15 Books To Grow Your Interest In Environmentalism

15 Books To Grow Your Interest In Environmentalism

From Rachel Carson to Jane Goodall, these books are major motivators.

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You know that feeling when you finish a good book and immediately want to jump up to learn more — or do more — because you were so inspired? These 15 books will definitely leave you encouraged to do your part in the environmental movement.

"Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson.

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This 1962 classic has consistently been one of the most influential novels of the environmental movement. Beginning with the illustration of an increasingly possible worst-case scenario, Carson evokes fear and empathy in her readers. Her deep love of nature and its protection has inspired millions and set precedents for environmental activism; "Silent Spring" is the first novel any environmentalist should consult.

"A Sand County Almanac" by Aldo Leopold.

Aldo Leopold on a trip in Rio Gavilan.

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Another early environmental text "A Sand County Almanac," examines Leopold's belief in the land ethic: the moral responsibility humans owe to "soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land." From personal experiences, Leopold writes with a love of nature, an appreciation of the beauty of North America, and a desire to preserve the incredible environment that we call home.

"Junk Raft" by Marcus Eriksen.

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"Junk Raft: An Ocean Voyage and a Rising Tide of Activism to Fight Plastic Pollution" shares Eriksen's first-hand experience floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in order to collect and catalog the infinite pieces of microplastics in our oceans. In addition to triggering your sense of adventure, this account will have you reevaluating personal and mass societal uses of plastics in everyday life.

"The Man Who Planted Trees" by Jim Robbins.

"The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet" is an interesting novel following David Milarch in his quest to clone some of the world's greatest "champion trees." This novel brings attention to both the facts and the unanswered questions of the way of trees- and their important roles in the ecosystems around us.

"Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer.

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The story of an incredibly courageous man named Christopher Johnson McCandless is told by author and adventurer Jon Krakauer. The idea alone of immersing oneself in nature can be tempting (think Thoreau), but the incredible opportunities for learning about the natural world just may be enough to nudge you "Into the Wild," or at least into the pages of the book.

"What We Know About Climate Change" by Kerry Emanuel.

Many people feel as though they can't be part of a movement or discussion that they don't know everything about. Of course, this is not the case. Still, an overview of one of the most prevalent debates of our time couldn't hurt. "What We Know About Climate Change" is the perfect place to start.

"The Story of Stuff" by Annie Leonard.

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"The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health - and a Vision for Change" comes from the host of the internet film series "The Story of Stuff," Annie Leonard. The book identifies the system of production and consumption of what Americans have too much of - stuff. Her detailed perspective calls for a reversal of the toxic and environmentally damaging cycle of consumerism of today.

"No Impact Man" by Colin Beavan.

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In "No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process," Colin Beavan takes the plunge into a plastic-free, less negatively impactful life for a year. Although it's a frightening task to undertake, Beavan's experience is admirable and inspiring; the book just might nudge you into a less wasteful life.

"This Changes Everything" by Naomi Klein.

"This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate" takes a look at the dynamic between the environment and the political and social factors impacting it. There are solutions to our current climate crisis: they must begin with an understanding of capitalism and its negative effects on our planet.

"The Water Will Come" by Jeff Goodall.

Jeff and Jane Goodall.

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As rising sea levels are beginning to affect the lives of more and more people on a global scale, the conversation about climate change is broadening. "The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World" takes into account just how essential it is that we combat climate change to prevent the massive sea level rises predicted for the near future.

"Getting to Green" by Frederic C. Rich.

"Getting to Green: Saving Nature: A Bipartisan Solution" acknowledges the existing systems of government and produces attainable solutions to our climate crisis that fit within our framework. The most important part? Working together. Democrats and Republicans alike must be convinced of the importance of bipartisan effort to save the planet.

"The Imperfect Environmentalist" by Sara Gilbert.

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Sara Gilbert understands the challenges of balancing parenthood and a career while striving to be the best human being she can be. "The Imperfect Environmentalist: A Practical Guide to Clearing Your Body, Detoxing Your Home, and Saving the Earth (Without Losing Your Mind)" provides tips and ideas for all aspects of life that can be tidied up and reformed for optimal sustainable living - without pouring time and money into the practices.

"Living Green" by Greg Horn.

Like Gilbert, Greg Horn's guide to a more sustainable life bestows useful advice for transitioning to a healthier, happier, and greener life. "Living Green: A Practical Guide to Sustainability" is a handy book to have around, and inspiring one at that!

"Low Tox Life" by Alexx Stuart.

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"Low Tox Life: A Handbook for a Healthy You and a Happy Planet" focuses on cutting toxins and harmful ingredients out of your body and home products for a healthier life. Alexx Stuart reveals some of the biggest culprits when it comes to toxic products and provides recipes for natural replacements and alternatives.

"Harvest for Hope" by Jane Goodall.

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Jane's love for some of the world's greatest creatures is directly dependent on an Earth capable of sustaining such animals. "Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating," persuades the reader to take action in creating a more sustainable system of food production and consumption.

Whether you just need a good book to pack for your next beach trip or you're looking to educate yourself about the state of our planet, these books are sure to please. While you're being inspired to uncover the best and healthiest version of yourself, learn about climate change and the ecosystems being affected by it, and do your part to save the world!

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13 Of The Best, Most Famous Poems Ever Written

Masterpieces by some of our favorites like as Shakespeare, John Donne, and Homer.
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Some of us read poetry for an eager and fast escape from this world. On the other hand, some of us read poetry solely to share it with the ones we love. There are miracles on paper that can easily be forgotten about if we let them be. The following poems are written by some of our favorites such as Shakespeare, John Donne, Homer, and more. It is clear why these have become some of the most famous and unforgettable poems ever written. So grab a pen, and interpret these poems in your own, unique way.

1. “Go and Catch a Falling Star” - John Donne

Go and catch a falling star,

Get with child a mandrake root,

Tell me where all past years are,

Or who cleft the devil's foot,

Teach me to hear mermaids singing,

Or to keep off envy's stinging,

And find

What wind

Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,

Things invisible to see,

Ride ten thousand days and nights,

Till age snow white hairs on thee,

Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,

All strange wonders that befell thee,

And swear,

No where

Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,

Such a pilgrimage were sweet;

Yet do not, I would not go,

Though at next door we might meet;

Though she were true, when you met her,

And last, till you write your letter,

Yet she

Will be

False, ere I come, to two, or three.

2. “Drinking Alone in the Moonlight” - Li Po

Beneath the blossoms with a pot of wine,

No friends at hand, so I poured alone;

I raised my cup to invite the moon,

Turned to my shadow, and we became three.

Now the moon had never learned about drinking,

And my shadow had merely followed my form,

But I quickly made friends with the moon and my shadow;

To find pleasure in life, make the most of the spring.

Whenever I sang, the moon swayed with me;

Whenever I danced, my shadow went wild.

Drinking, we shared our enjoyment together;

Drunk, then each went off on his own.

But forever agreed on dispassionate revels,

We promised to meet in the far Milky Way.

3. “Sonnet 18” - William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

4. “The World Is Too Much with Us” - William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

5. “She Walks in Beauty” - Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express,

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

6. “How Do I Love Thee?”- Elizabeth Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,












I shall but love thee better after death.

7. “ Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” -Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

8. The Jabberwocky” - Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;

Long time the manxome foe he sought—

So rested he by the Tumtum tree

And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

9. “Tears Fall in My Heart” - Paul Verlaine

Tears fall in my heart

Rain falls on the town;

what is this numb hurt

that enters my heart?

Ah,the soft sound of rain

on roofs, on the ground!

To a dulled heart they came,

ah, the song of the rain!

Tears without reason

in the disheartened heart.

What? no trace of treason?

This grief's without reason.

It's far the worst pain

to never know why

without love or disdain

my heart has such pain!

10. “We Wear the Mask” - Paul Lawrence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

11. “The Panther” - Rainer Maria Rilke

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,

has grown so weary that it cannot hold

anything else. It seems to him there are

a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,

the movement of his powerful soft strides

is like a ritual dance around a center

in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils

lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,

rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,

plunges into the heart and is gone.

12. “Sea Fever” - John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

13. "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight" -Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

















Save these poems for your next coffee shop date or solitude moment. You might be surprised at how much you can find yourself in a poem.

Cover Image Credit: Thought Catalog

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Berkeley Lab Breakthrough Brings Hope For Recyclable Plastics

Facing pressures to stop the build-up of plastic, there's finally renewed hope.

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A potential solution to recycling plastics has been found at Berkeley Lab by scientists who published their findings in Nature Chemistry. We currently face a $2.5 trillion impact from plastic pollution worldwide. Not only has this negatively affected the global ecosystem, other impacted areas include fisheries, recreation, and heritage. What's more, only 9.1% of plastics made in the U.S. in 2015 were recycled, down from 9.5% the previous year.

Traditional plastics can't be recycled due to their chemical composition which puts a strain on the recycling system.

Ultimately, plastics are disposed of which harms ecosystems and animals and clogs up waterways, or burned which releases CO2 emissions. Plastics are disposed of rather than recycled as they are a byproduct of petroleum, made of molecules known as polymers, which are made of compounds containing carbon, known as monomers. When the chemicals and the plastic are combined for commercial use, the monomers bind with the chemicals. The process at the recycling plant becomes difficult because without being able to adequately separate the chemicals and the monomers, the results of the new products are unpredictable.

This is where the Berkeley Lab breakthrough becomes important. The scientists discovered a new way to assemble the plastics at a molecular level and reuse them into new materials of any color, shape or form. It's called PDK

Also known as poly(diketoenamine), this new plastic material could reverse the pile-up of plastics at recycling plants because, at a chemical level, the carbon-based molecules and polymers are reversible through an acid bath process.

Lead author Peter Christensen, on why the study was needed and why this breakthrough is important, is because "most plastics were never made to be recycled." The goal with this product is to create a circular lifeline for plastic where it can be recycled and used for numerous products like adhesives, phone cases, and computer cables.

Since PDK only exists in the lab, for now, it is important to remember that progress doesn't happen overnight. Brett Helms, a staff scientist at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry, is excited about this breakthrough because of the "opportunity to make a difference for where there are no recycling options." However, the landscape is looking grim. Despite the efforts of countries to curb and stop the use of plastic, the amount of plastic is still increasing and spreading. Therefore, it is our job to continue to recycle and continue our current efforts, until PDK becomes readily available for commercial use.

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