5 Books To Help You Begin Your Journey Of Eco-Consciousness

“One must always be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

Take a deep dive into the science of environmentalism with these published books that have years of work and research behind them and will empower you to see through the avarice of big businesses.

1. The Story Of Stuff

A book made into a documentary and video series, The Story Of Stuff came about after the intense research project taken by Annie Leonard, the now director of Greenpeace. This book is no cakewalk, it will change everything you know about the world. In her graduate years at Cornell, Leonard traveled around the world to deeply understand the lifecycle (from the time they are created to the time they are disposed) of every material that you can ever imagine. From paper to rocks, metals to fibre, water to plastic. With a highly intelligent, curious and problem-solving approach, Leonard puts in perspective how as consumers our decisions need to be more conscious. She exposes the problem, but also offers a solution. A definite must read for anybody who cares about the survival of our planet.

2. How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: 365 Ways to Save Energy, Resources, and Money

Written by Joanna Yarrow, the Head of Sustainability at IKEA, the book has 500 practical ideas that conserve energy, prevent pollution, and save money. Did you know that unplugging cell phone chargers when not in use can reduce electricity bills by 10 per cent? Innovative graphics will inspire action and demonstrate that simple habits can lead to big results.

3. Garbology – Our Dirty Love Affair With Trash

Pulitzer Prize winner, Edward Humes, investigates trash—what’s in it; how much we pay for it; how we manage to create so much of it; and how some families, communities, and even nations are finding a way back from waste to discover a new kind of prosperity. Get to know some unique people like the trash-tracking detectives of MIT, the bulldozer-drivers building Los Angeles’ Garbage Mountain landfill, the artists residing in San Francisco’s dump, and the family whose annual trash output fills just a single mason jar

Garbology reveals not just what we throw away, but who we are and where our society is headed.

4. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism

Retail therapy or stress? Research claims that those lead lives to earn wealth and material possessions tend to be less satisfied and experience fewer positive emotions each day. On the other side of the coin, research has found that life satisfaction is correlated with having less materialistic values. Videos after videos say that the key to happiness is having happy relationships. Often we forget that and buy things to find an escape from our problems, albeit short lived. Minimalism, a concept emerged from Japanese cultures, claims that getting rid of all that you do not need, can actually lead you to a path of happiness.

One of the most sold books on Amazon, this is a real like account by Fumio Sasaki who is just a regular guy who was stressed at work, insecure and constantly comparing himself to others—until one day he decided to change his life by reducing his possessions. Without all his “stuff,” Sasaki finally felt true freedom and peace of mind. A true and relatable story of not equating your worth with material.

5. How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything

Mike Berners-Lee sets out to give us a behind-the-scenes info about the footprint of literally anything we do, buy and think about from foods, books, plastic bags, bikes, flights, baths to deforestation, data centres, rice production, the World Cup, volcanoes. Be warned, some of the things you thought you knew about green living may be about to be turned on their head. Never preachy but packed full of information and always entertaining.

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In an effort to save precious resources, we urge you to buy used paperbacks or Kindle versions (if you already own a Kindle) or visit a library.

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