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The Top Ten Must-Read Books On Sustainability In 2021

Which books should you focus on reading this year to learn more about sustainability?

Sustainability, Environment, Economy, Circular Economy, Sustainable Business, Books, Reading, Education, Culture, The SustainabilityX® Magazine

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Sustainability is a fascinating and popular subject in 2021. Which books should you focus on reading this year to learn more about sustainability? Here are the top ten books on sustainability that you need to read in 2021.


1. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things


Authors William McDonough and Michael Braungart have written a handbook for innovating and (re)designing in the twenty-first century. ‘It is certainly one of the most influential books on sustainability to date’ says Ed Whitley, a writer at Revieweal. The authors call for a new Industrial Revolution, suggesting things like the complete removal of waste.


They show several compelling examples of companies that, far from harming the planet and the people, are doing a good thing for the environment while earning money in the process.


2. The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability-Designing for Abundance


Written by William McDonough and Michael Braungart as a follow up to Cradle to Cradle, this book takes the theory and puts it into practice. They take a deep look at how their ideas have fared in the business world. In a world that uses design as a tool for positive impact, industries can focus on doing better than “do no harm”. They can actively improve everything with which it comes into contact.


3. Where the Crawdads Sing


Delia Owens’ brilliant debut tells the tale of a community in a coastal town in North Carolina during the 1950s and 60s. It’s a thriller based all-around an intriguing murder mystery. However, at its core, this book is a coming-of-age narrative, exploring important themes such as environmental pressures and social isolation.


4. Rebuilding Earth: Designing Ecoconscious Habitats for Humans


Written by award-winning Canadian architect, Teresa Coady, this book is a call to action and a plan. It starts by looking at how we ended up with our unsustainable concrete jungles, and then it lays out principles and techniques for building a better future. ‘This book is a must-read for anyone who desires to be a part of a more natural and sustainable environment’ notes Meghan Schultz, an eco- expert at UKWritings.


5. The History of Bees


This spellbinding book, written by Maja Lunde, tells the stories of three beekeepers from the past, present, and future. This story reminds us of the important role bees play in sustaining humanity and nature. Haunting and expertly written, it is a story about the very real threat of ecological disaster and our attempts to remain connected in an ever-changing and chaotic world.

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6. The Truth About Green Business


A must-read book written by Gil Friend, it shows all we need to know to make a business “green” while increasing profits. Explore the real effects of climate change on your business.

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7. Beautiful and Abundant


Written by Bryan Welch, this practical guide maintains that we must be brave and move towards a sustainable attitude. Welch argues that maintaining this attitude is necessary during these times of uncertainty, rapid changes, and chaotic transitions.


8. The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Business Will Win


This thought-provoking read, written by Jeffrey Hollender & Bill Breen encourages companies to change their mindset from trying to be “less bad”, to embracing an “all good” philosophy instead. Interviewing several forward-thinking companies, Hollender & Breen use what they learn to develop their plan for creating ‘good companies’.


9. How Bad Are Bananas: The Carbon Footprint of Everything


This updated 2020 edition uses the latest data to quantify carbon footprints, and it’s been expanded to include technology like a Zoom call and the Cloud. This book will empower hard data-lovers to reduce their footprint and call on industry and government to do the same.


10. Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change?


Marshall explores how and why people make active choices to act or ignore climate change and what we need to do to effectively mobilize action on a global scale. This book goes beyond the science to explore the behavioural and emotional reasons for climate inaction.


These ten books on sustainability are the best, most influential, and eye-opening reads of 2021.