The Top 10 Environmental Books of All Time

The Top 10 Environmental Books of All Time

Studies show that an eReader is more environmentally friendly than a paper book, but only if you read more than 23 books on it.

I have an eReader, but having not yet used it to read 23 books yet it’s certainly underused. So this afternoon I started searching for my next read. I felt like reading something that would be environmentally enlightening, so I found a list someone had compiled of environmental books for inspiration.

Then I started wondering who exactly compiled the list and what biases influenced their selection. So I looked at another. Then another. In the end, I looked at 15 lists of “the best” eco-friendly reads – all together they recommended 183 independent books.

I searched for the most commonly recommended book on environmental issues and then started tracking them in Excel… I’m an engineer, what can I say! My methodology was simple: Each time a book appeared on a list, it was awarded a point. I then ranked the books based on their cumulative points.

#1 An Inconvenient Truth
by Al Gore (2006)

#2 Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
by William McDonough and Michael Braungart (2002)

#3 Silent Spring
by Rachel Carson (1962)

#4 Eating Animals
by Jonathan Safran Foer (2009)

#5 Natural Capitalism
by Paul Hawken, Amory B. Lovins, et. al. (2000)

#6 A Sand-County Almanac
by Aldo Leopold (1949)

#7 American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau
by various authors (2008)

#8 Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature
by Janine Benyus (2003)

#9 Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises
by Architecture for Humanity, Kate Stohr and Cameron Sinclair (2006)

#10 ecoDesign: The Sourcebook
by Alastair Fuad-Luke (2006)

I’ve decided to start at #4 – Eating Animals. What books would you add to the list?

May 2, 2012