The best sustainability focused books

Kathryn Kellogg Author Of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste
By Kathryn Kellogg

The Books I Picked & Why

Braiding Sweetgrass

By Robin Wall Kimmerer

Book cover of Braiding Sweetgrass

Why this book?

Braiding Sweetgrass is one of my all-time favorites. It’s a love story to the earth. Robin Wall Kimmerer reflects on her life as an indigenous woman and scientist, and her central theme is that we must adopt a reciprocal relationship with the rest of the world if we are to halt the climate crisis. She says we can do that by building a relationship with nature – one that doesn’t just take but gives back. One of the best examples she uses for this is a garden – we give it some love through watering and weeding, and it loves us back by growing fruits, flowers, and vegetables for us to enjoy. I find myself returning to this book to lean into Kimmerer’s wisdom and lessons.


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All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis

By Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Katharine K. Wilkinson

Book cover of All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis

Why this book?

This is a must-read. This book showcases the different perspectives of amazing women leading on climate all across the U.S. The solutions presented in this book come in the form of art, poetry, and essays. You get to read the work of journalists, scientists, farmers, and so many others across race, geographies, and generations compiled into one work. Instead of focusing solely on the problem, it’s a solution-oriented book which gives the reader so much hope, insight, and motivation. It’s beautiful to see what people can accomplish when they come together.


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Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

By Paul Hawken

Book cover of Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Why this book?

If you’re looking for the most comprehensive plan to combat climate change – this is it. I love how Paul Hawken shows us a future when levels of greenhouse gases don’t just stop climbing, they start declining. He shows us exactly how we can get there safely, quickly, and equitably. This book always leaves me feeling optimistic about our future because I know the solutions are out there as Paul Hawken so kindly outlined for us. But it's up to all of us to make it happen.


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The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health--And How We Can Make It Better

By Annie Leonard

Book cover of The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health--And How We Can Make It Better

Why this book?

This book dives deep into manufacturing, processes, and systems that govern the creation of our stuff. It also shows us how the things we buy directly fuel the climate crisis. Annie Leonard goes into the nitty-gritty of the materials economy and the many negative impacts it has on earth and its people. But this isn’t a tale full of doom and gloom: She also shares actionable steps individuals can take to bring about economic justice. She also discusses collective action that can be taken for creating an overall healthy, sustainable community. 


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Under the Sky We Make: How to Be Human in a Warming World

By Kimberly Nicholas

Book cover of Under the Sky We Make: How to Be Human in a Warming World

Why this book?

I can’t stand it when people say individual actions don’t matter – because they do. And Kimberly Nicholas gets that. In this book, she acknowledges yes, companies and governments are hugely responsible for the mess we’re in. But individuals can create real, significant, and lasting change to solve this problem.  She also explores finding purpose in a warming world, both reflecting on her scientific finds and her life experiences. 


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