Top 10 Green Reads For Earth Month

Care2 Earth Month: Back to Basics

This year, Care2 decided to expand Earth Day into Earth Month, since there is so much to explore when it comes to the environment. Every day in April, we’ll post about some of the most important topics for the environment, exploring and explaining the basics. It’s a great tool to help you get started with helping the environment — or help explain it to others. See the whole series here.

To celebrate Earth Day, there will be recycling drives and tree plantings. People will boast about reducing waste and eliminating carbon emissions. All of these things are worthy accomplishments, and I only wish they were pursued with such gusto 365 days a year, instead of just one. In my opinion, the most important thing you can do to help save the planet is get educated about what’s really happening out there. And that’s why Care2 launched this Earth Month series. But these posts are just the starting point.

Since every day should be treated like Earth Day, why not extend the learning? Here are 10 books that should be on your green reading list. Some are long, some are short. They cover topics from climate change to the importance of sharing, and are essential for creating the clean, healthy world in which we all want to live. Do you know of a book that should be on the list? Please share it in a comment!

1. Natural Capitalism – No book could be more relevant given our current political and economic chaos. Written by Paul Hawken, Hunter Lovins, and Amory Lovins, this book describes a future in which business and environmental interests increasingly overlap, and in which businesses play the pivotal role in bringing humanity back within its planetary limits.

2. The Lorax – If you read it as a kid, it’s time to read it again. And if you’ve got kids, it’s time to read it to them. In today’s increasingly corporatized world, we all need to hear the Lorax’ simple message of respect and conservation. If even kids can understand it’s wrong to exploit the world’s natural resources, what excuse to adults have?

3. Eaarth: Making Life On A Tough New Planet – For author and climate activist Bill McKibben, denial is no longer an option. We need to acknowledge that we’ve waited too long, and that massive climate change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar Earth is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back—on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change—fundamental change—is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance.

4. 100 Places To Remember Before They Disappear – How many exotic locations are on your bucket list? Thanks to human accelerated climate change, some will be gone before you or your children have a chance to see them in person. This book features photographs from one hundred different places around the world in risk of disappearing or seriously threatened by climate change.

5. Get Out!: 150 Easy Ways for Kids & Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature and Build a Greener FutureOne reason that so many people have become apathetic to the fate of our planet is because they’re completely disconnected from it. Written by Care2′s own Judy Molland, this book is full of ideas to get families, classrooms, and groups outside learning about nature, experiencing the world in new ways, and taking a hands-on approach to the three r’s (reduce, reuse, recycle).

6. Moral Ground – We’ve been hearing a lot about returning America to its “moral roots.” But what about our obligation to be good stewards of the Earth? This book brings together the testimony of over eighty visionaries—theologians and religious leaders, scientists, elected officials, business leaders, naturalists, activists, and writers—to present a diverse and compelling call to honor our individual and collective moral responsibility to our planet.

7. The Better World Shopping Guide – Time and time again it’s been stressed that the best way to create a greener world is to vote with your dollar. As the only comprehensive guide for socially and environmentally responsible consumers available, this book ranks every product on the shelf so you can quickly tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys” — turning your grocery list into a powerful tool to change the world. Representing over 15 years of distilled research, data is organized into the most common product categories including coffee, energy bars, computers, gasoline, clothing, banks, cars, water and more.

8. Farm City - When Novella Carpenter-captivated by the idea of backyard self-sufficiency- moved to inner city Oakland and discovered a weed-choked, garbage- strewn abandoned lot next door to her house, she closed her eyes and pictured heirloom tomatoes and a chicken coop. Farm City is the story of how her urban farm grew from a few chickens to one populated with turkeys, geese, rabbits, ducks, and two three-hundred-pound pigs will capture the imagination of anyone who has ever considered leaving the city behind for a more natural lifestyle.

9. Share or Die: Voices of the Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis - America stands at a precipice; limitless consumption, reckless economics, and disregard for the environment have put the country on a collision course with disaster. It’s up to a younger generation to rebuild according to new forms of organization, and Share or Die is a collection of messages from the front lines. Learn how collaborative consumption networks, worker cooperatives, and DIY higher education are helping us all negotiate the new economic order. (Also available as an ebook)

10. The World Without Us – Climate change and over consumption might put and end to the human race, but the Earth has survived such extinctions, and it will do so again. In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity’s impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us. From places already devoid of humans, Weisman reveals Earth’s tremendous capacity for self-healing. As is shows which human devastations are indelible, and which examples of our highest art and culture would endure longest, the book ultimately drives toward a radical but persuasive solution that doesn’t depend on our demise.

Do you know of a book that should be on the list? Please share it in a comment!

Also note: used books are greener than new ones! Check out,, or your local, independent  bookstore before buying new.

Related Reading:

Renewable Energy: A Strategy For Long-Term Survival

What Does The Endangered Species Act Mean To Me?

How Does Clean Transportation Work?

Image via Thinkstock


Margaret M.
Marge F5 years ago

Thank-you for the informative article. To bad that those who really need to see it, those with the power to make changes that would be healing the Earth instead of causing more trauma to it, will not see it & were they to see it, it still wouldn't matter to them.

Alison A.
Alison A5 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Richard T.
Richard T5 years ago


greenplanet e.
greenplanet e5 years ago

Thanks - have seen some, will check out others :)

Debbie F.
Debbie F5 years ago

Thanks for the list. I will check them out!

Kenneth D.
Kenneth Davies5 years ago


Arild Warud


Marcia O.
Marcia Oyler5 years ago

Great article!!

LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Interesting info, thank you for sharing!

Alice A.
Alice Anderson5 years ago

Thanks for sharing the books listed above. Arbor Day is coming up--plant a tree in your community!