Best Books for Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Living

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📚Books. Books. Books.📚 Is there anything which exists that we can’t learn more about? It doesn’t matter if we are only beginning to learn about a subject or have been studying it for years, there will always be something more to learn!

Below we have compiled a list of books about the environment or issues that affect it. Whether you are just beginning your sustainability journey or have been on it for years, we hope you will enjoy this list. 

The Story of Stuff - Annie Leonard

For those who want to learn more about all that goes into making and delivering a product,🔨 read this book. Annie shows (in a rather digestible way) just how much energy and resources goes into the stuff we buy.⚡️💧💨

She also expands on that and talks about how at the level of our consumption, all of those resources add up rather quickly. The Story of Stuff provides an easy to read and at times humorous learning opportunity about the effects of our consumption on a personal and global scale.

A Sand County Almanac - Aldo Leopold

Aldo Leopold, among many titles, was a steward of the natural world. He was a forester and conservationist who oversaw several major projects including the first wildlife preserve in New Mexico.🐍

A Sand County Almanac is a collection of his essays and drawings about his time in New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, Utah, and of course...Wisconsin. 

Leopold writes in a way where you really lose yourself in the beauty of the nature he experienced. Things as simple as tree rings become so important and can tell us so much, which Aldo does so gracefully.🌲 A Sand County Almanac is perfect for those looking to learn about and experience nature simply from reading. 🏜

The Monkey Wrench Gang - Edward Abbey

In this fictitious tale, Edward Abbey tells the story of a soldier returning to his home town to find its nature and beauty being bulldozed for the sake of “progress”.🚧

The main character ends up joining forces with a couple of others. Together they “monkeywrench” or sabotage various projects in defense of the natural world.🔧

While the book is made up, based on Abbey’s beliefs this may have even been a partially true story written off as “fiction” or for some even fantasy.  

We are definitely not telling you to go monkeywrench somewhere, but nonetheless it is an exciting story which is written very well. 🤷🏽‍

In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan

Another somewhat radical book, but not in the sense that it talks about destroying machines that hurt the earth. It’s viewed as radical because Michael advocates for the destruction of nutritionism.

“So, like...he doesn’t want us to eat healthy?”🍔

Not quite. In the book Michael advocates for us to return to eating food as our ancestors did.🧙‍♂️Specifically, that looks like eating foods that are simple, mostly plant based, and less than we are eating now.🥬

In Defense of Food is an interesting look into where the idea of nutrients began and how it could harm us more than help us along with the earth.

Let my People go Surfing - Yvon Chouinard

🏄🏽‍♂️Patagonia, notorious for spearheading the sustainable businesses movement, was founded by Yvon Chouinard. In Let my People go Surfing, you get to read along as Yvon discusses the early days of Patagonia, its core values, and how those values hold up to changes over time.🌍

Yvon Chouinard has created a great reference for companies who want to establish strong environmental values at their core. It is refreshing to see the possibilities we have in order to make an impact on this world. 

101 Ways to Go Zero Waste - Kathryn Kellogg

One hundred ways to do something sounds kind of overwhelming. Think of this book as one-hundred-and-one tips or ideas to better our impact. It is a great resource for those wondering where to start or even for those wondering, what’s next?

Kathryn does a great job at creating a no nonsense, un judgey, and easy to read book with tips, tricks, and even a bunch of DIY recipes to make your own stuff!💄

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondo

In this book, Marie Kondo explains how decluttering our lives can relieve stress caused by too much stuff. She also talks about how this lifestyle can be applied to other areas in our lives which ultimately makes us more fulfilled people.

Marie describes the Konmari Method which focuses on removing the unnecessary from our lives first and foremost. This way, we won’t have much to organize or worry about getting disorganized.

This is a great book for getting rid of stuff that doesn’t add value, whether it be things or anything else in our lives.

Merchants of Doubt - Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes

Merchants of Doubt is certainly amongst the list of must read books. It provides a window into how a large chunk of society has arrived at the decision to deny climate change.

This book dives into the fossil fuel industry and its influence on politics, media, and therefore public perception. Erik and Naomi make the comparison of showing how today's fossil fuel industry is acting just as the tobacco industry did. And we all know what was happening with the tobacco industry.🚬☠️

Erik and Naomi have created a book that can be a little dark when we begin to learn about the fossil fuel industry’s power. But it can also be very hopeful seeing what happened with the tobacco industry. Not in the job loss way, but in the saving millions of lives from smoking...way. 🙌🏽

The Imperfect Environmentalist - Sara Gilbert

Helping the environment can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task.😰Sara felt this same way too, so that’s why she created this book. The Imperfect Environmentalist, like the name, is for those who aren’t perfect, which is arguably everyone.

Sara gives a laid back and easy to understand approach to changing our individual actions. These actions not only benefit our own lives, but the earth’s as well, of course.

We hope you were able to take some books from this list and add them to your queue. The beautiful thing about reading is a lot of times we might find something we were never even looking for.

Send us your recommendations of environmental books. We love to read!📚🤙

Written by Aaron Burr 

A writer dedicated to working solely with companies on a mission to help the earth and people on it.