5 SUSTAINABLE BOOKS YOU NEED IN YOUR LIFE
When you're starting out on your journey to living a more conscious and sustainable life, it's easy to lose sight of what inspired you to start making these changes in the first place. Keeping a selection of books around my home to remind me of why I'm doing this really helps me to keep on track, have something to aspire to and spark inspiration whenever I need it. Here are my 5 favourite books which I'd recommend!
1. F**K FAST FASHION by The F Team
Need inspiration to combat your shopaholic tendencies? This compact guide gives 101 tips on how to change the way we shop while saving the planet. Breaking my old consumerist ways is something I'm still working on, however sometimes I do have that old urge to scroll through a high street website or app looking to bag a bargain. Picking up this book helps remind me of the true cost of fast fashion, and the devastating knock on impact it has whenever we buy from an unethical brand. This book not only changes the way we think about fashion shopping, but gives advice on every stage of buying and wearing clothes. If you're looking for inspiration on how, where and what to shop for as well as how to care for your clothes and prolong the life of the piece, you need this book in your life!
2. HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD FOR FREE by Natalie Fee
Living a more sustainable life can definitely be more expensive in many instances. Buying from brands who pay their workers a fair wage and produce better quality ethical materials will cost more. You get what you pay for. It can therefore be perceived that this lifestyle is a privilege that not everyone can afford. How to Save the World for Free is filled with tons of tips on small (mostly free) things we can do to make a difference. This book does give some excellent tips like cutting down on meat and dairy, saying no to straws and cutting your shower time down. For someone new to sustainability, this book is perfect as it contains simple ways to make a difference and why it's important. My only criticism with this book is that it does contain advice such as: "Only buy sustainably caught fish", and "use eco-friendly toilet paper" which while being great advice, fails to acknowledge that these tips are not in fact free. Sustainably caught fish and eco-friendly toilet paper will cost more and is therefore not accessible to everyone. Despite this, it's a great book to have in your home. I like mine kept on the coffee table, it's a conversation starter for guests and an opportunity to spark a conversation.
3. SUSTAIN: 50 EASY TIPS FOR A CLEANER, GREENER, PLASTIC-FREE HOME by Christina Strutt
This pocket sized guide to having an eco-friendly home is my holy grail right now! Small in size but brimming with SO MANY useful and unique tips. The section on growing your own seasonal produce has been especially useful for me while being home on furlough. As well as gardening tips, it has tips on making your own chemical-free cleaning and beauty products, alternatives to plastic in the home, sustainable energy and tons more.
4. MINIMAL: HOW TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE AND LIVE SUSTAINABLY by Madeleine Olivia
If you're interested in minimalism, veganism or sustainability and don't know who Madeleine Olivia is: look her up now! Stumbling across Madeleine's Youtube channel about a year and a half ago inspired me to begin my own journey to sustainability. So when I found out she was releasing a book, I already knew I'd love it. This book encapsulates so much content from her Youtube channel, blog and Instagram and is my number one go-to book for inspiration. The lists, diagrams and interactive tasks make it really easy and fun to consume a lot of information. There are a lot of similar tips and ideas as the other books mentioned, but with this book it also has loads of vegan recipes and discusses minimalism, and the benefits of simplifying life and consuming less.
However, there is one advice given in the book which I'd actively discourage you from taking on board:
"Avoid plastic-wrapped food when the option is available to you. Send a message by unwrapping it in the shop and leaving all the plastic at the till".
HELL NO. In my opinion this is terrible advice, and actually penalising the staff who barely earn a living wage, and do not deserve to be punished for the choices made by corporate CEOs. It's also more likely that this plastic will then not be recycled. Overall, it is an amazing book. However, this advice was problematic and felt I needed to highlight it.
5. VEGAN LONDON by Serena Lee
The final book on my list is a little more niche but deserved a shoutout. Vegan London is a guide to amazing places to eat vegan food around London. I'm personally not vegan (yet), however I gave up meat in January 2019 and have massively reduced my dairy consumption. I've switched to Oat milk and try to eat plant-based as much as possible, with the intention to transition to vegan in the future. It's no secret that cutting down our consumption of meat and dairy is one of the best things we can do to help the environment. If you can, I highly recommend watching Cowspiracy on Netflix where this is discussed at length. Serena Lee is an advocate for low waste and veganism, her instagram is full of great content so check her out if you haven't already. What I absolutely love about the guide is that it includes loads of smaller, local businesses and in all parts of London- not just central London. A must have guide for any Londoner who enjoys plant-based food or for anyone planning on visiting London.
That's it! Thank you so much for reading and I hope you found these suggestions helpful. If you're a fan of ebooks or audiobooks, I urge you to check the suggestions out there! If like me, you prefer the feeling of turning the page on a physical book, I encourage you to think about where to buy your books from. Buying second hand and from independent bookshops are always a great choice.
Stay safe x