Top Enviro Books

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Top Enviro Books

From the first story that captured your imagination as a child to the last paperback you picked up at the airport, what you read profoundly shapes your world. So this is a call to all you erudite green bookworms, what environmental book has the power to inspire change?

Together let’s build the most important must-read book list out there.
3 votes

Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

A delightful romp through history with all its economic forces laid bare, Cod is the biography of a single species of fish, but it may as well be a world history with this humble fish as its recurring main character. Cod, it turns out, is the reason ...
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3 votes

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation--he calls it nature-deficit--to some of the most dis...
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3 votes

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to fall into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates? Using a vast historical and geographical perspective ranging from Easter Island and the Maya to Viking Greenland and modern Montana, Di...
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3 votes

Desert Solitaire

Edward Abbey lived for three seasons in the desert at Moab, Utah, and what he discovered about the land before him, the world around him, and the heart that beat within, is a fascinating, sometimes raucous, always personal account of a place that has...
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2 votes

Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization

Accepting the increasingly widespread belief that industrialized culture inevitably erodes the natural world, Endgame sets out to explore how this relationship impels us towards a revolutionary and as-yet undiscovered shift in strategy. Building on a...
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2 votes

The Great Disruption

It's time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding. We need instead to brace for impact because global crisis is no longer avoidable. This Great Disruption started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological...
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2 votes

Natural Capitalism

Most businesses still operate according to a world view that hasn't changed since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Then, natural resources were abundant and labor was the limiting factor of production. But now, there's a surplus of people, whi...
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2 votes

Planetwalker: 22 Years of Walking. 17 Years of Silence

When the struggle to save oil-soaked birds and restore blackened beaches left him feeling frustrated and helpless, John Francis decided to take a more fundamental and personal stand—he stopped using all forms of motorized transportation. Soon after...
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2 votes

Dodging the Toxic Bullet: How to Protect Yourself from Everyday Environmental Health Hazards

Dodging the Toxic Bullet presents workable strategies that show how we can live longer, healthier lives by breathing clean air, eating healthy food, drinking safe water, and using non-toxic products. Author David R. Boyd provides accessible backgroun...
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2 votes

The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America

Enter beekeeper John Miller, who trucks his hives around the country, bringing millions of bees to farmers otherwise bereft of natural pollinators. Even as the mysterious and deadly epidemic known as Colony Collapse Disorder devastates bee population...
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2 votes

Sleeping Naked is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days

"No one likes listening to smug hippies bragging about how they don't use toilet paper, or worse yet, lecturing about the evils of plastic bags and SUVs. But most of us do want to lessen our ecological footprint. With this in mind, Farquharson takes ...
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2 votes

Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds

Joy Adamson's story of a lion cub in transition between the captivity in which she is raised and the fearsome wild to which she is returned captures the abilities of both humans and animals to cross the seemingly unbridgeable gap between their radica...
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2 votes

The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming

Call it “Zen and the Art of Farming” or a “Little Green Book,” Masanobu Fukuoka’s manifesto about farming, eating, and the limits of human knowledge presents a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food. At the same tim...
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2 votes

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail 

The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill ...
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1 vote

Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth

In this classic work that continues to inspire its many readers, James Lovelock deftly explains his idea that life on earth functions as a single organism. Written for the non-scientist, Gaia is a journey through time and space in search of evidence ...
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1 vote

The Riverkeepers

A modern-day David and Goliath tale, "The Riverkeepers" is an impassioned firsthand account by two advocates who have taken on powerful corporate and government polluters to win back the Hudson River. John Cronin and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., tell us h...
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1 vote

Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air

Addressing the sustainable energy crisis in an objective manner, this enlightening book analyzes the relevant numbers and organizes a plan for change on both a personal level and an international scale—for Europe, the United States, and the world. ...
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1 vote

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer

Novella Carpenter loves cities-the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she can't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Ambivalent about repeating her p...
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1 vote

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature

Biomimicry is a revolutionary new science that analyzes nature's best ideas -- spider silk and prairie grass, seashells and brain cells -- and adapts them for human use. Science writer and lecturer Janine Benyus takes us into the lab and out in the f...
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1 vote

Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises

The greatest humanitarian challenge we face today is that of providing shelter. Currently, one in seven people lives in a slum or refugee camp, and more than 3,000,000,000 people--nearly half the world's population--do not have access to clean water ...
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1 vote

Diet for a Hot Planet

In Anna Lappé's controversial new book, she predicts that unless we radically shift the trends of what food we're eating and how we're producing it, food system-related greenhouse gas emissions will go up and up and up. She exposes the interests tha...
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1 vote

You are the Earth

This title delivers an urgent, if patchwork, reminder that we are part of a greater whole. After devoting a chapter to each of life's necessities-air, water, soil (earth), energy (fire), love, and a spiritual connection with the universe-the authors ...
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1 vote

Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect

In Earth in Mind, noted environmental educator David W. Orr focuses not on problems in education, but on the problem of education. Much of what has gone wrong with the world, he argues, is the result of inadequate and misdirected education that: alie...
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1 vote

Where Underpants Come From: From Cotton Fields to Checkout Counters

When Joe Bennett bought a six-pack of underwear in his local supermarket for five dollars, he wondered who on earth could be making any money, let alone profit, from the exchange. How many processes and middlemen are involved? Where and how is the un...
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1 vote

Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

Twenty years ago, with The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we’ve waited too long, and that massive change is n...
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