Visit the Library, Read a Book, Help the Environment

Earth Day is coming up on April 22.  What better way to prepare for this important celebration of our earth than by reading books about the environment.  One of the best places to access environmental books is your local library, where the “reuse” aspect of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) is always a priority.

There are four different library systems in Halton Region — Burlington Public Library, Halton Hills Public Library, Milton Public Library, and Oakville Public Library.  Each system has suggested environmental books for elementary-aged children, secondary-aged youth, and adults.

Environmental books for elementary-aged children

"S is for Save the Planet" by Brad Herzog

“I recommend S Is for Save The Planet: A How-to-be Green Alphabet written by Brad Herzog,” said Rosemary Minnella of Burlington Public Library.  This picture book assigns an idea or adjective to each letter of the alphabet that encourages a child to help and respect the Earth.  For example, “C is for conserve fuel.  How?  Let’s create a cool carpool.”

Douglas Davey of Halton Hills Public Library recommended The Earth Book by Todd Parr.  “This book combines bright, childlike illustrations with sensitive, reassuring text that uses child-friendly actions with positive outcomes,” explained Geoff.

"Fragile Planet" by Kenneth Steven

Stories For A Fragile Planet by Kenneth Steven is recommended by Melanie Southern of the Milton Public Library.  “This beautifully illustrated book contains ten myths and  traditional stories that teach children respect for the earth,” stated Melanie.

Deb Grund of the Oakville Public Library recommended The Clue In The Recycling Bin by Gertrude Warner.  While volunteering at the new recycling centre in town, the Alden children find some cool new treasures. But when the recycling centre is vandalized not long after a jewellery store robbery, the kids put together clues that link the two incidents. “Soon they solve the crime — and readers learn a lot about recycling along the way,” exclaimed Deb.

Environmental books for secondary-aged youth

As part of the Global Viewpoints series of non-fiction books, Garbage and Recycling edited by Candice Mancini addresses a variety of issues about recycling from a global perspective.  “This book is perfect for school projects, or for more in-depth reading on a given waste management topic,” exclaimed Rosemary.

Generation Green by Tosh Siversten isn’t the flashiest book on environmentalism you’ll ever see, but that’s part of its appeal,” stated Douglas. “This book is a clear, concise and a compelling overview of environmentalism, including practical solutions teens can use, like choosing greener cosmetics to environmentally-friendly movie-going.”

“For teens, I recommend True Green: 100 Everyday Ways You Can contribute To A Healthier Planet by Kim McKay,” explained Melanie.  “It is based on the practical experience of Clean Up the World, a grassroots environmental movement. The book explores six key areas where small changes can make a big difference.”

"Life Ad We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is recommended by Deb.  An asteroid hits the moon and the hero’s problems are dwarfed by the devastating disasters that sweep the planet.  “The question,” Deb stated, “is how long will the hero’s family survive with minimal water, dwindling food supply, no heat or electricity, and subzero temperatures?”

Environmental books for adults

Author Kurt Timmermeister recounts his adventure of moving to Vachon Island, near Seattle, to live off the land on his newly-purchased farm in Growing a Farmer: How I Learned To Live Off The Land.  Said Rosemary, “The reader is treated to the logistical concerns of keeping bees for honey, raising animals for slaughter, and growing a variety of crops for sale, to name but a few challenges.”

"How Bad Are Bananas?" by Mike Berners-Lee

Geoff recommended How Bad Are Bananas? by Mike Berners-Lee.  “It’s a real eye opener,” exclaimed Beverley King of Halton Hills Public Library.  “Did you know that imported strawberries have ten times the footprint compared with the local variety?  This book is a worth-while read for people who seriously want to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Living Green: Communities That Sustain by Jennifer Fosket is recommended by Melanie.  “Written for those desiring to hear a good news story, this book will appeal to individuals and communities living a sustainable lifestyle, and green building activists,” she stated.

“We’re very excited to be hosting Adria Vasil, the bestselling author of Ecoholic, Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Products, Information and Services in Canada, at the Oakville Public Library’s Central Branch on May 2, 2012,” stated Melissa Cameron.  Covering everything from shampoo to deodorant to sunscreen, this book offers insights on what’s really green.

It’s amazing how many different books have been published about the environment.  Have you read any of these books recommended by local library staff?  If so, what did you think?

What other environmental books really made you think twice about how we treat the environment or showed you some easy tips to help make a change? Are there any other books that you would recommend to others?

About John Watson

I’m the Waste Diversion Educator Coordinator for Halton Region. I deliver educational workshops in Halton schools, teaching about 20,000 students each year about recycling and composting!
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2 Responses to Visit the Library, Read a Book, Help the Environment

  1. Walter Scattolon says:

    Hmmm… How about “A Farewell to Featherwagons”? … you know, the book that Halton Region actually created about climate change and the environment??? Just a thought.

  2. John Watson says:

    I would recommend “The Great Tree of Avalon” trilogy by T. A. Barron for youth. It puts a very interesting spin on Merlin/Arthur mythology, with the world being a large tree that the heroes are climbing. Very interesting metaphors about the environment and the need to protect it. A bit out there, but a good read.

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