We can get a little bit nerdy here at Club Leaf. Our environmental lead, Annelies, has put together a list of her favorite books on climate change, climate action, ecosystem restoration (and more) that she’s got on her (overflowing!) bookshelf.
"I’ve collected a lot of books on climate change, climate action and ecosystem restoration over the past few years. There’s so much out there, it’s difficult to know where to start! Here are my suggestions, and I’d love to hear yours" Annelies Sewell 👩🏼🦱
1. Why we disagree about climate change - Mike Hulme
So this one isn’t so much a recommendation, but for me it’s where it all began! Back when I was studying I’d followed many courses on climate change, but was increasingly frustrated why we weren't really doing anything about it. This book helps to explain the different beliefs, assumptions and prejudices around climate change, how we make individual and collective decisions, and what we can do to move forward.
2. Losing eden: Why our minds need the wild - Lucy Jones
This one was an eye opener for me. Lucy Jones goes into so much detail as to why our current indoor lifestyles, disconnected from the natural world, are bad for our minds and bodies - as well as what we can do to remedy it. She travels from East London to Poland, California and Svalbard, collecting the latest supporting data in human biology, neuroscience and psychology. I’m a fan of facts and figures - and Lucy definitely convinced me to get outside more!
3. Regeneration: Ending the climate crisis in one generation - Paul Hawken
Regeneration is the follow-up book from Project Drawdown, also by Paul Hawken. This book is so different because it moves away from the doom and gloom narrative of combating climate change, and brings people back into the conversation. They’ve put together a wonderful and inspiring book and website together on all the different solutions already out there to help build a better future together. It’s my go-to for inspiration. Check out https://regeneration.org/home for more.
4. How bad are bananas? - Mike Berners-Lee
If you’re a numbers person, this one's for you! Want to know what are the biggest things you can change to reduce CO2? Or how smaller actions also add up? Mike’s got you covered. This is my go-to for finding out which changes make the most difference, and the numbers to back it up.
5. There is no planet B - Mike Berners-Lee
Want an easy to read guide on what our biggest challenges are? And a handbook on what we can do about it? This is it. Mike Berners-Lee strikes again with this big picture perspective on the climate crisis and the way ahead.
6. Under the sky we make: how to be human in a warming world - Kimberly Nicholas
This book is for those who feel paralyzed by the climate crisis and don’t know what we can do or where to start. Kimberly uses her research background and weaves it together with her personal experiences to bring us a book which shows us how we can take action in a warming world, and how collective action takes a central role.
7. Citizens: why the key to fixing everything is all of us - Jon Alexander, Ariadne Conrad
This book is for those looking to understand the alternatives to consumerism. We all know that consuming more is not going to fix the climate crisis. Jon and Ariadne share an alternative: the citizen story. By treating people as citizens rather than consumers, can we fix people and the planet? (P.s. if you want to know about other alternative economic systems, check out Donut Economy by Kate Raworth)
8. This is a good guide - Marieke Eyskoot
Looking for a practical guide on how to make easy swaps and what brands are doing great things to help you live more sustainably? Look no further - Marieke’s got you covered. This is a great book to have on your coffee table and dive into when you’re looking for inspiration and tips!
9. The sustainable ish living guide: everything you need to know to make small changes that make a big difference - Jen Gale
Similar to “this is a good guide”, but focused on helping fit “sustainable living” into your life, with practical tips that add up. Dive into this book when you need inspiration for a particular area of your life and see how it goes!
10. Turn the tide on climate anxiety: sustainable action for your mental health and the planet - Megan Kennedy-Woodard, Patrick Kennedy-Williams
This one’s for all you out there with eco-anxiety. Me included. News, social media, radio - the climate emergency is everywhere and can trigger strong emotions that can often be overwhelming. Written by psychologists with extensive experience in treating people with eco-anxiety, this book shows you how to harness these emotions, validate them, and transform them into positive action. If you like this, @CloverHogan and check out her charity Force of Nature who are helping to turn eco-anxiety into action.
11. Braiding Sweetgrass - Robin Wall Kimmerer
This one’s for the nature lovers out there. My personal favorite in this list! I stumbled across this book when looking for books on how we are increasingly more disconnected from the (disappearing) nature that surrounds us. This is beautifully explored by Robin in this book through her background as both an ecologist and citizen of the Potawatomi Nation. Even how languages are written can change how we see and interact with nature. A must read!
12. The Reindeer Chronicles: and other inspiring stories of working with nature to heal the earth - Judith D Schwartz
Ever wanted to know more about ecosystem restoration, rewilding and permaculture? Projects that are already happening and making a difference? Judith travels around the world to showcase projects that are using simple tools and technologies we already have, and that all we need is to get started and work together. So what are we waiting for?
13. Finding the mother tree: discovering the wisdom of the forest - Suzanne Simard
This one’s a Club Leaf classic, and was gifted to me by Club Leaf co-founder Roelien. If you want to understand the world of trees, how they communicate and are connected through underground networks - this is your book. (Psstt..If you want to read even more about this topic - check out Peter Wohlleben’s Hidden Life of Trees!)
14. Wilding - Isabella Tree
Want to know how rewilding works in action? Isabella and her partner decided to take a drastic decision and let nature take over their farm. This spectacular book shows how sometimes letting go is the best way to move forward. Read this book to feel hopeful about what’s possible!
15. Regenerative Agriculture: a practical whole systems guide to making small farms work - Richard Perkins
This is your go to for if you’re looking to produce food in your small garden or your farm. Based in Sweden, Richard Perkins gives great tips for growing produce in short seasons. It’s got something for everyone!
16. The Nature Seed: how to raise adventurous and nurturing kids - Lucy Jones, Kenneth Greenway
I’ve often given this practical guide to friends with kids. It’s so important to reconnect with the planet we live on and the best way is to start from the beginning. Whether you live in the inner city or out in the country, Lucy and Kenneth weave together why we need to connect kids with nature, and practical tips on how to get there.
17. The Climate Book: the facts and the solutions - Greta Thunberg
You didn’t think I was going to leave out Greta did you? ;) Greta has gathered together the wisdom of more than 100 experts to help us better understand and combat the climate crisis. I LOVE the simple graphics and infographics included in this book, developed together with my favorite data designers Stefanie Posavec and Sonja Kuijpers. If you ever wanted to explain everything to your family and friends but didn’t know how - this book is for you.
18. A brighter future: illustrating climate change and solutions - Nicole Kelner
My visual brain adores this book. Nicole Kelner has created a book that communicates the complexity of climate change in a beautiful and accessible way, using just watercolors. Check out more of her drawings at @mindfulnicole.
19. The Intersectional Environmentalist: how to dismantle systems of oppression to protect people + planet - Leah Thomas
This book is a must read. It is an introduction to the intersection between environmentalism, racism, and privilege, and an acknowledgment of the fundamental truth that we cannot save the planet without uplifting the voices of its people -- especially those most often unheard. Get it, read it, share it among your friends! Other books on my to-read list include A Bigger Picture and We have a dream. Let me know if you have more suggestions!
20. Movement: how to take back our streets and transform our lives - Thalia Verkade, Marco te Brömmelstroet
This might look like an outlier in my list - but it’s central to sustainability. This book is a bestseller in the Netherlands and is finally also available in English! This book dives into the world of mobility to find solutions on how we can fundamentally redesign our mobility systems to work for everyone - and not just result in electric cars everywhere.
21. How women can save the planet
Gender equality for everyone can help fix the climate crisis. Only by including everyone in the decisions we make on how we move forward, can we create a just and equal world for people and the planet. Anne draws on interviews, research and case studies from around the world to spark a discussion on whether we really are all in this together.
This is just to get you started! Let us know what you thought of the books we’ve mentioned, we’d love to hear what you think and if you have any suggestions on what we should read next. Post them below…
💚 Club Leaf tip: check out your local library for your next book, or create a book club with your friends or colleagues. E-books also save paper 😎
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