People frequently ask me about “green” products and services that I would recommend, because I usually have done the research and run it through my green criteria-filled brain. This page is devoted only to books, though I will be adding more recommendations. Full disclosure: I do have an affiliate relationship set up with Amazon (I might get a few cents if you buy the book I recommend through a link from this site), but every product I recommend I have tried/used/read myself and would not otherwise recommend it.
Green Building / Healthy Homes
Paul Hawken’s book has often been the one book that awakens those of us in business to environmental concerns. The Ecology of Commerce was the book that most impacted Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface Flooring, who then transformed Interface into what is now one of the most sustainable companies on the planet.
William McDonough is the sustainable designer’s hero. His book is one of the best I’ve read on how our society can change the way we design things and dramatically alter the planet. He breaks down the world of materials into “technical nutrients” and “biological nutrients” and proposes a theory that is practical and optimistic.
While I haven’t made it all the way through this book, what I have read so far is fascinating to me. Biomimicry is the “science and art of emulating Nature’s best biological ideas to solve human problems.” Pretty cool, and also optimistic.
The Worldwatch Institute puts out a “State of the World” every year and provides information on how to build a sustainable society. While some of the information is very scary, I think it should be required reading for every literate citizen of the world. Why wouldn’t we want to know this stuff?
I saw Elizabeth Royte speak on a panel and was impressed with her knowledge and passion for getting to the root of some serious issues around our society’s waste stream. Very well written and interesting stories as she tracks down the history of bottled water or where in the world goes the garbage in New York City.
We are what we eat. When it comes down to it, our daily food choices affect our health and the planet’s health (so intricately related it amazes me that we are still called tree huggers) more than almost anything. I include these books here because they are the best I have found on that subject.
Barbara Kingsolver writes an inspiring book about her family’s journey to eat only locally grown food for a full year. While packed full of great tips (and recipes), it is authentically written and is a very engaging story.