Years ago, when I first started learning about the zero waste lifestyle, I could only find one book on the topic. You might have heard of it, “Zero Waste Home” by Bea Johnson. Luckily, these days there are new books on sustainable living being published all the time! Just within the last year, I’ve noticed a surge of books released on this topic. I’m hoping this means the movement is gaining interest. More and more people are wanting to learn how to support Mama Earth! I have a list here for you of the best sustainable living books. I’ve attached links to Amazon for convenience but be sure to check your local library/support local book sellers when possible. You might also want to read my post on zero waste reading!
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If you’re super new to zero waste, I’d recommend checking out Bea Johnson’s book first. She really is a pioneer to the global movement of waste free living. She continues to travel to speak at events about reducing waste and living more sustainably.
Julia Watkins’ book, Simply Living Well, is hot off the press! She released her book only a few months ago, in April actually. Her book title shares the name with her super popular Instagram account, Simply Living Well. On her Instagram feed and in her book, you will find the most beautiful photos capturing her simple and sustainable home in Chicago. The Simply Living Well book contains recipes, practical tips, and projects for living more sustainably. In it you will find recipes for making ketchup, hummus, and nut milk from scratch at home, as well as checklists for plastic free swaps around the house.
Shia’s book is another really wonderful resource for anyone looking to reduce their household waste. She shares extremely practical and actionable tips in her book. Her book contains information that you can put in to action right away. She really makes going zero waste and living more sustainably seem doable and not nearly as intimidating as it often seems for beginners. She encourages small changes in your daily life to help reduce your carbon footprint. I think this book would be especially helpful for a zero waste newbie.
Before picking up this book, I recommend heading over to Meagan’s blog, Zero Waste Nerd! Just from browsing her site a bit, you can see how knowledgeable Meagan is when it comes to sustainability. She is an excellent zero waste educator! Meagan has a thirty day zero waste challenge on her website to help you get started. She also has many really wonderful blog posts all about helping Mama Earth. I don’t doubt you’ll love her teaching style and want to snag her comprehensive guide to reducing waste, An Almost Zero Waste Life.
Lindsay Miles, sustainable lifestyle blogger and low waste expert, is now the author of TWO phenomenal books all about plastic free and sustainable living! Her first book, Less Stuff: Simple Zero Waste Steps for a Joyful and Clutter-Free Life, doesn’t only cover reducing waste in your household, but also focuses on small steps to remove clutter in your home in a sensible way–not just sending your excess straight to the landfill! Her new book, The Less Waste, No Fuss Kitchen, focuses on your journey towards a more sustainable kitchen. It’s a simple handbook with tips to help you reduce food waste in the kitchen and decrease the amount of plastic packaging in your pantry.
Of course, I added my own book to the list! If you’re new to the Tiny Yellow Bungalow website, I’m Jessie Stokes, author of The Zero Waste Vegan Cookbook. Two and a half years ago, after my son’s birth, I found myself struggling to prepare healthy, plant based, low waste meals for my family regularly. We ended up eating out often and ordering take out. I realized what I needed was a set of trusted simple recipes I could use regularly. I created a month’s worth of easily adaptable and quick recipes. Then, I compiled them into a cookbook to share with my pals! The cookbook even has grocery lists and meal plans for the four weeks of meals. This makes it super easy to eat healthfully and without all the waste.
Ashlee’s writing style is super enjoyable. Give A Shit is a little bit sassy and makes living a more eco friendly life seem 1. possible and 2. actually FUN. This would also be a really great gift worthy book for the holidays. Ashlee shares that if everyone would give a shit about the planet even just a little, we could make a real difference. This book isn’t specifically about the zero waste movement but more about sustainability in general and making simple changes in your life to reduce your environmental footprint. Definitely recommend this one!!
Oh man oh man, Kathryn started blogging around the same time I created the Tiny Yellow Bungalow blog and I have so enjoyed getting to follow along with her on her zero waste and eco journey. She is the zero waste blogging QUEEN so I was not at all surprised when she released this fabulous book last year! In this book, Kathryn Kellogg shows that it’s all about making better choices. I love her positivity! This is a really wonderful read for zero waste beginners, and again another great gift idea!
I was just about to hit the publish button on this post when I remembered the book Plastic Free, by Beth Terry! Beth is another one of the pioneers of the plastic free, zero waste movement. She published this book years ago but I still find it to be a handy resource for beginners and advanced eco enthusiasts alike. Her book has great checklists, tips you can make as an individual, and down-to-earth ideas for how you can get involved in your community to take action for the environment.
In “Minimal: How to Simplify Your Life and Live Sustainably,” author and lifestyle expert, Madeleine Olivia, delves into the transformative power of minimalism and its profound impact on our everyday life and the environment. She presents a refreshing approach to decluttering, organizing, and adopting a more sustainable lifestyle that brings harmony, purpose, and fulfillment. In this book, the author explores how minimalism extends beyond the physical realm, transcending into our mental and emotional spaces, fostering mindfulness and clarity.
Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles!
In “Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles!”, author and environmental advocate, Michael SanClements, takes readers on a transformative journey towards a plastic-free lifestyle that not only benefits our health but also protects our planet’s precious ecosystems. With alarming statistics on the environmental impact of plastic pollution, this eye-opening book sheds light on the devastating effects of plastic waste on our oceans and wildlife, particularly the endangered sea turtles. Drawing on scientific research and personal experiences, the author uncovers the hidden dangers of plastics, from microplastics in our food and water to toxic chemicals leaching into our bodies. By reducing plastic use and living a greener lifestyle, we can better our own personal health and facilitate a healthier better world.
“The Conscious Closet” is a thought-provoking and empowering book that explores the intersection of fashion, sustainability, and personal style. Written by Elizabeth Cline, renowned sustainable fashion activist, this book offers a transformative journey towards building a more conscious and sustainable wardrobe. In a world dominated by fast fashion and excessive consumption, “The Conscious Closet” challenges readers to reconsider their relationship with clothing. Through insightful anecdotes, research-backed information, and practical advice, the author encourages readers to embrace mindful consumption, ethical fashion practices, and the art of curating a wardrobe that aligns with their values.
“Braiding Sweetgrass” is a profound and poetic exploration of the intersection between nature, indigenous wisdom, and the human spirit. In this captivating book, author Robin Wall Kimmerer weaves together personal narratives, scientific insights, and indigenous teachings to offer a powerful vision of ecological restoration and reverence for the natural world. Drawing on her dual background as a scientist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Kimmerer invites readers to embrace a reciprocal relationship with the Earth.
“All We Can Save” is an inspiring and urgent anthology that amplifies the voices of women at the forefront of the climate movement. Edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson, this collection of essays and poetry offers a compelling vision for collective action and hope in the face of the climate crisis. Through a diverse array of perspectives, “All We Can Save” showcases the innovative solutions, bold strategies, and personal stories of women who are driving change in their communities and beyond. The book not only highlights the disproportionate impact of climate change on marginalized communities but also emphasizes the invaluable contributions of women in tackling this global challenge. This is a highly recommended read concerning environmental issues!
“Cradle to Cradle” presents a groundbreaking vision for a future where sustainability is not just an aspiration but a fundamental principle of design and production. This book is co-authored by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart, this book challenges the prevailing “take-make-waste” paradigm and offers a blueprint for a regenerative and waste-free economy. Through compelling examples and insightful analysis, “Cradle to Cradle” explores the potential of designing products and systems that mimic the natural world’s cyclical processes. The authors argue that by considering the entire life cycle of products—from material sourcing to manufacturing, use, and disposal—we can eliminate the concept of waste and create a world where everything is either a biological nutrient or a technical nutrient.
What are some of your favorite reads all about zero waste and sustainable living? Any I should add to this list?? Lastly, be sure to check out our list with the best children’s books about sustainable living also!