick, and warn one another of dangers?
The book synopsis reads, “Under the canopy of trees, daily dramas and moving love stories are played out. Here is the last remaining piece of Nature, right on our doorstep, where adventures are to be experienced and secrets discovered.”
Peter Wohlleben, who wrote The Hidden Life of Trees, spent a decade observing trees in Eifel Germany. He observed the trees’ ecology and their behavior. The book shifts your paradigm and view about trees.
Through his book, Wohlleben doesn’t encourage us to stop using trees for everything (like paper, furniture, and housing construction). He acknowledges that humans, trees, and animals are in things together. He only wants us to respect the nature and be more compassionate to the trees by living a sustainable life that doesn’t cut trees unnecessarily.
So, if you love trees and don’t want to destroy them from the face of the Earth, this book is perfect. The subject might look/sound like scientific journals and forestry notebooks, but it has become a New York Times bestseller. A proof that this book is worth the time.
2. Quenching the Thirst: Sustainable Water Supply & Climate Change
So far, we’ve been blessed and fortunate enough for having easy access to clean water. But you have to remember that nature isn’t always going to provide water all the time because of worsening circumstances that’s haunting us.
Due to climate change and declining condition of water supply infrastructure, water shortage is going to happen to both developed and developing nations. This book, written by George Annandale, gives you thorough analysis of the problem and the appropriate solution.
Annandale has a life-long experience in water resources engineering. Therefore, he knows the practical guidance that stops us from depleting water resources. He also shows you how to reliably and sustainably supply water in the future despite the impacts of climate change.
So, if you’re a person who is interested and concerned about the future of clean water, this book will give you the complete insights, concrete approach, as well as clear guidance for a sustainable water usage.
3. A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic
Global warming is a serious matter that can change Earth. And when we talk about global warming, we also talk about Arctic, the large-scale ice field which has been keeping Earth safe from harsh climate.
A longtime polar researcher called Peter Wadhams wrote this eye-opening book. As sea ice is rapidly disappearing, the writer wants to raise awareness and concerns about Earth. Within 30 years, Arctic’s sea ice thinned by more than 40%.
A Farewell to Ice describes the purposeful function of sea ice and its history on Earth. So, polar ice reflects solar radiation 10 times better than open water. Sadly, open water keeps melting the ice. Through his book, Wadhams tells us that the melting leads to the potential release of methane gas, which has been stored for many thousands of years in Arctic tundra.
If humanity fails to prevent this disastrous catastrophe, harrowing fires, floods, droughts, and storms in scale of something we’ve never seen before is likely going to happen within our timelines.
Therefore, human inhabitants (us!) have to immediately do something to prevent that from happening. If we don’t do anything, the next generations will suffer greatly. In the end, Wadhams wants us to contribute the right action to solve climate issues.
4. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Ever since Industrial Revolution, mankind has been generating a lot of waste and too much pollution. Therefore, German chemist Michael Braungart and U.S. architect William McDonough wrote a manifesto on how to minimize environmental damage by Cradle to Cradle product design.
Cradle to Cradle means recycling everything into its identical products. The best example for this method is making glass bottles from collected glass bottles, asphalt pavement from discarded asphalt pavement, or glass wool insulation from collected glass bottles.
With that method, McDonough and Braungart tell us how all human’s products can be designed to provide nourishment for something new. Those products will function as valuable materials within industrial cycles instead of being downcycled into low-grade material or products.
When it was published in 2002, the book was printed using DuraBook technology. So, the pages are not paper, but a combination of plastic resins and inorganic fillers. The published books are more robust and resilient than traditional paper books, waterproof, and recyclable. What a strong (and cool) way to prove their manifesto’s point.
This book is thought-provoking and challenging you to see “Reduce, reuse, recycle” into a whole new perspective. The authors also give you practical eco-effectiveness and how everybody can also do the Cradle to Cradle method.
5. Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland
Many times you’ve only seen public figure campaigning and encouraging you to have an eco-friendly behavior for Earth. Little did you know that some locals really work their way to improve the world’s environment issues and change people around them.
Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman features profiles of local conservationists who are steadfast in making the world to be a better place. Former rodeo champion of Montana Dusty Crary (now a rancher) has spent countless hours to forge alliances between cattlemen, federal agencies, hunters, and environmental groups.
Then there’s Justin Knopf, a farmer who uses microbial soil science, no-till & crop rotation strategies to control pests (as opposed to get pesticides), build soil quality, and fight erosion with the latest advances.
Merritt Lane, a CEO, helps to lead a $50 billion restoration of Louisiana’s vanishing wetlands. Sandy Nguyen is a woman who constantly helps fishermen’s families. Wayne Werner is a fisherman who helped transitioning fishery to sustainable management practices.
Now, this book is basically telling stories of people who care about the environment. And it’s quite surprising that these actions come from some locals instead of high-profile public figures that we’re more familiar with.
But the locals’ stories are closer to home than those celebrities’. These 5 people depend on their areas’ ecosystems to be able to continue their lives. Along the way, we get to see different perspectives, struggles, sacrifices, and more ‘human’ views.
6. Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe
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Love it when #wearnoevil shows up in my Instagram feed. 😍 Thanks @thegoodwearblog for the shout out. If you haven't yet checked out my book and are searching for an easy way to be more ethical with your purchases (and wardrobe) while staying stylish take a look. Most public libraries have it (or can get it). Hope you find it helpful! 😘 #ecofashion #sustainablestyle
Almost everything can fall into the “not sustainable” category, including fashion items. Fashion is one of the most polluting industry worldwide, one of the pollution is toxic textile dyes (usually passed to rivers).
Then there is laborer issues that revolve around inhumane working conditions and their extra-long hours for a small amount of wages. Not to mention inhumane animal slaughter for fur and leather.
Shortly, sustainability and fashion rarely come to terms with each other. And as a consumer, you have all the power (with your purchases) to either lessen or worsen the horrific atrocity of mainstream fashion industry. And we surely want to be responsible fashionistas.
So this book will give us a complete guide to keep being fashionable without any guilt and sacrifice. It has an Integrity Index (to identify ethics behind fashion items), exercises to assess your current wardrobe for sustainability, as well as how to do an eco-friendly shopping.
If you’re less of a fashion person and more to a makeup person, don’t fret. In part 3 of this book, there are showcases of eco-fashion makeovers. There are also a lot of natural beauty recommendations for face, body, hair, nails, and makeup.
Those are some must-read books about sustainable living that you have to add to your reading list right away. Do you know any books that we missed? Tell us in the comments and don’t forget to click the like button if you enjoyed reading this article.