It’s hard not to fall in love with nature this time of year. Bees buzzing, flowers blooming—April may be the cruelest month, but it’s also the prettiest. Which makes Earth Day an especially poignant holiday. With every passing year—and another record-breaking month of extreme temperatures on the books—the stakes for our planet and ourselves get higher. Luckily, there’s already a lot of info out there on ways to reduce our carbon footprints and give a little something back to the planet.
Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite reads on the natural world and various ways we can keep it green. And once you’re caught up on your reading? We recommend heading outside to enjoy that sweet, soft, spring-awakened world.
Field Notes From a Catastrophe
In an expansion of reports she wrote for The New Yorker, Kolbert’s book examines the range of ways that global warming has already made its mark. She strikes an ideal tone for such a serious subject, neither glossing over complicated methods of measuring global change nor losing the scientific dilettante along the way.
Zero Waste Home
This hugely inspiring story of one woman’s commitment to reducing her family’s waste to an astounding one liter per year(!) manages to make sustainable living seem both fun and pretty chic. Who knew doing good could look so good?
A Lighter Footprint
Leaves of Grass
April is also National Poetry Month, which makes Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” an extra-appropriate choice. Reading Whitman’s ecstatic embrace of the natural world is the perfect way to celebrate Mother Earth—and a good reminder that grass is way cooler than it may seem.
This insightful contemplation of nature’s ability to inspire and move us is a powerful defense of both artistic creation and wilderness preservation. Fowles’s classic is one of the most beautiful—and enjoyable—treatises on the ecological movement.
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