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10 Must-Read Books on Sustainability in 2021 to Inspire Change

10 Must-Read Books on Sustainability in 2021 to Inspire Change

Sustainability shows us the way forward. Accepting the challenge of shifting to a more eco-friendly lifestyle—be it making minor changes and doing small efforts—has an impact towards protecting our planet. While this transition sounds overwhelming, luckily, we have books to help and encourage us to participate in this movement.

Here are some book recommendations to inspire you to rethink your daily habits, pursue a greener lifestyle, and make our only home healthier and hospitable for future generations.

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates

In this New York Times bestseller, Bill Gates explains why it is urgent and important to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases and also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly essential goal. 

Gates gives us a clear-eyed description of the challenges we face and lays out a concrete, practical plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions in How to Avoid Climate Disaster: the policies that governments should adopt and what we can do to keep our governments, employers, and ultimately, ourselves, accountable in this crucial enterprise.

Simply Living Well: A Guide to Creating a Natural, Low-Waste Home by Julia Watkins

Recipes, DIY projects, and inspiration for a beautiful and low-waste life—these and more from Julia Watkins’ Simply Living Well. The creator of @simply.living.well on Instagram, Julia Watkins, shares rituals, practical checklists, and projects to pursue living simply and sustainably at home.

The book shows you how to eliminate wasteful packaging, harmful ingredients, and disposable items for every area of your household: kitchen, cleaning, wellness, bath, and garden. These projects include scrap apple cider vinegar, wool dryer balls, kitchen bowl covers and cloth produce bags, non-toxic dryer sheets, all-purpose citrus cleaner, and more.

Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes by Dana Thomas

Currently, the clothing industry churns out 80 billion garments a year and employs every sixth person on Earth. The apparel trade doesn’t just have a negative impact on the environment, it has also exploited labor and intellectual property. 

In Dana Thomas’ Fashionopolis, she provides readers with a broader perspective and developments in the fashion industry such as printing 3D clothes, clean denim processing, smart manufacturing, hyperlocalism, and fabric recycling. She also highlights the big and small companies that are leading the crusade of making smarter choices and more eco-friendly practices.

A Life Less Throwaway: The Lost Art of Buying for Life by Tara Button

Mindful curation is a lifestyle choice that will make you happier, healthier, and more fulfilled spiritually as well as helping save the planet. Author Tara Button has become a champion of “mindful curation” and she shares this life-altering lifestyle in A Life Less Throwaway. The book will teach us a way of living which we carefully choose each object in our lives, making sure we have the best, most classic, most pleasing, and longest lasting kettles, desks, pots and pans, coats and dresses, instead of surrounding ourselves with throwaway stuff and appliances with built-in obsolescence. 

Tara advocates a life that celebrates what lasts, what is classic, and what really suits a person through A Life Less Throwaway.

The Ultimate Meal-Prep Cookbook: One Grocery List. A Week of Meals. No Waste. by America’s Test Kitchen

America’s Test Kitchen’s book thoroughly explains how to build a strong, diverse pantry (and make the most out of it), how to store prepped ingredients to keep them fresh, and more so you can have sumptuous meals with little to no food waste. 

The Ultimate Meal-Prep Cookbook offers readers 25 weekly plans that minimize shopping, kitchen time, and a guide to prep-ahead options, make-ahead options, and ingredient substitutions to make your lives easier, grocery bills lower, and dinners better. 

Better, Not Perfect: A Realist's Guide to Maximum Sustainable Goodness by Max H. Bazerman

Our everyday choices, no matter how personal they may seem, have an ethical twinge as well. Better, Not Perfect provides a deeply researched, prescriptive roadmap for how to maximize our pleasure and minimize pain. 

Max Bazerman also shares a framework to be smarter and more efficient, honest and aware—to attain your “maximum sustainable goodness.” This book is a guide that will help clarify your goals, assist you in doing more good with your limited time on the planet, and see greater satisfaction in the process.

Islands of Abandonment: Nature Rebounding in the Post-Human Landscape by Cal Flyn

An intriguing and lyrical read on places where nature is flourishing in human’s absence, investigative journalist Cal Flyn takes readers on an exploration of the world’s most desolate, abandoned places that have been reclaimed by nature.

Flyn’s Island of Abandonment also addresses environmental degradation and climate change in this story of redemption: that the most polluted spots on Earth can be rehabilitated through ecological processes.

National Geographic: Simple Sustainability 2021 by Kris Bordessa

An essential guide that will help you achieve sustainability in your everyday life, National Geographic: Simple Sustainability 2021 offers an easy-to-follow DIY approach to everything from gardening, crafting, cooking, and more. 

This bookazine highlights step-by-step directions for crafting easy, cost-efficient home projects, tips on starting your own garden and pickling the food you grow, and ways to create your own natural cleaning supplies.

Can I Recycle This?: A Guide to Better Recycling and How to Reduce Single-Use Plastics by Jennie Romer

One of the biggest questions in aiming to live a more sustainable lifestyle is: “Can I recycle this?” Jennie Romer has been working for years to help cities in America in drafting meaningful legislation to help communities better process their waste and produce less of it.

Can I Recycle This? is the first illustrated guidebook that gives straightforward answers to whether dozens of common household objects can or cannot be recycled; it is an easy-to-use guide that will change the way you think about not only what you throw away, but how you do it.

You are a step away from learning more on how to help save the planet and improve your lifestyle through choosing to pick up a book on sustainability. Are you looking for more titles? Check out our Books on Sustainability collection on Fully Booked online.  

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