My Sustainable Living Reading List

Mar 11, 2021 | Reading and Learning

What is on my sustainable living reading list? I am an avid reader (and listener – I love audiobooks!). Last month I posted about Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers. I thought I would share a few more recommendations this month and also a list of other books on my (very long) to-read list!

Recommended Sustainable Living Books

A Family Guide to Waste-Free Living – Lauren & Oberon Carter

I think Waste Free Living is my favourite book, so far, in the zero waste genre. Although this Tasmanian family pretty much went ‘zero waste’ in a matter of weeks, which I feel would be beyond us, their passion is contagious. It has tips, recipes and how-tos as well as a lovely peek into their sustainable lives.

Waste Free Living by Lauren and Oberon Carter

Less is More: How Degrowth Will Save The World – Jason Hickel

I’m not even finished listening to the audio version of Less is More and I already believe it should be compulsory reading. Hickel paints quite a bleak picture to begin with but his vision for a post-capitalist economy is inspiring. He is all about solutions to the climate crisis with a focus on human flourishing.

Grow Your Own: How to Be an Urban Farmer – Angus Stewart

I liked this guide on urban farming, Grow Your Own. It has a wealth of practical information on growing your own food which are well fleshed out compared to other books I have read.

Six Weeks to Zero Waste. A Simple Plan for Life – Kate Arnell

I feel like Kate Arnell’s philosophy in Six Weeks to Zero Waste is similar to mine. She’s about ‘imperfect action’ and doesn’t believe in absolutes. This is a beginner’s guide to low waste living but I like that she has smaller and larger steps with lots of practical ideas. She also has some rather impractical ideas such as starting your own beauty brand but take what is useful and leave what is not.

Digital Minimalism: On Living Better with Less Technology – Cal Newport

Not so much a book on sustainable living but I think Digital Minimalism links to living life in line with your values. This book really spoke to me. Maybe it came to me at a point in my life when I really needed to hear it. However, I believe we could all do with disconnecting from our technology a bit more and do more of what is important to us. This book has some very practical ideas, and a decent bit of theory, for how and why to do that.

Waste Not – Erin Rhoads

Another favourite zero waste book. Rhoads, aka The Rogue Ginger, is another Australian with loads of very practical tips in Waste Not on reducing your waste. One of the first books I read on this topic and it is very inspiring. She has a second book called Waste Not Everyday.

Waste Not by Erin Rhoads

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto – Michael Pollan

I am a huge fan of Michael Pollan. My husband and I both read In Defense of Food years ago and it transformed how we think of food. We try to live by his words…

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Michael Pollan

Not so good at the “not too much” part but we do try to eat ‘real food’ (that our grandparents would recognise) and our diet is largely plant-based (ever more so actually). If you want a commonsense approach to what to eat with a holistic view of food, this book is a must read.

On my Sustainable Living Reading List

In no particular order… Actually, they are in alphabetical order!

  • A Life Less Throwaway – Tara Button
  • Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough – Clive Hamilton
  • Atmosphere of Hope – Tim Flannery
  • Beyond the Brink – Peter Andrews
  • Collapse – Jared Diamond
  • Curing Affluenza – Richard Denniss
  • Drawdown – Paul Hawken
  • Earth Democracy – Vandana Shiva
  • Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond
  • Half Earth – Edward Wilson
  • Half the Sky – Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl Wudunn
  • Just Cool It! – Suzuki & Hanington
  • Ocean of Life – Callum Roberts
  • On Eating Meat – Matthew Evans
  • One World – Peter Singer
  • Planet Obesity – Garry Egger & Boyd Swinburn
  • RetroSuburbia – David Holmgren
  • Rise & Resist – Clare Press
  • The Better World Handbook: From Good Intentions to Everyday Actions – Ellis Jones
  • The Future Eaters – Tim Flannery
  • The Most Good You Can Do – Peter Singer
  • The Sixth Extinction – Elizabeth Kolbert
  • The Story of Stuff – Annie Leonard
  • This is a Good Guide for a Sustainable Lifestyle – Marieke Eyskoot
  • Turning the Tide on Plastic – Lucy Siegle
  • Unprocessed – Megan Kimble

Wow! There’s enough reading there to keep me going for a very long time. But I know there are many, many more out there. What’s on your sustainable living reading list? What have been your favourite reads on this topic? Please share them with me.

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