Making environmentally friendly changes in your life and keeping up with the wide array of information about sustainability can be intimidating.

Taking time to read up on different aspects of sustainability can help you stay informed and inspire you to try some eco-friendly changes in your daily life—and the reading can be fun and enlightening while you do it!

There are many books that feature sustainability and the environment, but here are a few recommendations to get you started:

Humankind: A Hopeful History  

Rutger Bregman looks at a survey of human history and challenges the notion that human selfishness and violence are our defining features, instead focusing on how we may be able to achieve a sustainable future based on our capacity to do good.

Life on the Rocks: Building A Future for Coral Reefs 

With a blended narrative about the plight of coral reefs and her daughter’s struggles with mental health, marine scientist and science journalist Juli Berwald communicates the hope of healing and resilience for humans, corals, and the whole of the planet.

Generation Dread: Finding a Purpose in the Age of Climate Crisis 

Stanford postdoctoral fellow Britt Wray discusses climate anxiety, modern psychology, and how to cope in the midst of the climate crisis while working to solve it.

Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in a Non-Human World

By telling the inspirational stories of animals around the world, Emma Marris tells the story of how philosophy may guide our search for a sustainable future and relationships with the natural world.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants 

A nonfiction book by botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation who shows how plants can teach lessons of both scientific and emotional value.

Crossings: How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet 

Author and environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb travels across the U.S. to catalog how roads, an everyday utility to humans, but a foreign concept to the natural world, are shaping the surface and future of our planet.


Information from the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, the Sierra Club, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and the Green Office Movement.