5 Sustainability Books To Inspire Change

If you let them, these books will push your mind to uncomfortable places and will change the way you see the world and live your life. However, it’s important to remember that education is a privilege so once you know better (which you will after reading these books) it is your responsibility to do better.

The sustainability movement is gaining momentum, and with more people choosing to move beyond the minimum to protect our planet and redefine our social and economic standards, education on this complex issue is needed now more than ever.


While the media may make sustainability out to be all perfectly organized zero-waste pantries, and beautiful slow-fashion garments, the realities of the sustainability movement are much less — pretty. And while I personally believe that optimism and positive encouragement will always motivate change better than depressing statistics, the following 12 sustainability books do an excellent job of walking the line between information that we all need to know — and positive encouragement that can (and has) spark social change. 

Below are 12 of the best sustainability books to inspire change. The following books cover everything from sustainability in our food system, to our purchasing habits, how to grow our own food and connect with our surrounding environment, and the ethical issues that continue to exist (particularly within our food system), and how we can be better allies for change. 


If you let them, these books will push your mind to uncomfortable places and will change the way you see the world and live your life. However, it’s important to remember that education is a privilege so once you know better (which you will after reading these books) it is your responsibility to do better.



The Third Plate: Field Notes On The Future Of Food


Chef Dan Barber pulls the curtain back on the less positive results of the farm-to-table movement, and the way in which it has failed to improve the standard American diet. The Third Plate takes a hard look at the way our food and food culture is connected with our environment and the complex food system that we all participate in every day.












The Humane Gardener


Written by journalist and long-time gardener Nancy Lawson, The Humane Gardener is a book that encourages compassion and respect for all species. Throughout the book engaging anecdotes from scientists, home gardeners, and horticulturists explore the broader ecological lessons we can all learn and implement in our own outdoor spaces.












Silent Spring


Written by Rachel Carson, Silent Spring addresses the real-life and scientifically proven impact of pesticides on wildlife, bees, and humans. Silent Spring calls for individuals to question what is allowed by the government to enter into our environment, and in many ways inspired the modern-day environmental public health movement.













Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost Of Cheap Fashion


Whether you are well versed in the social, environmental, and economic issues associated with the fast-fashion industry, or are just beginning to open your eyes to the impact our clothing has on the world, Overdressed is an eye-opening must read that will absolutely change the way you view your clothing.












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


Drawdown maps and measures the 100 most substantial solutions to combating global warming. This book is simple to flip through and addresses the history of every solution, the potential carbon reduction impact, and really opens the reader's eyes to the most impactful (yet not always the most talked about or popular) solutions to reversing global warming.

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