Silent Spring - by Rachel Carson, 1962 This timeless book was the platform for eradicating the use of DDT, a cancer-causing pesticide, from use in the U.S. Carson, an environmentalist and biology expert, frames the overuse of harmful pesticides in a way that relates to every single person. She proposes a call to action on behalf of the government and the individual, in defense of our natural environment. Though it was published in 1962, it remains extremely relevant, and required reading for all citizens of Earth.
The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals - and Other Forgotten Skills - by Tristan Gooley, 2015 Nature is in constant communication. From a chirping bird to the roots of a tree, nature's signs indicate much more than what is on the surface. This book contains over 850 tips and techniques for recognizing and understanding this communication. Learn about forecasting, tracking, safety, and more to further understand your environment. This book reveals the magnificence available at our fingertips, and is an incredible resource for truly getting in touch with nature.
Civic Agriculture - by Thomas A. Lyson, 2004 People are more disconnected than ever from the food production process. Lyson takes us on a historical journey through the lens of our relationship with food. To Lyson, Civic Agriculture is the rebirth of locally based agriculture and food production, which are directly connected to a community's well-being. This book describes how each of us can create sustainable, healthy communities by investing in local agriculture.
Rebuilding the Foodshed - by Philip Ackerman-Leist, 2013 Is it possible to rebuild regional food systems to replace harmful mass food production? Ackerman-Leist performs an in-depth analysis of the factors at play within the industrial agricultural system that seems so fixed in place. This book provides solutions to the issues in the food industry by combining aspects of mainly local agriculture, but also of the globalized food system.
The Year of the Flood - by Margaret Atwood, 2009 This dystopian novel is centered on a few small groups of people, who are coping with the aftermath of a natural disaster. The book follows two main characters, Toby and Ren, whose stories intertwine as they navigate this bizarre new world with fear and uncertainty amidst constant change. The reader must dig deeper to make connections between this fictional world and potential repercussions if changes are not made.
Becoming Native to this Place - by Wes Jackson, 1993 Jackson’s work is a compilation of six essays in which he discusses a farming economy as an alternative to industrial agriculture, which does not utilize sustainable practices. According to Jackson, a farming economy operates on the basis of nature, and is fostered in small and rural communities, which allow for sustainable integration of food production with nature. This work enables the reader to dig deeper into an alternative to the current unsustainable food system.
Last Child in the Woods - by Richard Louv, 2005 Children in the United States are spending less and less time in nature, leading to what Louv has coined nature-deficit disorder. This condition is extremely harmful to children and society, as exposure to nature is a key component of childhood development, as well as the mental and physical health of both children and adults. Louv provides solutions to this disorder in his acclaimed work in order to help reconnect children with nature for a better future.
The Art of the Commonplace - by Wendell Berry, 2010 This compilation of twenty-one essays by author and environmentalist, Wendell Berry, explores agrarian alternatives to urban culture. They present a clear vision that counters the destructiveness of the current food system, and how it can be reconciled by focusing on community health and prosperity.
Zero Waste: Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash- by Shia Su, 2018 Did you know the average American produces 4.4 pounds of garbage a day? Yikes. Well, here are 168 pages of tips on how to reduce your trash footprint all the way down to zero. Not a bad goal! Take charge of your trash and work to end the world trash epidemic.
Restoring the Earth: Visionary Solutions from the Bioneers - by Kenny Ausubel, 1997 Bioneers are a growing sector of biological pioneers who seek to implement lasting change by using nature to heal nature. This book explores the work of bioneers to express practical solutions to environmental issues that threaten the world as we now know it. As the earth is in a critical time, this book provides ideas, hope and insight into restoring the planet.
Buzz- by Thor Hanson, 2018 Bees are essential to life, yet they are disappearing at an alarming rate for various reasons. Hanson starts at the beginning of their story, nearly 125 million years ago, when a daring wasp fed pollen to its young. The journey continues through their evolution to the modern bee families. Buzz is a testament to the importance of bees throughout history up to modern day, and why they must be protected for the future.
Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth - by William Bryant Logan, 2007 It is safe to say that on a large scale, not very much is known about dirt, though it is everywhere. This book journeys through the findings of philosophers, scientists, and other historical figures to explore the extensive contents of the earth’s surface. It is vital that everyone learn more about the land that surrounds us, and this book offers a stepping stone along the journey of understanding the earth.
Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Food - by Gary Paul Nabhan, 2009 Gary Paul Nabhan challenged himself to only eat foods that have been grown, fished, or gathered within 200 miles of his home in Arizona. This book details his experience through both personal and political lenses in a world where homemade flavor is sold on store shelves. As food is intertwined in all parts of life (cultural, social, etc), it is important to mend the connection with it. Nabhan portrays this concept throughout the book, providing guidance on making choices to support a sustainable food system.
Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival? A Scientific Detective Story- by Dianne Dumanoski, John Peterson Myers, and Theo Colborn, 1997 Endocrine disruption is a phenomenon backed by over 50 years of research, which reveals its cause of synthetic chemicals. These chemicals are widespread in the world and interfere with human and animal development, though there is little warning regarding exposure to them. This book examines this scientific discovery and questions the true effects of endocrine disruption.
Into the Wild - by Jon Krakauer, 1996 This book profiles the life of a true dreamer, Christopher McCandless, and his ruthless pursuit toward his goal of making it to Alaska. His story is a testament to what the human spirit can will into existence when the purpose is strong enough. This book was an original source of inspiration for the Branching Together Road Trip that took place in Spring 2018. McCandless is someone who was aware of the sacred relationship we all have with the environment. There are also several amazing McCandless quotes that ignite the adventurer within each of us.
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate - by Naomi Klein, 2014 Until recent times, climate change information was largely confined to the scientific sector. In her work, Klein makes the claim that capitalism is now a driving force of climate events as policy and consumption dictate worldwide treatment of the environment. Since its debut, this work has entered the lexicon of environmental literature with its important stance on the actual cause and effect of human action.
The End of Nature - by Bill McKibben, 1989 This book analyzes the fight humanity is losing against the environmental crisis. While the solution lies in action, it begins with a philosophical shift in one’s relation to nature. Acid rain, depletion of the ozone layer, and the greenhouse effect are just some of the phenomena dissected in this work, as they affect all citizens of Earth. McKibben’s plea for change is necessary to consider as we have entered a critical time on this planet.
Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - and How It Can Renew America - by Thomas Friedman, 2008 Global warming has been met with several solutions, many of which are not adopted on a scale that would be necessary to render them effective. Friedman’s answer to this is a full, country-wide embrace of clean energy and green technology industries. This work describes the importance of backing by the United States’ economic and political institutions in order to see a full-fledged green revolution.
Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet - by Mark Lynas, 2008 This book takes a scientific approach to the impending effects of the climate crisis. In 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that a temperature increase of 2 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century is an inevitable occurrence. Though it seems minor, this figure has detrimental environmental effects, including loss of mountain glaciers, the creation of deserts, and elimination of life on Earth. This book serves as an important wakeup call to Earth’s future.
Soil not oil- by Vandana Shiva, 2008 Industrial agriculture is directly linked to the climate crisis, and Shiva explores its necessary shift away from fossil fuel dependence and globalization. The suggested antidote to this crisis is the small, independent farm, which is resilient in the face of natural threats to agriculture, such as drought and floods. With local roots and true biodiversity, small-scale agriculture has great promise for addressing not only climate change, but also world hunger.
Ishmael - by Daniel Quinn, 1992 A philosophical novel that explores the idea of civilization through the lens of culture. Framed as a conversation between the two main characters, Ishmael explores topics of sustainability, ethics, and the state of the planet in a timeless novel that will surely leave you with many questions to explore. The main premise includes the "taker story" in which "the world belongs to man," as well as the "leaver story" in which "man belongs to the world."
Protecting Pollinators: How to Save the Creatures That Feed Our World - by Jodi Helmer, 2019 Pollinators are responsible for fertilizing a third of all crops consumed, but their livelihoods are vastly threatened, severely jeopardizing food supply. Populations of pollinators such as birds, bats, and insects have decreased significantly, and this work explains how this tragedy can be reversed. Helmer explores the science backing conservation, which can guide the future treatment of pollinators for their continued existence. It is crucial for everyone to understand the importance of supporting pollinators, and the risk of collapse if action is ignored.
The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land - by Norman Wirzba, 2004 Agrarian philosophy views life through the lens of caring for the land and others. It prioritizes sustainability and health of the land, community, and culture; an alternative to an increasingly globalized society. This work is a compilation of fifteen essays from environmentalists and authors who promote the agrarian philosophy. These essays provide the reader with insight about food production from a unique perspective.
Remaking the North American Food System: Strategies for Sustainability - by C. Clare Hinrichs & Thomas A. Lyson, 2007 Communities around the world are expressing interest in rebuilding the connection between food consumption and agricultural production. Meanwhile, markets and governance keep their sights set on globalization. This compilation of works by several authors observes this overarching trend from a North American perspective and shows the effects of globalization on different localities.
“The only way to build hope is through the Earth.” - Vandana Shiva