The best sustainability focused books

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

Who am I?

Kathryn Kellogg is the founder of Going Zero Waste, a lifestyle website dedicated to helping others live a healthier and more sustainable life. She’s a spokesperson for plastic-free living for National Geographic, Chief Sustainability Officer at the One Movement, and author of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste which breaks eco-friendly, sustainable living down into an easy step by step process with lots of positivity and love. She’s a spokesperson for plastic-free living for National Geographic and Chief Sustainability Officer at the One Movement. 


I wrote...

101 Ways to Go Zero Waste

By Kathryn Kellogg,

Book cover of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste

What is my book about?

We all know how important it is to reduce our environmental footprint, but it can be daunting to know where to begin. Enter Kathryn Kellogg, who can fit all her trash from the past two years into a 16-ounce mason jar. How? She starts by saying “no” to straws and grocery bags, and “yes” to a reusable water bottle and compostable dish scrubbers.

In 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste, Kellogg shares these tips and more, along with DIY recipes for beauty and home; advice for responsible consumption and making better choices for home goods, fashion, and the office; and even secrets for how to go waste-free at the airport. “It’s not about perfection,” she says. “It’s about making better choices.”

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

Why did I love 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.

By Robin Wall Kimmerer,

Why should I read it?

34 authors picked Braiding Sweetgrass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Called the work of "a mesmerizing storyteller with deep compassion and memorable prose" (Publishers Weekly) and the book that, "anyone interested in natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love," by Library Journal, Braiding Sweetgrass is poised to be a classic of nature writing. As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer asks questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take "us on a journey that is…


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

By Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (editor), Katharine K. Wilkinson (editor),

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

Why did I love 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.

By Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (editor), Katharine K. Wilkinson (editor),

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked All We Can Save as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Provocative and illuminating essays from women at the forefront of the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward.

“A powerful read that fills one with, dare I say . . . hope?”—The New York Times
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE

There is a renaissance blooming in the climate movement: leadership that is more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist, rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration. While it’s clear that women and girls are vital voices and agents of change for this planet, they…


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

Why did I love 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.

By Paul Hawken (editor),

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Drawdown as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

• New York Times bestseller •

The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world

“At this point in time, the Drawdown book is exactly what is needed; a credible, conservative solution-by-solution narrative that we can do it. Reading it is an effective inoculation against the widespread perception of doom that humanity cannot and will not solve the climate crisis. Reported by-effects include increased determination and a sense of grounded hope.” —Per Espen Stoknes, Author, What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming…


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 did I love 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. 

By Annie Leonard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Story of Stuff as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How our obsession with 'stuff' is trashing the planet

Annie Leonard, creator of the internet film sensation 'The Story of Stuff', viewed over 6 million times, offers an astonishing, galvanizing book that tells the story of all the 'stuff' we use every day - where our bottled water, mobile phones and jeans come from, how they're made and distributed, and where they really go when we throw them away.

Our out-of-control consumption habits are killing the planet and threatening our health, but Annie provides hope that change is within reach. Like An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring, The Story of…


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

Why did I love 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. 

By Kimberly Nicholas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under the Sky We Make as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** Los Angeles Times bestseller **

It's warming. It's us. We're sure. It's bad. But we can fix it.

After speaking to the international public for close to fifteen years about sustainability, climate scientist Dr. Nicholas realized that concerned people were getting the wrong message about the climate crisis. Yes, companies and governments are hugely responsible for the mess we're in. But individuals CAN effect real, significant, and lasting change to solve this problem. Nicholas explores finding purpose in a warming world, combining her scientific expertise and her lived, personal experience in a way that seems fresh and deeply urgent:…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in climate change, indigenous peoples, and sustainable development?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about climate change, indigenous peoples, and sustainable development.

Climate Change Explore 159 books about climate change
Indigenous Peoples Explore 27 books about indigenous peoples
Sustainable Development Explore 28 books about sustainable development

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, A Cold Welcome, and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt if you like this list.