Each year, Earth Day offers us a chance to honor the planet and its precious resources. It’s never too late to educate yourself on issues of the environment and decide to take action—after all, we should never underestimate the power of many people working together to achieve the same goal. To help you out on your journey, we’ve rounded up six great books about the environment and environmental activism for Earth Day 2021!
We hope that no matter where you are in your journey through environmental awareness, you can learn something from any one of these books and make a pledge to engage in more sustainable practices to protect our environment.
Harriet A. Washington
We cannot talk about the environment without acknowledging the tremendous role that environmental racism has played on communities of color. In this informative and groundbreaking book, Washington reveals how communities of color have been plagued by more pollution and environmental dangers than their white counterparts, covering everything from toxic waste to lead poisoning and air pollution. She draws connections between the harm that the pollution and toxins cause on the brains and bodies of people of color, and offers some solutions to begin addressing these problems that affect people of color disproportionately.
Michael E. Mann
Too often when we talk about climate change, there's a huge emphasis on what individuals can do. And while that's absolutely important, Mann argues that some of the worst offenders are fossil fuel companies that have continued to pollute the planet while running campaigns of deceit against climate change, all while pursuing profits—and they run completely unchecked by governing forces. In this book, he lays out a comprehensive vision of what it would look like if we could invest in renewable energy, and how to combat the false notion that it's too late to change anything. It's not too late—but it is time to get very serious.
Alexandra Zissu; Nhung Lê (Illustrator)
Are you looking to get inspired by a real-life environmental hero? Earth Squad is perfect for kids, teens, and adults alike, and it just might even give you a few ideas on how to enact change in your own lives. In this illustrated guide, Zissu and Lê highlight a different person fighting for change, share where their passion comes from, offer biographical details, and include practical tips and advice for readers to engage in climate action. The people spotlighted in this book are both long-time fighters and young new voices in the movement, including Greta Thunberg, Alice Waters, Mark Ruffalo, Bill McKibben, Angela Merkel, Al Gore, David Attenborough, Erin Brockovich, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, and Precious Brady-Davis.
Written by a former science writer for the New York Times, Inconspicuous Consumption shines a light on all the ways that issues of environmentalism, consumption, and climate change are so messily intertwined. While the biggest perpetrators of environmental pollution and climate change (big oil and fossil fuels) have much to account for, Schlossberg demonstrates how much the trappings of modern life cost our planet. Streaming Netflix can burn coal, fast fashion can have an impact on ecosystems half a world away, and where does the electricity for your electric car come from, anyway? In this book, Schlossberg encourages readers to think about the far-reaching impacts of their every day choices and to become more informed to make better choices both in their every day lives and at the ballots.
Scientist, environmental activist, and nature lover Jane Goodall cares passionately about the planet and sustainability, and in Seeds of Hope she shares with readers the wonder of plants, from her home in England to her beloved Gombe forest, where the chimpanzees she loves reside. She explores the resilience of plants, their vitality and central role in balance the planet, and sustainability practices that she hopes will not only heal humanity, but the planet as well.