Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By David Wallace-Wells #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By David Wallace-Wells
Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Yvon Chouinard #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Yvon Chouinard
Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Tish Rabe, Christopher Moroney, and Jan Gerardi #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Tish Rabe, Christopher Moroney, and Jan Gerardi

11 Sustainability Books to Slide Into Your Bookshelf


Clear some space in your bookshelf; you’re going to need it after perusing this shortlist of the best books on sustainability.

Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding youth environmentalist, there’s a book in here for you. 

With every turn of the page (or swipe of the screen), you’ll become more informed, inspired, and excited to do your part to protect our planet. 

The Uninhabitable Earth is excellent, albeit a no holds barred reality check.

If that’s a bit heavy, Let My People Go Surfing will have you feeling motivated in no time (and ready to support brands that give back to our planet and the people on it). 

And if you want to plant some eco-warrior seeds read Dr. Seuss classic, The Lorax to your mini-me.

*This post contains affiliate links

Optimistic & Solution-Oriented Books About Sustainability

1. DRAWDOWN

Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Paul Hawken #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Paul Hawken
By: Paul Hawken

Paul Hawken is a passionate environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and founder of Project Drawdown, a not-for-profit organization that “seeks to help the world reach “Drawdown”—the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline.”

The New York Times bestseller Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming outlines the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming that already exist today. 

It’s one environmental sustainability book that provides a pathway towards a sustainable future. 

Available: Better World Books | Amazon

2. LET MY PEOPLE GO SURFING

Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Yvon Chouinard #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Yvon Chouinard
By: Yvon Chouinard

One of the best sustainability books written by a one-of-a-kind entrepreneur.

You may be familiar with this one, especially if you’ve canvassed our guide to sustainable clothing brands.

Yvon Chouinard is an environmental activist, rock climbing legend, CEO, and founder of Patagonia.

Part memoir, part business treatise, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman takes the reader through his life, from humble dirtbag making outdoor gear in his garage to building arguably the best sustainable outdoor clothing company in the world.

Entertaining as much as it is inspiring, it provides a clear picture of what it means to have corporate responsibility and the positive change that can bring about. 

Available: Better World Books | Amazon

3. NATURE’S BEST HOPE

Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Douglas W. Tallamy #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Douglas W. Tallamy
By: Douglas W. Tallamy

The most dangerous threat to our planet isn’t plastic pollution and waste; it’s the loss of biodiversity. 

We can’t stop farms from destroying wildlife habits with pesticides, or logging companies from razing forests, but we can achieve significant individual impact by learning how to increase biodiversity at home.

Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard, one of the best books on how to make your property sustainable, shows how anyone with a backyard, however big or small, can aid in the restoration of local wildlife populations. 

Essentially a sustainable gardening book, Tallamy shows the enormous impact one person’s gardening habits can make.  

Something simple as planting more native species (the elimination of which has largely led to our biodiversity bungle), we can combat the extinction of insect and animal species.

Available: Better World Books | Amazon

4. THE STORY OF MORE

Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Hope Jahren #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Hope Jahren
By: Hope Jahren

The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here is a “pocket primer on climate change”: what it is, how it started, and what we can do about it. 

Author and scientist Hope Jahren helps readers understand climate change on an intimate level. 

Rather than berating us with facts and figures, she takes readers on a journey from Mesopotamia to the now, through speculated causes and contributors, outlining our dire trajectory.  

After drawing a clear (and guilt-free) picture of the root of the issues, she takes us into the future to look at the projected consequences and potential remedies. All while maintaining an encouraging tone that reassures us that it isn’t too late.

Available: Better World Books | Amazon

5. DOUGHNUT ECONOMICS

Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Kate Raworth #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Kate Raworth
By: Kate Raworth 

Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist might make you crave a cinnamon twist, but it will definitely change what you know (or don’t) about economics, growth, money, finance, and business. 

Every page of this book on sustainability helps readers understand humanity’s lifebelt (or doughnut) in relation to planetary and social boundaries.

The now-iconic “doughnut” philosophy has made its way into actions by the United Nations, the Occupy Movement, slow fashion brands, and even whole cities like Amsterdam.

Available: Better World Books | Amazon

6. IS IT REALLY GREEN?

Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Georgina Wilson-Powell #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Georgina Wilson-Powell
By: Georgina Wilson-Powell

If you find yourself yo-yoing between activism and apathy, Is It Really Green?: Everyday Eco Dilemmas Answered is the book for you. 

Georgina provides clarity for more than 140 everyday green-living questions. She clears up confusion, sheds light on common actions and their consequences, and ultimately instills confidence in the reader’s ability to make a difference. 

Think of her as the good angel on one shoulder when you’re faced with decisions like: What’s better, plastic vs glass? Or what’s really necessary for a zero waste kit?

Ultimately, it’s one of the best books about sustainability for those who are confused about what we can actually do to save the planet—so, all of us.

Available: Better World Books | Amazon

Sustainability Books that Highlight the Problem

7. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING

Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Naomi Klein #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Naomi Klein
By: Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein dropped the mic on the environmental world with her original bestseller, The Shock Doctrine, where she boldly claimed that anything short of serious systematic changes, will spell the end of our world. 

Hyped by Time Magazine as the “first truly honest book ever written about climate change”, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate: addresses the greatest challenge of our generation from an economic and political perspective.

Environmental problems aren’t removed from other societal problems like wealth inequality and broken democracies. Rather than trying to fix the environment by fixing the economy (aka “disaster capitalism”), Klein argues for precisely the opposite.

As the name accurately implies, it’s perhaps one of the most important sustainability books of the decade.

Available: Better World Books | Amazon

8. EATING ANIMALS

Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Jonathan Safran Foer #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Jonathan Safran Foer
By: Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer wasn’t always a vegan. Heck, he wasn’t always an environmental writer, but rather a novelist.  

Now, it’s hard to think of a list of sustainable food books that doesn’t include Eating Animals

After beginning to question why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out on a global investigative journey to learn about various cultural meat-eating traditions. 

Why do we eat meat? What are the ethical and environmental ramifications of doing so? 

Importantly, Safran’s food sustainability book is not a vegan guilt trip or polarizing lecture on animal consumption, but rather a gentle journey of discovery that leads readers to make up their own minds.

Follow it up with his latest, We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast.

Available: Better World Books | Amazon

9. THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH

Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By David Wallace-Wells #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By David Wallace-Wells
By: David Wallace-Wells

The award-winning, best-selling book The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming draws a vivid image of what the world will look like if we do.not.change. 

There is no shortage of potential horrors as Wallace-Wells lays down a necessary no-B.S. picture of the urgency of the climate crisis.

While alarmism is the order of the day, this book is a lyrical and provocative wake-up call that society may just need to prioritize climate change. If reading this book scares you, it should. 

Fear is one mechanism that can move us to action.
For those coal-loving relatives, this or Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything could be the medicine they need.

Available: Better World Books | Amazon

Children’s Books About Sustainability

10. THE LORAX

Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Tish Rabe, Christopher Moroney, and Jan Gerardi #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Tish Rabe, Christopher Moroney, and Jan Gerardi
By: Dr. Seuss

This 1971 childhood classic continues to be enjoyed by anyone who “cares a whole awful lot” about our home. It’s timeless insight into the magic of earth’s natural beauty reveals how we’re undermining it. 

Not only is The Lorax one of the best children’s books about sustainability, but it’s also one of the best summaries of our ecological crisis for readers of any age.

You might see it for what it is—colorful pages and a call to protect our earth—but children can find solace in the fun word plays, rhymes, and images found in each page. 

After your lil’ environmentalist becomes enthralled with the magic of nature, follow it up with How to Help the Earth-By the Lorax. This Step into Reading book by Tish Rabe, Christopher Moroney, and Jan Gerardi provides child-friendly suggestions for going green. 

Available: Better World Books | Amazon

11. I LOVE YOU, PLANET

Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Emily Dougherty #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Emily Dougherty
By: Emily Dougherty and Katie Vander Velden

I Love You, Planet is one of the most loved children’s picture books about sustainability

It’s fun, poetic, and educational. Each of the vibrant characters and gorgeous illustrations is embedded with easy-to-follow tips for a sustainable world. 

Read before bedtime, with an elementary school class, or on your own, these heartfelt 28 pages will leave readers of all ages feeling empowered to save our planet. 

Available: Amazon

FINAL THOUGHTS ON SUSTAINABILITY BOOKS

There’s no time like the present to get started with one (or all) of these books about sustainability

And if you’re a visual learner, there’s a plethora of environmental films to help you on your sustainability journey, too.

But regardless of how you consume information, we’d recommend checking out secondhand book options or buying them in e-format.

Even better, share this article with friends and family and host a book swap to spread the love.


Whether you’re a sustainability guru, sustainability newbie, or just want to support a budding environmentalist, there’s a sustainability book in here for you. By Yvon Chouinard #sustainabilitybooks #bestsustainabilitybooks #booksonsustainability #bestbooksonsustainability
By Yvon Chouinard

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