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The world revolves around the concept of sustainability. Cambridge dictionary defines it as the quality of being able to continue over a period of time, and regarding the environment: the quality of causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time. Learning about it can be a tedious task if we do not know which sources to consult. What can help is to narrow down the topic we want to know more about and look for information and solutions that we can implement in our daily lives.
This one is for all the bookworms. We’ve put together a list of the top five sustainability books. Each one will cover a different category: climate, food, fashion, economics, and business.
The author, Mary Robinson, served as the seventh, and first female, President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from 1997 to 2002. She was struck by the uncertainty of climate change when she held her first grandchild, so her mission became finding climate justice. Travelling all around the world she found out that one of the main forces in the battle for climate justice could be found at the grassroots, and primarily among women.
Robinson met women whose resilience and wit had already sparked change. The book covers inspiring stories like Sharon Hanshaw, the Mississippi matriarch whose campaign began in her East Biloxi hair salon and culminated in her intervention at the United Nations, to Constance Okollet, a small farmer who transformed the fortunes of her struggling community in rural Uganda.
Climate justice offers a humanitarian perspective to climate change. Stories like Hanshaw and Okollet give us hope for the future and what can be done to make it better.
Richards set himself the goal to be self sufficient by growing his own fruits and vegetables, with an added difficulty; it had to be for free. He conquered his challenge and with his book, he’s trying to help people do the same. It’s an inspirational and practical guide to start growing your own harvest.
The secret to doing it for free is taking advantage of things and foods you already have at home. If you want to start raised bed gardening - growing plants in soil that is higher than the ground – you can use a wooden pallet. The fridge and cupboards are free inspiration and seeds you can easily plant. When you need a tool borrow it. The list goes on, but you already got the hang of it. If this isn’t pure sustainability we don’t know what is.
Siegle is the author of an ethical column at The Guardian and a devoted journalist on environmental topics. Thus, it’s no surprise this expose of the fashion industry comes from her pen. The book portrays the inhumanity and environmental devastation behind nowadays’ practices. Based on thorough research and fieldwork it shines a light on the reality of fast – fashion workers in countries like Bangladesh.
The book also gives us some tips we can apply to change the unsustainable trend of fast fashion as consumers. Many tips are simple and, most importantly, attainable - second-hand shops, buying vintage clothes, swapping clothes with friends, looking after clothes to make them last and upcycling – while other tips explain how to know whether an offer is ethical or not, or how to avoid the "greenwashing" of some brands that pretend to be more ethical than they really are.
The book invites the reader to reflect and think about the dominant economic paradigm in the context of a planet that suffers from exhaustion at an ecological and environmental level. Raworth uses the doughnut metaphor to propose a change in continuous economic growth. It is important to replace the language from 'good is forward-and-up' to 'good is in-balance' between human needs and the earthly limits of the Earth.
Kate Raworth is an economist, visiting professor of the Oxford University and retired Oxfam investigator. Her book is a refreshing point of view that challenges today’s capitalist system. She bases all her theories and arguments in classic and contemporary texts offering a complete vision.
Written by the Inspired Protagonist and Chairman of Seventh Generation, the country's leading brand of household products and a pioneering good company, the book reveals the best ways for companies to build a better future-and hold themselves accountable for the results.
It presents ideas and strategies that businesses can easily follow in order to make each company socially and environmentally responsible that wins on values. It leads the way to generate trust by being more transparent and turn customers into collaborators and allies. Hollender and Breen bring you the tactics and mindsets to compete in a world where companies need to contribute to a greater good.