Green books

Environmental book recommendations

Are you looking for a good environmental read? WWF staff from around our global network share some of their favourite and most influential environmentally themed books.
Thanks to everyone that submited a book recommendation!
Panda reading. / ©: WWF
Do you have a environmental book that you would like to recommend? Please share your favourites!
© WWF

Bedside Book of Beasts – A Wildlife Miscellany by Graeme Gibson

"This book is a delightful and absorbing collection of writings and works of art, tracing humanity’s close relationships with animals through the ages, as pets, food, predator and inspiration. Keep this menagerie at the bedside, visit often, and dream of beasts once more."

Steven Price, Senior Director, Conservation Science and Practice, WWF-Canada
 
 
Bedside Book of Beasts – A Wildlife Miscellany by Graeme Gibson / ©: Nan A. Talese
Bedside Book of Beasts – A Wildlife Miscellany by Graeme Gibson
© Nan A. Talese

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

"This book was quite influential for me in that he knitted together a diverse array of theories and ideas into a riveting storyline. My background is in spatial ecology and biogeography – so found great interest in the global distribution of resources, humans, climate, and topography intersected to help create the world we live in today."

Colby Loucks, Deputy Director, Conservation Science Program, WWF-US
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond / ©: W. W. Norton & Company
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
© W. W. Norton & Company

1,001 Ways To Save The Earth by Joanna Yarrow.

"This is a rather comprehensive guide for changing everyday life habits. It combines all the different types of eco-advices, however, many of them you will find surprising and some you never heard of. The book has a user-friendly design – it is a colorful handbook. The book itself is printed with vegetable-based inks on paper from sustainably managed forests."

Katya Levitskaya, press officer, WWF-Russia
1,001 Ways to Save the Earth by Joanna Yarrow / ©: Chronicle Books
1,001 Ways to Save the Earth by Joanna Yarrow
© Chronicle Books

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

"A deeply moving account of Matthiessen and George Schaller in search of the rare bharal in Tibet, this book is as much about the author's inner journey as it is about the natural, spiritual and cultural worlds he travels through. People are at the heart of what WWF does, and this masterpiece shows us what that really means."

Chris Howe, Executive Director, WWF-New Zealand
The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen / ©: Penguin Classics
The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen
© Penguin Classics

How to Live a Low carbon Life by Chris Goodall

"The book is nicely broken down into chapters that cover pretty much every aspect of western consumer-oriented life - heating, cooking, public transport, food, etc. It also gives some insight as to where individual actions can play a role in reducing emissions, and the need for government action to stimulate behavioural and attitude change."

Owen Gibbons, Climate Leader, WWF International Climate Team
How to Live a Low carbon Life by Chris Goodall / ©: Earthscan Publications Ltd
How to Live a Low carbon Life by Chris Goodall
© Earthscan Publications Ltd

Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the World in the 20th Century (the Global Century) by John R. McNeill

"McNeill masterfully links the transformation in human societies with the changing planet ecology. He shows how social, economic, technological, and geopolitical changes trigger profound changes in ecosystems and ecological processes, and in turn how these ecological changes can determine human history."

Paolo Lombardi, Director, WWF Mediterranean Programme
Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the World in the 20th Century (the Global ... / ©: W. W. Norton & Company
Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the World in the 20th Century (the Global Century) by John .R. McNeill
© W. W. Norton & Company

The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City by Kelly Coyne & Erik Knutzen

"The Urban Homestead is the essential handbook for a fast-growing new movement: urbanites are becoming gardeners and farmers. By growing their own food and harnessing natural energy, they are planting seeds for the future of our cities. If you would like to harvest your own vegetables, make homemade jam or bread, raise chickens or convert to solar energy, this practical, hands-on book is full of step-by-step projects."

Lia Kiessling, Internal Communciations Coordinator, WWF International
The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City by Kelly Coyne ... / ©: Process
The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City by Kelly Coyne & Erik Knutzen
© Process

Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife by David Burnie

"For anyone interested in species and the environment this is a great reference book. I find it is the kind of book that you can randomly flip open and suddenly be engrossed by the beautiful pictures, informative graphics, and easy to access information about animals and ecosystems."

Nigel Allan, Online Content Manager, WWF International
Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife by David Burnie / ©: DK
Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife by David Burnie
© DK

On Our Watch by Dr Nicola Markus

This is a comprehensive yet easy-to-read summary of the current state of Australia's environment, how we got here and what to do about it by a former Species Program Leader for WWF-Australia.

Kath Howard, Policy Officer - Southwest Australia, WWF-Australia
On Our Watch by Dr Nicola Markus / ©: Melbourne University Publishing
On Our Watch by Dr Nicola Markus
© Melbourne University Publishing

Your recommendations

The Diversity of Life by E. O. Wilson

"As the titles hints at, it is a celebration of biodiversity, while at the same times serving as motivation for its protection." - Mike Walker, Pew Environment Group

Green Baby by Susannah Marriott

"It has lots of wonderful and useful tips about raising a green baby. It is fun to read too." - Jeronima Carral

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

"As I was reading this book again, to my granddaughter, I realized how much I love it. And, I believe we have to engage children in this issue if we want to create sustainable change. " - Laurie Johnson, Nonprofit Staff Success International & 4 Elements Coaching

"A wonderful way to introduce kids to the concept of environmental stewardship, as well as something for adults, as well." - Kim

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

"The book says it's not easy being in harmony with other beings in nature. Thoreau recommends, therefore, a way of life closer to everything in nature: sounds, colors, smells, textures, etc. Thus, Walden will not fail to fascinate those who have an open mind to the need and urgency to live in harmony and with attention to 'rest' of the World ..." - Giovani Felice

Part of the Pride by Kevin Richardson

"This book truly shows that loving bond that can be formed between animals and humans if we only opened our hearts and trusted our animal friends." - Ben Grooms

The Way of the Panda by Henry Nicholls

"It combines enviroinmental history and political history in China, and involves countries throughout the world. And the panda are extremely cute as a vehicle for all this. And let us not forget the book is well-written." Matthew J. James, Sonoma State University

"Henry Nicholls writes extremely well and has the ability to interest even sceptics in conservation issues." - Leonor Stjepic

Wildwood: A journey through trees by Roger Deakin

"An inspirational book. Nature conservation writing at its best." - Simon Hawkins

Silent Spring by Rachael Carson

"A very interesting look at chemicals (sp. DDT) in our environment. Written back in the 60's by a biologist,there are plenty of lessons to be learned that we still haven't learned 40+ years ago." - Monica

"This is the beginning of environmentalism and one of the first books to question our conduct on this planet. The movement and topic are outdated but the message and intention is ever more poignant." - Si Pattenden

Plan B by Lester Brown

"Mr. Brown is very insightful and demonstrates with factual information the need for global changes in our thinking if we are to save our planet." - Monica

Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent by Andrew Nikiforuk

"This is an very interesting look at the tar sands of Alberta and how their development/reaping of the resource is affecting wildlife, people, the land, and water. A must read for those who want to understand the tar sands better." - Monica

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey Sachs

Excellent analysis of how we can use our planet's resources in a way that allows for an environmentally more sustainable economy." - Pablo Padrutt, foraus

Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill Mckibben

"It presents rich information to successfully convince the reader that climate change is not some far away problem, but something that has already started to happen. Then the writer proceeds to describe how we can cope with this and also other problems like the peak of oil by thinking big and acting locally." - Sudipta Saha

The Trials of Life by David Attenborough

"Because he explain the amazing way the animals choose to survive." - Loli Hernández

Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken

"It is a possitive view, we meed this kind of perspective now more than ever." - Gerardo Pandal

Homequest: Liberation by JE Browning

"It deals with themes of deforestation, pollution, mismanagement of resources and senseless slaughter whilst taking you through a fantasy adventure as forest dwellers fight for liberation from enslavement by genetically and technologically advanced people." - J Browning

Will's Mammoth by Stephen Gammell

"Love of nature: relationship between boy & mammoth" - Gray Roquemour

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

"Excellent read with a clear environmental message behind it" - Carolyn Eaton

Anthill by E. O. Wilson

"Great conflict between conservation ethic and land development. Plus Wilson's ant expertise. His first fiction novel." - Bob Phillips

On Thin Ice: The Changing World of the Polar Bear by Richard Ellis

"This book offers a detailed glance into the intricate world of the polar bear - past, present, & future. Ellis offers stories of man's first interactions with the polar bear, & explains how a combination of poaching, as well as changes we are imposing on its environment, are threatening its existence. A must-read for those who want to better understand these animals & the struggles they now face." - Timothy

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

"This book is amazing, the author explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; what of our everyday stuff may become immortalized as fossils; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe." - Tess Burns

The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen

"Brilliant writer from Outside Magazine documents extinctions due to the fragmenting of habitat in key places around the world in a travelogue that informs and mesmerizes." - Allen McEwan

The Future of Life by E. O. Wilson

"I read this book a few years ago while in graduate school. I was a stimulating experience, which made me aware of many environmental issues. Dr. Wilson's wisdom is superb, and reading his work is a true joy. Hope you like it!" - K Simonetti

The Lost Camels of Tartary by John Hare

"Shows the dedication of scientists/conservationists and inspires readers to explore the world" - Matthew Teng

Green Pen by Keya Acharya, Fredrick Noronha

"Collection of essays and articles on the environment by two journalists. Interesting & engaging" - Poonam

Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams

"Beside being the author's favorite book it is a must read for any environmentalist. adams, along side zoologist Mark Carwardine, are searching for the last of their kind animals, bringing the efforts made to save those spieces from extinction and the stories of those comited to do so. insighting, funny, sad and important. a journy into our own nature and through mankind." - Omri Gal, Israel Nature and Parks Authority

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by Michael Braungart and William McDonough

"Because it talks about not just how to be green with the things we already have, but how we should be building things in a greener way, plus it is made out of water proof plastic so it is a good example, it practices what it preaches." - Katherine Banerd

Low Impact Man by Steven Vromman

"Allthough this book is in Dutch (so not readible for everyone), it shows the reader in a great and possible way what one can do to lower his impact on the environment. Printed on FSC-paper!" - Be Sanne

Thanks to everyone that submitted a book recommendation!
  • View this list on Amazon / ©: Amazon.com
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