Here’s 7 of our favourite books and podcasts on sustainable living

Learn how to live greener, make smarter choices and unpack some of the complexities behind the climate change debate with our especially curated list of books and podcasts.

Rise And Resist: How To Change The World by Clare Press

Image of book called rise and resist by clare press

Written by Clare Press, sustainability editor at Vogue Australia, Rise and Resist is a revolutionary guide in a pink cover. Press travels across the world to meet passionate change makers waging their own fight in the quest for a more sustainable world. ‘From eco warriors and zero wasters to knitting nannas, introvert craftiest to intersectional feminists,” Press examines how these seemingly isolated movements are part of a new form of activism sweeping the world. This book acts as an antidote to apathy and champions the power of individuals to make a difference. Interspersed with dry satirical commentary, this book is a great read for eco warriors and those with a burgeoning interest in sustainability and activism. Press also has a highly successful podcast, The Wardrobe Crisis where she unpacks what is happening in the world of sustainable fashion.

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed To Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken

image of book called drawdown by paul hawken

This 2017 New York Times best-selling book explores the intersectionality between gender equality and climate change. Based on meticulous evidence by academics, scientists, policy makers and sustainability experts the book represents an exhaustive effort and describes the 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming.

The book places a significant emphasis on the empowerment of women and girls, arguing that if girls in all parts of the world have greater access to education they will have less children thus curbing the problem of overpopulation. The book also argues for the removal of discrimination in agriculture. Contrary to what some may believe, women are the primary farmers in the world but institutional inequalities often hamper their ability to succeed. Drawdown argues for the removal of barriers which inhibit female farmers from maximising their yields which would in turn reduce the need for deforestation.

The Sustainable Fashion Handbook by Sandy Black

image of the sustainable fashion handbook by sandy black

The name says it all – this book is ambitious in scope and incredibly comprehensive in its analysis. It covers everything from the ever-diversifying array of fashion cultures to the environmental and social problems of today’s resource intensive and highly wasteful system.

It includes an array of illustrated articles and essays by leading writers and thinkers, as well as statements by some of the biggest names in fashion including Stella McCartney, EDUN founder Ali Hewson, Vivienne Westwood, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, and interviews with such designers as Katharine Hamnett, Hussein Chalayan, Dries van Noten, Lorrie Vogel (Nike). Ultimately this book is information-dense, authoritative and a foundational text for fashion students and those interested in sustainability.

The Story Of Stuff: How Our Obsession With Stuff Is Trashing The Planet, Our Communities, And Our Health by Annie Leonard

image of book of stuff by annie leonardWe’re drowning in stuff. Here Leonard reveals how capitalism has created a culture of overconsumption to the severe detriment of people and the planet. She unpacks the concept behind deliberate obsolescence and explains why it is cheaper to replace a broken TV rather than fix it. Why do we feel compelled to replace our iPhone every 12 months when the one we have works just fine, and where do all our discarded devices, clothing, food waste and general stuff ultimately end up? What happens to the people in the Congo who mine the rare minerals that go into making our devices? It’s these questions that Leonard seeks to answer. More over she also offers solutions to how we can combat the environmental damage, injustice and health hazards caused by excessive overconsumption.

Mothers of Invention podcast presented by Mary Robinson and Maeve Higgins 

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Mothers of Invention, is the creation of former president of Ireland, turned climate change activist, Mary Robinson. Let’s face it, climate change can be a bit of a depressing topic. The temptation to run and bury our heads in the sand and pretend it’s not happening is often a natural inclination. Robinson has therefore devised a rather ingenious solution to combat apathy by incorporating humour. Mothers of Invention is refreshingly positive and optimistic in tone. Robinson has paired with Irish-born comedian Meave Higgins and together the two showcase the work of grassroots climate activists. Scientists and politicians are featured alongside international human rights lawyers, teenage activists and indigenous community leaders from Europe, South America, India, Australia and the US.

This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs The Climate by Naomi Klein

image of book this changes everything by naomi klein

In this highly provocative and historic piece of writing, Klein points to capitalism not carbon as the true culprit in the current climate crisis. Free market enterprise is not our saviour but our doom, our addiction to profit and growth and our reliance on finite resources is entrenching us deeper into an unsustainable and grim future. But a world without fossil fuels and green energy is indeed possible despite what the sceptics say, but it will mean a disassociation with the free market and capitalist principals that have dominated western society for two centuries. Klein’s book forms the basis of a contentious yet compelling argument.

EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, Rinses And Bath Bombs For You And Your Friends by Lauren Cox and Janice Cox

image of eco beauty book by lauren cox

Who doesn’t love a good pampering. Full of easy to follow recipes for scrubs, bath bombs and face masks, this book has something for everyone. Making your own beauty products is a great way to save money and the environment and of course it’s good fun. They also make great gifts. The ultimate natural-beauty ‘cookbook’, EcoBeauty is great for anyone trying to live greener and looking for natural replacements to every day products.