Summer reading is one of the joys of the season, and we decided to balance our usual diet of Parisian love stories and international intrigues with a selection of great books (and tips) for living a more sustainable life. What we love about these 4 is their practicality: there's nothing more de-motivating than reading about some unattainable idealistic life you have no hope of achieving! These are easy, simple guides that you can adapt to your own lifestyle.
Attainable Sustainable, Kris Bordessa
Whether you live in a city, suburb, or the country, this essential guide for the self-reliant will help you achieve a homespun life-- from starting your own garden and pickling the food you grow to pressing wildflowers, raising chickens, and creating your own natural cleaning supplies. Here's a case in point, I am not going to raise chickens, so I skipped that bit and went straight to cooking in cast iron, something I'm genuinely interested in. And that's the right approach with a book like this, adapt the parts that relate to your interests and leave the rest for others.
The Sustainable Travel Handbook, Lonely Planet
This year, more than any other, is going to be the year of travel. There is so much pent-up demand for hitting the road that everyone seems to be making plans at any cost. I really like this book because it challenges travelers to consider their impact on the Earth. Green travel and eco-tourism are fairly new to most people, and this guide can help.
Maybe you’re looking to reduce your carbon emissions, or to enjoy a more responsible wildlife-watching experience, or to harness culinary tourism for good or to enjoy an eco-friendly city break-- whatever your plans, pick up this guide for practical advice and alternatives you may not have ever considered.
Living Without Plastic, Allen and Wong
Again, what appealed to me was how pragmatic this guide is-- going plastic-free on any level is really difficult but this book helped me embrace a plastic-free lifestyle. Includes more than 100 simple swaps for everything from pens and toothbrushes to disposable bottles and the 5 trillion plastic bags we use—and throw out—every year. It's organized into five sections—At Home, Food & Drink, Health & Beauty, On the Go, and Special Occasions. More than many other books we considered, this one is a collection of doable, difference-making solutions, including a 30-Day Plastic Detox Program.
Help Save Our Earth, Feigle
Kids are always on our mind, so I went looking for a book with the same practical approach to being eco-friendly that I found in the other 3 titles. This book takes the simple approach of walking through a child's day and all the locations they may encounter: their bedroom, the kitchen, a classroom, the market, the park, etc. to offer small but important suggestions for living more sustainably.
What's on your bookshelf this Summer?