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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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!