Sustainable Summer Reading List: Top 10 Books About The Environment

The Care2 bloggers are making their top ten suggestions for must-reads … and they’re covering all issues, so keep coming back for more!

Here are my picks (in no particular order) for books that will inspire, inform, and grow your eco-knowledge so that you can have a more sustainable life.

1. Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything by Daniel Goleman

“Revealing the hidden environmental consequences of what we make and buy, and how with that knowledge we can drive the essential changes we all must make to save our planet and ourselves.”

2. Farewell My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living by Doug Fine

“Both a hilarious romp and an inspiring call to action, ‘Farewell, My Subaru’ makes a profound statement about trading today’s instant gratifications for a deeper, more enduring kind of satisfaction.”

3. The Armchair Environmentalist by Karen Christensen

“Printed on 100% recycled paper, the Armchair Environmentalist is a ‘three minute-a-day action plan to save the world.’ It focuses on what individuals can do to reduce their use of energy and water and create a healthier environment at home and at work. It is an easy read and chocked full of cute pictures and graphics.”

4. Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill by Riki Ott

A timely pick in light of the ongoing Gulf Oil Spill crisis, Ott “illustrates in stirring fashion the oil industry’s 20-year trail of pollution and deception that led to the tragic 1989 spill and delves deep into the disruption to the fishing community for the next 10 years.”

5. The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

“In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; what of our everyday stuff may become immortalized as fossils; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.”

6. Edens Lost & Found: How Ordinary Citizens Are Restoring Our Great American Cities by Harry Wiland, Dale Bell, & Joseph D’Agnese

“As urban issues have become undeniably urgent problems that demand answers, people from disparate backgrounds and political leanings are joining forces to recast life in American cities.”

7. The Sustainable World SourceBook by The Sustainable World Coalition

“Featuring an introduction written by renowned environmentalist and bestselling author Paul Hawken, the Sustainable World SourceBook will appeal to anyone seeking an understanding of a broad range of sustainability issues. Focused on solutions and actions, it is the essential guidebook for every concerned citizen.”

8. The Practical Cyclist by Chip Haynes

“A very simple, very practical and extremely humorous guide to bicycling for everyday purposes.”

9. The Human-Powered Home by Tamara Dean

“For those who want to apply their own ingenuity, or for those who have never heard of human-powered machines, this book is a fine reference. For those who are beginning to understand the importance of a life of reduced dependency on fossil fuels, this book could be a catalyst for change.”

10. Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fast Food Fueled Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future by Greg Melville

“Part adventure and part investigation of what we’re doing (or not doing) to preserve the planet, Greasy Rider is upbeat, funny, and full of surprising information about the many sustainable measures that are within our reach.”

Like this story? Connect with Beth on Twitter or Stumble!

Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons - wonderlane


Julie P
Julie Pham11 months ago


Thomas Morrison
Tracey Morrison3 years ago

Whoopee! After a long wait I got this site and I got the important facts as regards my study and familiarity from there.
Voir sur l'article

Julie Botsch
Julie Botsch4 years ago


ii q.
g d c5 years ago


Janine Hofmann
Janine H6 years ago

Thank you very much for the information

Hopefully books will stay forever and do not vanish because of internet. And hopefully there are more people who like books, who like real paper in their hands with real ink. I love books. And as long as i can think back they have been the only friends i ever had. Books don't hurt (only when thrown) as people can hurt. And they can help to survive some things achild or an adult doe not want to go through... But books don't have a warmth of embrace :(

Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
(Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Posing AsMe
Posing Asme6 years ago

LOVE this. I'll give the list to my students and fellow teachers.

clara H.
Clara Hamill7 years ago

Nice now I have some more books to look at if i get the time to read them.

Pammy P.
Pammy P.7 years ago

You know...there is no simple definition of what is sustainable.
According to Thomas Robert Malthus war,famine,and disease are very positive factors.
How do individuals believe THEY are the problem?
Sustainabilty ? That's whatever the corporate culture robbing flim flam hijackers of God's planet say it is.
There is no absolute involved.
BTW your sustainabilty account is overdrawn because of BP's oil spill in the Gulf.
You now have a zero balance.
BP was a big "sustainability"pusher.
Just like the banks that are too big to fail,you get to pay for that too.You are not to big to fail.You are just the right size !
Sustainabilty is nothing more than a transitive non defined term.
All it takes is 1 green greedy company to kick you in the teeth like BP and you now have to work overtime into extinction to pay the price with a wired up jaw.
I'm sorry I don't believe in the corporate version of feel good "sustainability"
Big polluting greedy companies are not sustainable.
Lets all get some hydroponic gardens and feed ourselves as much as we can.
Lets raise our own children and feed ourselves and stop believing corporations care about us and the planet.

Glamour Girlcat
Glamour Girlcat7 years ago

Interesting list, Beth. Thank you for posting!

Star S.7 years ago

thanks for listing these books