As the pandemic continues into 2021, despite the majority of us still spending most of our time at home, we are seeing plans to build back better and greener, begin to unfold. Even though it’s becoming more of a focus within the media, stoking our collective conscious more often, it still feels difficult to imagine this coming to fruition when everything feels like it’s on hold.
It’s important to use this extended time at home wisely and productively, where possible, as this helps to maintain mental wellbeing. Continuing to learn and be inspired, albeit likely from our sofas, should be high on our agenda for the early months of 2021. With this in mind, we have collated some of our favourite reading material to help you do just that. We have tried to keep this as positive as possible as we are all too keenly aware of 2020’s latest dictionary addition, ‘doom scrolling’, and will avoid where possible.
If you chose to order one of these, or any other, books, it’s important to endeavour to order from your local book shop. Supporting independent businesses is a fantastic way to support your local community, particularly in these trying times, whilst often simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint of your purchase. Some of our local bookshops are doing pre-order click and collect as well as cycle-based home delivery services, so double-check with yours to see what services they’re providing whilst unable to open their doors. If this isn’t possible, try The Bookshop where a percentage of each order goes to a local bookshop of your choice.
We hope you find this list useful and impactful, potentially inspiring you to put some of your time at home to good use.
Rob Hopkins – From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want (2019)
The founder of the Transition Towns movement, Rob Hopkins, asks why creative, positive thinking is in decline and aims to draw attention to how much it is needed now more than ever. Rob highlights that the future can look more positive by encouraging rapid change. By focusing our attention on the communities that surround us we engage on a local level and kick start projects which have wide-reaching benefits. Imagination is central to empathy, to creating better lives, to envisioning and then enacting a positive future. This book tells the story of individuals and communities who are doing just that. An excellent read to kick start your creative green journey and feel uplifted in the process.
“Rob Hopkins has long been a leader in imagining how we could remake our societies for the benefit of nature and humankind. His new book is a powerful call to imagine a better world. It should be widely read and appreciated.”
– Christiana Figueres, Lead Negotiator, Paris Climate Agreement
Mike Berners-Lee – There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years – Updated Edition (2021)
A runner up to ‘How Bad Are Bananas?’, considered by many as the bible to climate crunching, Mikes latest work has crunched the numbers and science for us, and works to plot a course of action which is practical and even enjoyable. There is No Planet B maps our course in an entertaining way, filled with astonishing facts and analysis. Details in this book provide accessible and affordable solutions, focusing on how we can make a difference as individuals and as a collective.
This updated edition has new material on protests, pandemics, wildfires, investments, carbon targets and of course, the key question: given all this, what can I do?
“This book will shock you, surprise you – and then make you laugh.”
– Anonymous review
Alice Ross – Investing to Save The Planet: How Your Money Can Make a Difference (2020)
The way we invest our money often isn’t considered as having much of an environmental impact. But what if we told you that smart investing can in-fact have significant environmental consequences?
The news editor at the Financial Times has compiled details of how to invest our money on a greener and more progressive pathway. Described as an essential introduction to green investing, this book will show you how you can turn your savings and pensions, however big or small, into a force for change for the better – something that often goes unconsidered by most as being a key action to make positive environmental progress.
The book details sectors which are leading the way to change with frontline technological advancements – from smart agriculture to electric vehicles and renewable energy advancements.
“This book presents a salient truth: every investor – no matter how large or small – has the power to help address our climate crisis and build a more sustainable world. Together, we can and must act now.”
– Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States
Annie Bell – Eat to Save the Planet (2020)
If you’re anything like us, food is the highlight of each week spent working at home, therefore exploring new recipes has become something we actively look forward to. Additionally, our diet is something we can easily change and adapt, this is great to consider in the context of taking action when there’s a lot we don’t have direct control over right now.
Annie Bell is a fully trained chef, nutritionist and now works as a food writer for the Independent and The Mail on Sunday. The newest of her 20 cookbooks focuses on accessible, flexitarian recipes in line with guidance from the Lancet commissioned Planetary Health Diet. Whilst the majority of recipes in this book are plant-based it is not a vegan or vegetarian book. Recipes in this book include optional modest quantities of animal products in the aim to approach and achieve reasonable diets for the everyday.
“Eat to Save the Planet demystifies the science, helping the reader introduce the approach in simple achievable steps. It features recipes for everyone, whatever their dietary preference or persuasion.”
– Anonymous review
All We Can Save – Truth, Courage and Solutions for the Climate Crisis
This collection of essays, poems and artistic instalments showcases expertise from dozens of women leading on the climate agenda worldwide. With contributors spanning from journalists to farmers, to teachers, the collection displays a representative discourse on the climate crisis, whilst focusing on how to make positive, accessible changes.
‘There is a renaissance blooming in the climate movement: leadership that is more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist, rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration. While it’s clear that women and girls are vital voices and agents of change for this planet, they are too often missing from the proverbial table. More than a problem of bias, it’s a dynamic that sets us up for failure. To change everything, we need everyone.’
“Fiery, hopeful manifesto on how to make sense of the staggering loss posed by climate change – and take justice-oriented action in spite of it.”
– Anonymous review
Hopefully, this reading list should get us started with a hopeful, inspiring and positive year. Take care, and we’d love to hear from you if you’ve any other positive and inspiring reads that our team should know about!