Sometimes, when you read a book, it changes the way you look at the whole world. It inspires you to change and convinces you that you can make a difference. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, today I’m talking about some of the books that have changed my perspective and spurred me to live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.
Five Must-Read Green Books
- The 100-Mile Diet, by Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon. This book chronicles the experiences of one Vancouver couple as they seek to only eat food produced within 100 miles of their home. I love it because it’s local to me, so I can use it not only as a source of inspiration, but also as a resource. But more than that, I love it because it opened my eyes to the way that we eat. Most of our food travels thousands of kilometers to reach our plates. It’s also highly-processed and completely out of season. This book introduced me to a new way of eating, and in many ways it got me started on my green journey in a serious way.
- Your Money or Your Life, by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. This book is not actually about the environment, but it raises some very important points about lifestyle. Its premise is that the more stuff we buy, the more time that we need to spend working to service that stuff. By tracking your spending you can reduce it and free up some financial wiggle room, which will in turn allow you to make lifestyle changes. This falls under the “green” category for me because by reducing our spending – and specifically our spending on stuff – we’re reducing our carbon footprint. Going green will save you green.
- The Non-Toxic Avenger, by Deanna Duke. This book tells the story of one woman’s quest to avoid all toxins for four months, to see what impact it would have on the number of chemicals in her body. I actually interviewed Deanna for a podcast not too long ago, which further cemented my love for her and her book. She writes in an engaging and authentic way about a serious issue. Her words spurred me to take steps to reduce my own family’s exposure to toxins, which can only be a good thing. And in spite of its serious subject matter, it didn’t leave me terrified – a definite plus!
- Plastic Free, by Beth Terry. Okay, the truth is I haven’t actually read this one yet, since it still hasn’t been released, but I consider Beth to be a friend. I met up with her at BlogHer and we joined forces, carrying our disposable plastic plates around so that we wouldn’t be adding the landfill at every meal. Her blog, My Plastic-Free Life, is on my “must-read” list. She inspired me to reduce my own plastic use, and I’m thrilled that she’s published a book. I can’t wait to read it.
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. It’s another food book, but I have a definite thing for this book, which tells the story of four meals the author ate and where the ingredients for those meals came from. While The 100-Mile Diet opened me eyes to the way we’ve disconnected ourselves from our food, this book opened my eyes to the system that disconnection has allowed to flourish. I didn’t expect to find food politics fascinating, but now I do, and I give the credit to this book.
What about you – what’s on your must-read green book list?