Earth Day Reading List: 6 Essential Books on Sustainability, Climate Change, & Environmental Justice
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
-Rachel Carson, Silent Spring.
April 22, 1970, was the beginning of an environmental movement that has spread to over 190 countries and invokes over a billion individuals to take action each year. The annual global celebration, known as Earth Day, is now 52 years old, and despite its many worldwide achievements, there is much work to be done to save our planet from irrevocable harm. Big business and capital greed continue to run rampant, devastating our lands, oceans, and air. The responsibility now falls to individuals to stand strong and take action to create a world in which future generations can survive.
I believe that education coupled with action are our greatest weapons, and learning the nature of one’s impact is profound in manifesting lasting change. For Earth Day 2022, I’ve organized an essential reading list that not only informs but inspires.
Together we can save this planet. We are entirely capable of protecting, healing, and adopting the sustainable lifestyles necessary for harmony and balance. I believe in us. I believe in the goodness of humanity.
Earth Day Reading List
1. Sustainability is for Everyone by Alan AtKisson.
A quick and essential read meant for all. The book is only 49 pages and is a wonderful introduction to sustainability concepts such as simplification and regeneration, as well as how to communicate the importance of sustainability to others.
2. Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Even Know You Have by Tatiana Schlossberg.
Written by a former New York Times science writer, Inconspicuous Consumption serves as a raw and eye-opening look into your lifestyle's various effects on the environment. From the internet and technology, food, fashion, and fuel, Schlossberg helps us understand how we, as both individuals and consumers, have the power to fight climate change. This enlightening read received 1st place in the Society of Environmental Journalists' Rachel Carson Environmental Book Competition.
3. How to Give Up Plastic by Will McCallum.
Curious how long it takes for a plastic bottle to degrade? On average, an excruciating 450 years. Contaminating our soils and oceans alike, a whopping 12.7 tons of plastic enters our oceans every year, seeping into our food and drinking water. A recent study went so far as to detect microplastics in human blood samples for the first time. Greenpeace activist Will McCallum has written a guide that provides you with the harsh realities of plastic consumption and details on eliminating plastic from your day-to-day life. Thankfully, we live in a time where sustainable alternatives are aplenty.
4. What Can I Do? My Path from Climate Despair to Action by Jane Fonda
Activist and award-winning actress Jane Fonda has released a book in which she speaks candidly on all matters of climate change, environmental inequality, and the necessary steps it will take to save our planet. She identifies multiple calls to action, enlightens on the Green New Deal, and gives a stage to a plethora of voices whose passion and vision are foundational to effective change. It's important to note that Jane Fonda donates 100% of her net proceeds to Greenpeace!
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5. As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight For Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock by Dina Gilio-Whitaker.
As Long as Grass Grows provides fundamental insight into the world of Indigenized environmental justice. Additionally, the history of Indigenous resistance, native women's role in leadership, and the relationship between the Indigenous community and the modern environmental movement. Dina Gilio-Whitaker believes that modern environmentalists must look to the history of Indigenous resistance for wisdom and inspiration in our common fight for a just and sustainable future.
6. All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine K. Wilkinson
Broken into eight sections, Root, Advocate, Reframe, Reshape, Persist, Feel, Nourish and Rise, this compilation of environmental essays is profound and written entirely by women leading the climate movement. It's impossible not to be inspired by this collection of feminine voices, whose ideas provide insight as well as bestow courage on tackling the most significant threat of our lifetime.
“We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change—and it has to start today.”
-Greta Thunberg, TEDx Stockholm
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