List Of Must Read Books On Sustainability environmentalist on a bench reading a book on the social impacts of climate change

List of Must Read Books on Sustainability

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These are a few of the books on sustainability I read when starting my journey to a more sustainable lifestyle. Many focus on reducing our waste, especially reducing our dependency on plastics and other single-use items. I will add to this list as I find new great reads. Be sure to check your local library or secondhand shop before purchasing these books new!

1. Plastic Free – How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too by Beth Terry

My mom bought me “Plastic Free” as a Christmas present when I first started learning about zero waste. While recovering from surgery, Beth Terry stumbled across a photo of a dead albatross with a stomach filled with plastic.

That image inspired her to begin a journey of reducing her own waste and educating and encouraging others to do the same. “Plastic Free” is filled with personal stories, interviews with other environmentalists, and resources to help you kick the plastic habit.

2. Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson

Many regard Bea Johnson as the founder of the zero waste movement. Her family of four (plus a dog) only create a small mason jar full of trash per year. She was once like most of us: big American house, closets filled with clothes, and thought bigger was better.

After downsizing, she realized how living a minimalist lifestyle meant not only a more relaxed and enjoyable life with her family but also saved lots of money. In her book, she walks you through each space in the home and provides tip lists, recipes, and resources to help reduce waste and simplify your life.

3. Garbology by Edward Humes

“Garbology” looks at our “love affair” with trash. The average American generates 102 tons of trash in their lifetime, but where does all that trash go? Edward Humes visits landfills and interviews people at various stages of the waste stream to find out.

He also looks at solutions to our love affair and even interviews Bea Johnson. The book covers topics like the history of waste management, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and plastic bag bans to educate readers on how their waste never truly goes away.

4. Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce

“Confessions of an Eco-Sinner” is an investigative book spurred by Pearce’s desire to know where all of his belongings came from. From his wedding ring to his clothing and food, Pearce travels around the world to discover the origins of many everyday items and materials. In doing so, he learns the problems both workers and the environment face to produce all that stuff.


What books have you read on sustainability, zero waste, or the environment? Leave a comment below! I’d love to read something new!

List Of Must Read Books On Sustainability environmentalist on a bench reading a book on the social impacts of climate change

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