I always find that reading is the best place to start before you begin any journey; be it learning how to speak Spanish, inspiration for travel, meditation, I’ve done it all. All the research is done for you, the stats, the ideas, the advice, it’s all there for you to learn from.
Below are my top 6 recommendations on where to start when wanting to learn about sustainable living. Everything from foraging, living waste free, reducing your carbon footprint to living a simple and happy life, the following books really kick started my journey for a greener lifestyle.
My own green living journey started exactly this way, and was actually a gift from my boyfriend, a book called ‘Food For Free’. It’s super cheap on Amazon, definitely worth a purchase, it’s a fab starter point for learning all about foraging. I honestly believe this needs to be the way forward in reducing my carbon footprint. There are over 100 different plants and flowers listed in the book that are edible and this book makes it easy to identify when you’re out and about on walks, especially as it’s super small so ideal for stuffing in your backpack. There are recipe ideas and interesting facts on their use throughout history. You can purchase the book below.
Following our experiences using this book and trying out new ways of eating for free, we started opening up our mind to other ideas on sustainable living. This book is not just about about living sustainably, but living a simple and happy life, and I absolutely love it. It’s such a pretty bookshelf book too! The term ‘Lagom’ actually has no direct english translation (I think that says it all!), but loosely translates to “not too much, not too little, but just right”.
If you’ve ever been to Sweden, you will instantly notice just how happy and content everyone seems to be. They live their lives in a happy-go-lucky way; that’s not to say they don’t have the usual challenges of life, but they know how to make the most of the simple things to bring happiness. The concept also strongly advocates selflessness and a core belief of responsibility and common good. Covering topics such as work-life balance, living clutter free, reducing your environmental impact, and living a balance life, it’s a great introduction to sustainable living. I recommend this book so highly as it covers the basics, it’s a short read but there are so many useful tips to take from it.
‘The Environment and the People in American Cities, 1600s – 1900s: Disorder, Inequality, and Social Change’ by Doreta E Taylor
Learning about the history of sustainability, I don’t think there is anywhere better to begin than reading this important book by Doreta E Taylor. Providing an in-depth look at the development of urban environments, and urban environmentalism across America over the last few decades, even though it focuses on the US, it aligns very much with how we live here in the UK too. This book will help you fuel your passion for sustainable living by understanding why we are where we are today.
I absolutely adore this book for all its practical tips for living waste free. Whilst a lot of it is probably a little unachievable for the average household, (making your own makeup from charred almonds and using vinegar as conditioner seem a little too much!) there are plenty of fun ideas to live a sustainable life at home. Bea Johnson really is the queen of the zero waste lifestyle and certainly someone to be admired in how well she does this.
Finally, on my list is a book I sadly haven’t read yet, but it is next up on my Kindle to dig into. Probably the most influential book relating to the climate crisis, ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate’ by Naomi Klein.
talks about the impact that Capitalism is having on our planet. Often reviewed as one of the most important and defining books of our era, I’d suggest everyone puts this top of their reading list. I’ll review this as soon as I’ve read it, however if you’re not the reading type, in 2015 it was made into a film by Avi Lewis, and you can download it online via Amazon Prime for £1.49 here.
I’m always wanting to expand my reading list on important topics, are there any books that you’ve read that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!