Begin your environmental education journey by checking out these green books that have quickly become modern classics.
Women are already bearing the disproportionate brunt of climate change—so it makes sense to listen to the women at the forefront of climate change work, sharing stories and solutions for environmental issues. All We Can Save (Penguin Random House, 2020) is a staple for understanding the role feminism and intersectionality have in protecting our planet.
It’s always good to start with the basics—the plants and life on our planet, and the stories they tell. In Braiding Sweetgrass (Milkweed, 2014) Robin Wall Kimmerer, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and a botanist, gives voice to these living things in order that we may better co-exist. This book weaves tales of myth, science, and history, to reveal how sacred our world is.
Byrd and DeMates offer a great first step in learning what sustainability can mean and how to become agents of change, in their book Sustainability Made Simple (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017). The book introduces the environmental problems seen by all humans, discusses how companies and institutions transition toward sustainability, emphasizes why individual action is vital, and gives examples of changes we can all make.
There are numerous factors contributing to our current climate crisis, but Naomi Klein points to capitalism as the root cause in her book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (Simon & Schuster, 2014). Klein discusses the intersection of profit and environmentalism, and how economic systems have power in creating a sustainable planet. While this book has been noted as provocative and controversial, it is a good read to help understand how our economy contributes to the environmental crisis.
The number of fiction and nonfiction texts that explore climate is constantly growing with new ideas and voices to be heard. Continue your education by purchasing green books from BookShop.org to support independent bookstores or borrow from your local library.