Join us in celebrating Earth Day through the written word. We believe literature has the power to inspire change and spark meaningful conversations. Independent authors, in particular, have a unique perspective on environmental issues and a passion for storytelling that can engage and motivate readers to form new habits, think differently, and take action. In this blog, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite books by independent authors that explore themes of sustainability, conservation, and the natural world.
The Girl Who Recycled 1 Million Cans by Shaziya M. Jaffer, Brad W. Rudover, and Jessica Alexanderson
“The Girl Who Recycled 1 Million Cans” comes from Scrap University Kids, an environmental education group working to eliminate metal from landfills within the next 30 years. They hope to teach kids that their everyday actions make a lasting impact on the environment. This imaginative children’s book presents an easy way to teach little ones about recycling. The story follows Ellie, a little girl who loves unicorns and the environment. She wants to save enough money to buy her very own unicorn, but to do so she needs to recycle one million cans! Along the way, Ellie and her friends learn a lot about the earth, the value of recycling, and working together as a team.
The Sustainability Generation by Mark Coleman
Mark C. Coleman’s book, “The Sustainability Generation: The Politics of Change and Why Personal Accountability is Essential NOW!” focuses on breaking down a culture of entitlement, which encourages the belief that instant gratification trumps slow, sustainable living. “The Sustainability Generation” understands the personal responsibility we have to limit our consumption habits, fight our hunger for more stuff, and redefine our core values. Materialism and consumerism are tempting vices, but the promise of a new future has far more value. A new generation that is committed to environmental and social change will offer the promise of the greatest legacy possible – a better Earth!
Planet A by George J. Nasr
As an engineer, George J. Nasr specializes in sustainable development, green energy, and the management of systemic risks. Forever curious about the world, Nasr follows a cross-disciplinary approach to study the interactions incomplex human structures from a systems engineering perspective. “Planet A” examines how we can sustain limitless growth on a limited planet and offers a look at four simple concepts that can unlock a sustainable path for a regenerative economy. Nasr’s writing urges people to move away from cheap energy and towards renewable sources that don’t disrupt or deplete our environment. This is a thought-provoking read for anyone interested in sustainability and alternative energy sources.
Smiley, Happy Planet Earth by Anya Beltsina
To understand the value of the Earth, you have to understand the Earth! “Smiley, Happy Planet Earth” teaches kids the basics about our planet and the solar system. Kids will learn fundamental facts about Earth and its seasons, from the perspective of a schoolteacher talking to his students. The first section of the book, “Our Planet,” describes the solar system and the planet’s physical characteristics, like the four layers of the Earth. The second section of the book, “Seasons,” describes the seasons and personifies Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. These short, rhyming stories provide educational, fun reading with kids of all ages.
Zookeeper Dreams and Travel Extremes by Lynn Killam
Lynn Killam is a retired zoo professional and primate specialist who spent forty years caring and advocating for zoo animals. Follow Killam from her early days as an animal aide at the Bronx Zoo to eventually being named primate curator at the Houston Zoo. This collection of essays is filled with Killam’s adventures in zookeeping, from witnessing the birth of a baby orangutan to chasing down an escaped tapir in the middle of the night. “Zookeeper Dreams and Travel Extremes” offers readers an emotional and gripping look at the realities of zoo life and traveling to see wildlife in foreign lands.
My Montana by J.C. Caruso
J.C. Caruso is a wildlife photographer and writer who has been published in magazines like Montana Outdoors, Wild Planet, and Bird Watcher’s Digest. This book is a culmination of his last decade hiking, driving, and wandering through Montana to capture the state’s uniqueness and beauty. He’s captured lively, endearing snapshots of Montana’s bears, foxes, elk, coyotes, owls, osprey, eagles, herons, bighorn sheep, bison, chipmunks, squirrels, moose, deer, pronghorn, insects, mountains, lakes, and rivers. “My Montana” is a lovely addition to any environmentalist’s shelf.
We Belong by Lucia Bawot
Local farmers are the heart and soul of preserving the Earth: both environmentally and economically. “We Belong” features the life stories of 25 Colombian women coffee farmers, combined with intimate photography that amplifies their dynamic, vivid lives. In Lucia Bawot’s debut photography book, she shares the stories of women cultivating dreams and tradition in Colombian soil. “We Belong” is a call to deepen our exploration of the ties that bind us together as global citizens. This book was collected over 18 months of travel through the Colombian regions of Quindío, Cauca, Antioquia, Nariño, Huila, Tolima, and Magdalena. Bawot has also included a QR code with access to behind-the-scenes audio commentary about the making of “We Belong,” as well as a playlist inspired and selected by the women.
A Brighter Future by Nicole Kelner
In this beautifully illustrated book, Nicole Kelner educates readers on climate change in a playful way. Her ability to translate complicated topics into gorgeous watercolors welcomes everyone to make better choices for the future (both for the planet and humanity). “A Brighter Future” will spark readers’ imaginations to create space for optimism without sugarcoating facts. Nicole’s watercolor paintings show viewers that you don’t have to be anxious about environmental activism, and that there’s plenty of room for hope and magic.
Earth Day gives us an annual opportunity to reflect on our relationship with the world around us. We hope these books will inspire you to care for the planet year-round, whether you’re interested in climate change, sustainability, or simply learning more about the natural world. By reading and sharing these books, we can raise awareness about the importance of protecting our planet and inspire others to take action in their own lives. Let’s commit to making every day Earth Day and do our part to create a healthy, sustainable future for generations to come.
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