What is better than curling up on the couch with a blanket and getting lost in a good book? Here are few books that are good reads with a good purpose. They provide information about how you can live more sustainably as well as how today’s American society is affecting our overall carbon footprint.
A really fun read is No Impact Man by Colin Beavan. In this page-turner, Beavan writes about how he and his family try to live as sustainably as possible in New York City and determines whether or not it is actually possible to have no impact on the environment (no trash, toxins, electricity usage, carbon footprint, etc.).
Another enlightening book about sustainability is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver. Barbara Kingsolver wrote this book to tell the story about how she and her family tried to live off their own homegrown food from their Southern Appalachia farm. It includes the various techniques they learn about gardening and raising their own farm animals and the humorous events that brought their family together during their journey.
“The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance,”by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, is about how our everyday objects and buildings need to be built more sustainably to encourage a green future. The goal of the authors is to not only protect “the planet from human impact,” but “redesign our activity to improve” it through infrastructure. It is a great read if you are interested in urban sustainability.
“The New Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line,” by Bob Willard, is about how a company can increase its profits by developing more sustainable practices. Willard was an award-winning senior manager at IBM and decided to leave the company in order to help consult others in how to build their own sustainable companies. He has also written “The New Sustainability Advantage,” “The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook” and “The Next Sustainability Wave.”
Another good, informative book is “The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse” by David Owen. It is about the green movement and how we already have the information and technology needed to live sustainably, it is just a matter of being able to utilize it and accept it.
If you just want an entertaining read about how regular, everyday people began their journey to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and the challenges they faced, then Beavan’s or Kingsolver’s books would be great choices. If you are looking for ways to help green your home or business, then pick up McDonough’s or Willard’s reads. But if you just want to learn more about what is stopping the environmental movement from progressing forward, then perhaps Owen’s book would be best. There are multiple books and authors for every category in sustainability. It seems that more companies and people are working towards developing more earth-friendly lifestyles and practices that are not only beneficial to the environment, but to themselves also. Don’t get left behind in the green movement. Instead, learn more about how you can become more sustainable by educating yourself.
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Stephanie Siemek is a freelance writer whose work can be found on Examiner.com.