The Best Sustainability-Related Books We Read in 2020

The Best Sustainability-Related Books We Read in 2020

This article is part of our "Round Ups" series, where we share things that inspire us, guide us, or are just really cool.


Climate change is pretty complicated (well, the basics are really simple, but going deeper gets tricky), so we lean on books when in doubt. Books feel a little more finite and focused than the internet, where sometimes it's hard to separate fact from fiction, or to be sure something has all the proper sources. (There's a LOT of hyperbole and exaggeration about what's "sustainable", "clean" or "toxic" these days, and greenwashing abounds.)


Needless to say, starting a sustainable business meant doing a lot of homework. These are the best or most impactful climate-change, sustainability and planet related books that we cracked open this year! Let us know if we missed any.



A few caveats: these books weren't all published in 2020. But we read 'em this year! The goal of this list is to give you a great starting point on a sustainable reading list, to inspire you to learn something new or find a climate scientist or author whose point of view really speaks to you. There are so many more great books, and we'll keep making lists, but we selected these ones as great choices for folks who are really interested in the climate crisis and people who have never once read a book about our planet— all are welcome and will find something interesting to read here!


If you're wondering where you can grab these books, can we recommend your local bookstore? We really like the San Gregorio General Store, Book Shop Santa Cruz and Kepler's, all of which support our community. The latter two ship nationwide too!


Lastly, these are not ranked in order of favoritism. We could never!



(Psst-- looking for a copy-paste-able list? Here's one!)

  1. This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein
  2. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigeneous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Kimmerer
  3. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  4. As Long As Grass Grows by Dina Gilio Whitaker
  5. All We Must Save by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K Wilkinson
  6. Our House Is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis by Greta Thunberg, Svante Thunberg, Malena Emman and Beata Emman
  7. Inconspicuous Consumption by Tatiana Schlossberg
  8. A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal by Kate Aronoff, Alyssa Battistioni, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Thea Riofranco
  9. The Future Earth by Eric Holthaus
  10. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
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