Sustainability Reading List

Information about the environment and sustainability can be found in various places. People can keep up with the latest topics through governmental bodies such as Congress, news sites such as CNN, or social media outlets such as blogs. There are also a multitude of books that have been published about sustainability and bettering environmental health.  Here are a few of these works which can be checked out from the Georgia College library or bought off Amazon.


Fig. 1. A selection of books about the environment at the Georgia College library.

In Water: A Natural History, Alice Outwater tells the history of America’s waterways and how they are impacted by pollution and the advancement of human civilization. Ms. Outwater is environmental engineer turned author who uses the knowledge she gained for her degree to propose a solution that can improve American waterways. If you want to know more about the history of water and how human activity has affected it, this is the book for you. Water: A Natural History is available as an e-book through the Georgia College library.

In Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Keys to Sustainability, David Owen also focuses on how human living habits can affect the environment. Mr. Owen explains how people living closer and making more environmentally clean choices is good for the environment. He argues that crowded cities may be more environmentally friendly than widely spaced out living areas due to public transit and other factors. Green Metropolis is available for checkout from the Georgia College library.

Unbowed: A Memoir is an autobiography written by the Pulitzer Prize winning Wangari Maathai. In this book, Ms. Maathai details her life as a political and environmental activist in Kenya. She explains the struggles she went through establishing the Green Belt Movement while dealing with sexism. If you want to read about the sustainability movement in a foreign country and how it can be intertwined with local politics and civil rights then this is the book for you. Unbowed is available as a physical copy or e-book through Amazon.

Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills (DIY) by Raleigh Biggs is a book about how to perform basic household tasks such as maintaining a garden, making soap, and how to create a comfortable, sustainable home. The book is handwritten and hand-drawn by Raleigh Biggs and is filled with easy-to-follow tutorials. If you want a read that you can easily follow and incorporate into your daily life then this is the book for you. Make Your Place is available as an e-book or physical copy through Amazon.

In Greenwashed: Why We Can’t Buy Our Way To a Green Planet, Kendra Pierre-Louis examines whether green consumption (buying green) is really that much better than regular consumption. Ms. Pierre-Louis examines green housing, consumer goods, energy, and food and the effects they have on the environment and whether the volume of consumption is the real problem. Greenwashed can be checked out from the Georgia College library in e-book format.

There are many other books available at the Georgia College library that focus on sustainability. A few others are Recycling in America: A Reference Handbook by Debra L. Strong, Living Green Communities That Sustain by Jennifer Fosket and Laura Momo, All You Need Is Less: The Eco-Friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Living Green and Stress-Free Simplicity by Madeleine Somerville, and Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity by Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein. You don’t have to be in Milledgeville to read these titles. Consult your local librarian or bookstore or click around sites like Amazon to build up your sustainability-themed collection.

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