The best sustainability books to read right now

If you’re trying to adopt a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, our edit of the best sustainability books, from recipe books to memoirs, is here to help.

There is no one-size-fits-all model for adopting a greener lifestyle. And while we can’t be perfect, we’re not powerless. Whether you want to change your eating habits, cleaning routine, or just better inform yourself about the environment, here are our favourite sustainability books to take that first step towards a healthier planet. 

For more inspiration, discover our edit of the best self-help books

Garden to Save the World

by Joe Clark

Book cover for Garden to Save the World

Joe Clark, gardening expert and social media sensation, presents Garden to Save the World. He aims to help you make the most of the outdoors, whether or not you have a garden of your own by providing tips on zero waste, sustainable garden setups, interaction with wildlife, and more. This inclusive guide has practical takeaways: use your garden as a supermarket, set up an urban bee hotel, and cook delicious recipes. Perfect for both budding and advanced nature enthusiasts, the man behind @Joesgarden is here to help you live more sustainably. 

The Green Budget Guide

by Nancy Birtwhistle

Book cover for The Green Budget Guide

In The Green Budget Guide, Nancy Birtwhistle provides 101 smart, economical and time-saving housekeeping tips. Born into the austerity of post-war Hull and a one-time single mother, Nancy is no stranger to frugality. Building on her popular recipe 'Pure Magic' and her frugal 12p laundry detergent, this guide presents ingenious, wallet-friendly and environmentally friendly home hacks and practical advice from her life's lessons in managing a household efficiently while saving resources.

The Green Gardening Handbook

by Nancy Birtwhistle

Book cover for The Green Gardening Handbook

Going green in the garden has never been easier with Nancy Birtwhistle’s sustainable, eco-friendly tips that will help you make the most of your space, and what it can grow. Whether you have a sprawling garden, a modest patch of grass or just a spare windowsill, The Green Gardening Handbook has over 100 tips that will help you embrace the joy of growing and eating from your own garden. This is a book for anyone green-fingered or not, packed with practical advice to save money and reduce waste, packaged in a beautifully illustrated guide. 

Green Living Made Easy

by Nancy Birtwhistle

Book cover for Green Living Made Easy

Great British Bake Off winner turned bestselling author Nancy Birtwhistle provides 101 eco-friendly home-hacks in Green Living Made Easy. From upcycling to eco-cleaning and small-space gardening, there are plenty of ways to do our best for both our homes and the planet – and save yourself time and money in the process. Complete with beautiful illustrations, Nancy Birtwhistle’s tips and recipes are relatable and innovative, making this the perfect guide for anyone pursuing a more sustainable lifestyle.

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The Last Drop

by Tim Smedley

Book cover for The Last Drop

The Last Drop, by award-winning environmental journalist Tim Smedley, addresses the impending water crisis, highlighting cases of severe water stress and mismanagement, increasingly linked to climate refugees and ecological survival. However, Smedley also explores successful strategies in countries like Singapore and Israel, coping admirably despite facing severe water stress. Meeting with experts, activists, victims, and innovators, Smedley provides a compelling account of the environmental and human elements behind the crisis and offers practical solutions to tackle the problem before it escalates.

A Bigger Picture

by Vanessa Nakate

Book cover for A Bigger Picture

Leading climate activist Vanessa Nakate brings her fearless spirit to this manifesto and memoir about climate change. At Davos in 2020, Vanessa, a Black Ugandan activist alongside four white Europeans, was cropped out of a press photograph – a startling illustration of how those who will see the biggest impacts of the climate crisis are repeatedly omitted from the conversation. A Bigger Picture is a crucial part of the story on climate change and an inspiring account of how we can all join together to protect our planet. 

The 20-Minute Vegan

by Calum Harris

Book cover for The 20-Minute Vegan

Online sensation Calum Harris promises no-fuss vegan recipes, all of which can be cooked in under twenty minutes. With a focus on easily sourced ingredients, and covering quick solo meals to dinner party favourites, The 20-Minute Vegan is perfect for flexitarians, students, home cooks on a budget and anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint. 

The Green Sketching Handbook

by Ali Foxon

Book cover for The Green Sketching Handbook

Inspired by her own journey from climate scientist to artist and nature lover, Ali Foxton’s The Green Sketching Handbook is the perfect way to reconnect with your environment. Combining quick and easy exercises with the latest research on nature connection, this handbook focuses on sketching for pleasure, not perfection. In doing so, it encourages us to create a habit that makes us feel good and helps us develop a closer relationship with our planet. 

Healthier Planet, Healthier You

by Annie Bell

Book cover for Healthier Planet, Healthier You

Inspired by the principles of the Planetary Health Diet, a greener way of eating informed by scientific targets aimed at tackling climate change, nutritionist Annie Bell provides a flexible way of improving your diet, both for the environment and for yourself. Packed with over one hundred recipes, as well as practical tips to reduce food waste, Healthier Planet, Healthier You sheds light on how to eat both sustainably and affordably, without cutting out your favourite treats.

Vegan (ish)

by Jack Monroe

Book cover for Vegan (ish)

Jack Monroe is one of the UK’s best-loved experts on budget cooking. In Vegan(ish), she applies her thrifty hacks to one hundred plant-based recipes to reduce both our food bills and our environmental impact. Whether you are already a committed vegan, or simply want to cut back on dairy and meat to help the planet, Jack Monroe’s recipes are creative, affordable and sustainable, without compromising on taste. 

How To Break Up With Fast Fashion

by Lauren Bravo

Book cover for How To Break Up With Fast Fashion

In How To Break Up With Fast Fashion, journalist Lauren Bravo takes a firm stand against the environmental toll of fast fashion. Utilizing her love for clothing, she transitioned towards a slower, more mindful way of dressing, seeking to inspire others to do the same. She offers advice on shifting mindsets, reviving love for one's existing wardrobe, and adopting sustainable shopping methods, like clothes swapping or thrift shopping. Through honest and practical suggestions, she encourages readers to reimagine fashion by repairing, recycle, and giving a new life to forgotten clothes, all while maintaining personal style.