5 Amazing Books On The Environment/Sustainability

I’ve always been a massive bookworm and pretty happy to read books on any subject, but as I’ve become more interested in environmental issues & the outdoor world I’ve been reading more on those kinds of topics. Varying from books about wildlife & plants, to sustainable cities and ethical businesses – here are 5 books I’ve read (some a few times) and that I would totally recommend reading.


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1. Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees by Thor Hanson

This book really astounded me, as oblivious as I was to how important bees were for the planet I really didn’t know whether this was going to be an interesting read or not. As a matter of fact I couldn’t actually put this book down, it’s really engaging throughout and the author doesn’t go into too much detail about actual bee species so it’s literally suitable for anybody.

He talks about different studies which have been done on bees, personal experiences of being out in the field in various environments and the decline of certain bee types. After reading this I really appreciate bees more & am definitely very aware of them when I go outside now.

2. The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

After reading the previous book, I wanted to read more on animals just because I really don’t think in this day & age (especially those who live in cities and work in offices) are connected to the environment or animals anymore. So I decided to find a book about birds, this book is brilliant even if you know nothing about birds. It basically gives the lowdown on different behaviours species of birds possess, their intelligence levels and their evolution in different habitats. Jennifer also talks about behaviours of birds which are in more urban environments. It changed my perspective on animals actually, and now I try not to compare other species intelligence levels to humans because although we are similar in some ways, we are so so different in others. Really recommend reading this if you just want to know more about birds in general.

3. Good Money: Become an Ethical Entrepeneur by Jonathan Self

Written by the founder of an ethical business called “Honey’s Real Dog Food” which is a raw/organic dog food company based in England, this is an amazing account of his real experience with running an ethical business. Not only does he talk about his successes and struggles with running an ethical business, but he gives amazing tips for anyone wanting to pursue this as a passion/career path. It definitely gives a great insight into the time/effort that goes into running an ethical business and the fact that profits are definitely not priority when running an establishment such as this. It’s really great, makes you feel good & motivates you to help the planet & people after reading. I strongly recommend reading this if you are interested in starting an ethical business or just want to know what it entails, I will certainly be referring back to this for a very long time.

4. Green Metropolis by David Owen

This book by David Owen is an interesting take on how living in the countryside in America may actually be worse for the environment than living in densely populated cities! I had never thought of it that way – but then again I am from Scotland where everything is on a much smaller scale. He actually argues that countryside areas of the states should be striving to be more like the cities in America, due to less waste being produced, less fuel being used in cars (shorter distances) and other factors!

I love controversial books like this because it opens your eyes to new opinions and ideas that would never have crossed your mind before! I really recommend reading this – especially if you live in the states!

5. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

I actually studied a degree in chemistry at university (very hard lol) and it’s not what I want to go into. However, in my environmental chemistry module we were told to read this book by Rachel Carson called “Silent Spring”. This book was originally published in 1962!!! just after my parents were both born. This book is environmental science based and focuses a lot on the different chemicals in the environment which are damaging – e.g. run off from agricultural land due to pesticide and insecticide usage. For me I just can’t believe we already knew this stuff decades ago but are only just starting to take action on it now.

Rachel Carson was a marine biologist and so really knew her stuff when writing this book. If you google it a lot of sources say that this was a “landmark book of the 20th century” and the beginning of the huge environmental movement we’re having now.

It’s super interesting if you want to know more about damaging chemicals in the environment and their effects.

So that’s a quick lowdown on my favourite environmental based books so far! Definitely read some of them and see if you like them 🙂

If you have anything to add to this or any books to recommend to me please leave a comment I’d LOVE more recommendations, books are amazing.


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