I love to read, and I read a lot of different types of books. In between juvenile fiction read-alouds with my kids, parenting books, and just-for-fun reads, I read a lot of environmental books. Here are a few of the climate-related books I’ve been reading lately, and reviews about each of them so you can decide if you want to read them too.
Check out past editions of Reading Lately.
Drawdown by Paul Hawken
Created by the organization Project Drawdown, this book features brief introductions to over 100 solutions to reduce greenhouse gases on our planet. Written in an encyclopedic format, this book discusses each of the solutions in terms of cost to implement, money saved due to implementation, amount of carbon equivalent reductions, and the social impact on people around the planet.
If you’re looking to better understand the broad range of climate solutions, I highly recommend checking out this book. It was written in 2017, so certain things have changed about how the world operates and the general consensus on climate change and climate action. But by and large, the solutions still apply and the information is impeccably relevant, and it is written for everyday citizens (not scientists).
This book was such a useful resource for gaining a basic understanding of so many climate solutions, nearly all of which are good for people and the planet with no regrets.
Genre Adult Non-Fiction | Pages 368 | Length 18 hours 52 minutes
Under The Sky We Make: How To Be Human in a Warming World by Kimberly Nicholas
We’ve crossed the threshold where climate change is a reality. As Nicholas says, “It’s Warming. It’s us. We’re sure. It’s bad. We can fix it.”
In this book, the author dives into the many ways we can each be part of the climate solutions. She discusses the science of climate change and its impact on people all over the planet. She addresses the grief, guilt, and pain of how people feel today and what’s to come from climate change. She acknowledges that the impacts of climate change are unfair and we are allowed to be angry. And then she discusses systematic solutions and how we can each begin to play a role in helping bring them to fruition.
The book is heavy at times with the reality we face but also includes information on how we can have agency and power to make things better, even if we can’t eliminate all impacts of the very real climate change already inevitable and upon us.
I think this is a great compliment to Katharine Hayhoe’s book Saving Us and a good read for those already versed in Climate Change 101 and ready to dive deeper into how we can become part of the solutions.
Genre Adult Non-Fiction | Pages 336 | Length 8 hours 50 minutes
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need by Bill Gates
I read this book a while ago but never got around to reviewing it. Since I recently shared a deeper review of the book, I included it in this roundup to encourage you to check out the full review and read the book for yourself.
Genre Adult Non-Fiction | Pages 272 | Length 7 hours 11 minutes
Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science by Jessica Hernandez
I wanted to love this book so badly. While it is full of useful and important information about environmental justice and contributions from Indigenous communities, especially those in Central America, it felt unfinished or unedited. I shared a full review of the book, which was March’s recommendation for the 2022 Honestly Good Eco Book Club. Check out the full review for more details.
The Worth of Water: Our Story of Chasing Solutions to the World’s Greatest Challenge by Gary White and Matt Damon
Billions of people around the world have suffered from a lack of access to clean water and sanitation. In their Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations recognizes the right to clean water for every human as one of the primary elements of lifting humanity out of extreme poverty.
As climate change looms, drought and lack of access to water will increase, unless we take serious action to mitigate these risks. Through their charitable organizations and investment platforms, Gary White and Matt Damon have worked together for nearly two decades to bring clean water to people in many countries without sufficient water infrastructure. Through this book, they tell their stories about what they have learned and which strategies have been successful in leveraging funding from a variety of sources to provide clean water to billions of people around the globe.
Their insights and experience can contribute to tools and techniques we use going forward to provide better access to clean water to many around the world. As it relates to climate change, reliable water supply reduces famine from drought, refugee migrations from limited water supplies, and increased inequities magnified by climate change.
This book is a pretty quick read that I listened to it via an audiobook on Libro.fm. It can offer and reinforce insights about how we use charitable organizations and social entrepreneurship to solve global problems like those caused by climate change.
Genre Adult Non-Fiction | Pages 240 | Length 4 hours 44 minutes
A Note on Buying and Borrowing Supplies
Note from the Editor: We’ve included affiliate links to some of the products used in this project. If you purchase through one of these links, Honestly Modern earns a small commission that has no impact on your purchase price.
Overconsumption is one of the key contributors to the climate crisis. With a focus on eco-friendly living, reducing consumption is an important principle of our content. We encourage you to use supplies you already have on hand, borrow tools or materials from friends, and shop secondhand when possible. We love Buy Nothing groups for lending requests, and we have a full guide on all things secondhand shopping.
For ease of knowing which products to use in tutorials, we have included affiliate links to specific product recommendations. Despite a preference to support other retailers besides Amazon, we do include links to Amazon products at times when other links are not reasonable or useful for readers. Sustainability requires finding a balance that works and is sustainable itself. Gather supplies in the way that is most accessible to you.
As you set out to complete your project, we encourage you to remember the many R’s of sustainable living like reuse, reduce, recycle, repair, and more.
About The Author
Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and an advocate for sustainable living for modern families. In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.
You can find more of her work at WasteWell, a company that provides composting resources and local curbside compost collection services, and Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.