Written by Denise Deby.
April 22 was Earth Day. Earth Day draws needed attention to the environment, but sometimes it comes with a lot of hype, too–for example, by companies promoting yet more consumption of their stuff, or association with things that have very little to do with sustainability.
Reflecting on Earth Day this year made me want to think bigger–about the earth’s complexity, the way good writers or artists can express it. When I learned that April 23 is World Book Day, that clinched the idea of a post on books.
Of course, there’s a lot of great literature—fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction—on the environment, so here’s just a tiny sample:
The Lorax: The incomparable Dr. Seuss speaks for the trees, inspiring kids and adults alike to do their part, however big or small, for the environment.
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, by Naomi Klein: a big-picture yet often personal book about how changing the way we organize our economy and society can help us transform our world for the better.
The Big Swim: Coming Ashore in a World Adrift, by Carrie Saxifrage: a book that reflects on nature and life through the author’s personal experiences.
The Ecoholic books by Adria Vasil, and Toxin Toxout by Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith: Practical help for living and consuming sustainably.
The Once and Future World by J.B. MacKinnon, The Global Forest by Diana Beresford-Kroeger, Eating Dirt by Charlotte Gill, The Oil Man and the Sea by Arno Kopecky and Happy City by Charles Montgomery are just a few more examples of compelling books that blend storytelling, history and evidence to give us a big picture of the earth and living as humans within it.
I’d love to hear what eco-books have inspired you!