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Top 5 Eco Books

I am continuing my new found hobby of reading but now focusing on climate emergency books. Everything from what is happening to our planet, those that are fighting for it, as well as how we can help it and what to be aware of. There are many books on the subject and it is certainly a growing trend, which is great. I will be honest these books are a mixture of frightening and sad news but also incredibly and helpful information on how we can make the world a better place, also giving us the motivation to continue the fight for our planet. These are some of the top Climate Emergency and eco books that I have read and which have changed my thinking and improved my life and sustainable goals:

A stack of eco, sustainable and nature books. Including Wilding, Nature cure, Cradle to Cradle, The Hidden Life of Trees, Still Water, On Time and Water, No Way But Gentelness, Go Toxic Free and Living Planet.
Eco & Nature Book Stack

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

by Michael Braungart and William McDonough

I love this book. I have always thought of sustainability much like natural life as a circular affair. I always thought that to be truly sustainable products should not have a negative impact throughout their life, including at the end of it. This book is somewhat of a manifesto detailing how we can achieve the cradle to cradle design model into every product. It goes through the process of how the author has been involved with a number of companies to create a cradle to cradle product that is not harmful. It highlights the author's view on the design process, noting how we need to get away from this “less bad” mindset and to rethink to never create the harm in the first place. Although it noted the great work some companies have done implementing circular economy it also highlights the blatant corruption and disregard some companies have for our health and the planet, all for profit. Linking to how companies have greenwashed us by misleading in their advertising or missing critical information that would show their product is not as green as they make out. I have done my own study on circular economy (cradle-to-cradle) at university and agreed with many of the points made in this book and the need to change all our mindsets for our future. One incredible fact in the book is how ants have a greater biomass than humans yet do not harm the planet like we humans do, meeting the cradle to cradle lifestyle, meaning it is possible for us. If you are passionate about changing the world you need to look at nature and creating a future with it. This book will certainly help you with this. I genuinely believe this book should be mandatory in schools. This way the next generation will question and rethink to make the world a better place, which is a must for our planet to continue. It is also a must read for anyone producing a product, starting a business or wants to make conscious decisions in their daily life.

Cradle to Cradle: Re-Making the Way We Make Things by Michael Braungart and William McDonough
Cradle to Cradle by Michael Braungart and William McDonough

On Time and Water

By Andri Snaer Magnason

This was an incredibly interesting book to read. It made me think of so many things including the time we have and the impact that we have as individuals on our planet and our friends and family over many years on this planet. The author goes into many aspects of this, as well as how we perceive things in society. This book made me question how we should change our perceptions to take them more seriously, specifically talking about climate change, which is often disregarded. It also goes into great depth of the author's family life, making me think of the adventure you can have and the importance of capturing them and sharing them with loved ones. In the book he does an interesting calculations, which notes your connection with your great grandparents right to your great grandchildren is approximately 262 years, which is a tremendous amount of time. It makes you question the values we have in this world and what it means if they are gone. The book also helps to capture my like minded wonder and breathtaking encounters with natural world into words. Yet also reminding me of how our mindset in a few years has changed from a caring one to value what we use and ensure it is used again to a carefree wasteful one. That we need to revert back in time from the current wasteful lifestyle we have made to the one of the past where we made things last. Perhaps to a modern future where we can do even better? The author does a great job by describing these unique natural areas in his homeland Iceland then hitting the reader with hard hitting climate emergency facts, raising awareness to what can only be described as our impending doom. It is clear there is a tremendous amount of frustration that presently there are no words to capture our current climate issues and warning of the future, that all the current ones fall of deaf ears. The book details this emergency and lack of interest, action or understanding coming down to communication, the desensitisation of billions preventing it. Linking the confusion in history for not having the words to describe acts, preventing people to understand it, even when it benefited them. It is a thoroughly thought provoking and awakening book. There is a clear need for drastic change to save the world, as the situation is worse than we thought. The author's information on glaciers are a huge part of this and the effect they have on millions and how they are part of our life but also rapidly declining, melting away is a great demonstration of the future that is to come for the rest of the planet. He details his journeys and experiences on this earth and with the incredible people he has met. It shows the scary truth of what could be our impending doom, an absolute stark warning of our future and noting how at the moment our impact is shocking, saddening, self-inflicted and our dire need to change that. A great book to make you question yourself and what we are doing to our planet.

On Time and Water by Andri Snær Magnason
On Time and Water by Andri Snær Magnason

No One is Too Small to Make a Difference

By Greta Thunberg

This book is a collection of speeches from probably the most influential and prominent climate activists there is. The passion Greta instils in her speeches and this book is certainly influential, making me want to fight for this planet. What she puts into her speeches are simple, to the point and unquestionable, I cannot see how someone can actually listen to what she has said and without fooling themselves say she is wrong. Reading her speeches was incredibly interesting and the rationality she uses is definitive. She often states not to listen to her and to listen to actual scientists, all she points out is that she has listened to them and is rightly concerned, so why aren't our politicians, corporations and the majority also concerned. She blatantly calls out those who try to ridicule her and further pushes them to just listen to the data and act on that, not her. Her passion and knowledge is clear to anyone who reads this book, her speeches are thought out, crucial and well put together and deserves to be listened too.

She heroically calls out politicians and these organisations and rightly labels them as villains if they choose to do nothing. I noted she repeats a lot of the same points in her speeches but this makes sense, as nothing is changing. One of these is her continual references to the ipcc's report and our depleting Co2 budget, yet noting we are not doing anything to improve it. To emphasise this the report states if there is a '67 percent chance of staying below a 1.5°C global temperature rise the world had 420 gigatonnes of Co2 left to emit back on 1 January 2018' she also states 'how we are already down to below 360 gigatonnes left, so we are not in a good position. She constantly references the people (us) have had enough and are fighting for our planet, where our politicians and wealthy businesses have let us down. As she often states "We are the change and change is coming". The title really says it all, the fact that a school girl from Sweden has become a leader for climate injustice and the rebellion she started is known throughout the world is impactful and inspirational. Who knows the impact you could make?

No One Is Too Small To Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
No One Is Too Small To Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

Go Toxic Free: Easy and Sustainable Ways to Reduce Chemical Pollution

By Anna Turns

This book is actually frightening. There is so much to learn about the toxins that exist practically everywhere. This book highlights all the contamination and waste we produce and how we can begin to avoid and reduce it from our lives. The author has done a wide range of research and points out clear forms of pollutants for example from planes and the issues living close to them. Due to this I am certainly not going to buy a house near one and ideally away from any flight path. It also highlights how the harmful pollutants we use today quickly seep into the surrounding environment and wildlife. The book does not just point out the scary facts of toxins and pollutants but also how we can avoid it with great advice and tips to live sustainably and toxic free. It also encourages us to ask questions, too many companies do not disclose their full impact but we must push for this information, so we can make decisions based on them. This is emphasised as the toxic have an effect on our lives, on our families and we have a right to understand what we are taking on when we choose to use a product or live a certain way. Although I found this book frightening I also enjoyed the read, as the author clearly wants to make the future a better place and does this by educating us to be aware of the toxins in the world but also to encourage us to petition these companies to make our world toxic free.

Go Toxic Free by Anna Turns book leaning on a thistle on top of a mountain.
Go Toxic Free by Anna Turns

101 Ways to Go Zero Waste

By Kathryn Kellogg

In a future where we care for the planet and combat climate change, destruction of natural landscapes and the decline of wildlife we need to find a way to stop creating waste. Waste ends in landfill, pollutes our natural habitats and kills wildlife. It is also due to the fact that so much waste cannot be reused or recycled due to what it is made from is the reason why it can be so harmful to you (the book above ‘Go Toxic Free’ goes into this in more depth). The book helps detail the process of redefining the way we think from creating waste with as the name aptly applies a ton of great advice to help you achieve going zero waste. The book itself helps detail this process, as well as the author's personal story in this, while understanding what being zero waste realistically means for most people. She is open about the fact that due to the current systems most of us live in, it is essentially impossible to go fully zero waste and that is okay, as long as you make an effort towards it. The book is very informative and full of ideas and ways you can go zero waste in a variety of areas. From in your house (bathroom, kitchen, etc.), going out (takeaway, bring your own), seasonal (Gifts, decorations) to general motivation and thoughts on zero waste. If you are looking for practical ways to help our planet it is a must pick up.

101 Ways to Go Zero Waste by Kathryn Kellogg surrounded by a number of zero waste items.
101 Ways to Go Zero Waste by Kathryn Kellogg

Reading is a great way to learn and improve yourself, so I will always encourage people to read as much as they can. I also believe our planet is pretty awesome and also vital to our survival. Therefore, learning about it is important and we need to understand what is happening to it (often through climate change) and what we can do to protect it. Above are a few of the books I have read over the last year that meet my learning goals. All are quite different from helping you achieve a eco-friendly lifestyle (Cradle-to-Cradle, Go Toxic Free & 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste) to highlighting the real climate issues (On Time and Water) and finally to highlight the pressing urgency of the climate crisis and to motivate you to do something about it (No One is Too Small to Make a Difference). All should be on your reading list if you are eco-conscious and sustainable minded.

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To simply create a better world for all those that live in it, whilst having some fun doing it. 

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