The climate change books to help you help the planet | Melissa Hemsley
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Climate Conscious Books for the Planet


 Climate Conscious Books to help the Planet

climate change books reading list

What does it mean to be a climate change activist? Are you an activist? Am I? We can all be if we just take action. Of course, that doesn’t mean being 100% perfect, sustainable, plastic-free, zero-waste (so overwhelming!). I take it to mean collectively acting in small daily ways to minimise our negative impact on our planet. 

It can start with carrying a reusable coffee cup or shopping bag, or maybe eating a bit less meat or one more seasonal vegetable in tonight’s dinner.

To help you on your journey towards a greener, more sustainable lifestyle, I wanted to share some of the the books on my shelf that have inspired me to start taking action across all areas of my life. I’m definitely not perfect, but I’m feeling much more empowered to make positive changes everyday. 

SOS: What You Can Do To Reduce Climate Change by Seth Wynes. Seth takes a look at our food miles and air miles, and what we can do to reduce our foot and food-print. Also look at my 10 tips to greener travel here

No. More. Rubbish. Excuses, by Martin Dorey. This is all about what we bin from plastics to clothing to electricals to furniture, where it actually goes and what it does to our planet. I love the #2minutesolutions that we can all do to help reverse it. 

Six Weeks to Zero Waste, by Kate Arnell. From cutting down on food waste and decluttering, to making homemade health and beauty products, this is a good starter’s guide to a more waste-free lifestyle. 

Turning the Tide on Plastic, by Lucy Siegle. Without big action, pieces of plastic will outnumber fish in the ocean by 2050. This book is a call to action to get us rethinking how we use single-use plastic. I’ve been following Lucy’s columns since I was 18 years old when I started my first job at an ethically minded shoe company.  One of the shoe lines repurposed London Tube seat covers for the trainer uppers and donated a portion of sales to the Big Issue to support London’s homeless.  I remember Lucy’s powerful writing from back then inspiring us all in the office.

Zero Waste Home, by Bea Johnson. Bea has been leading the way in getting us to minimise plastic and waste in every room of the house. Once you start seeing it, you won’t be able to stop! Here are some of my own plastic-free kitchen tips

How to Save the World for Free, by Natalie Fee. A helpful guide on doing your bit to help the environment, and all for free!  At last year’s Countryfile LIVE, I went on stage with Anita Rani after Natalie spoke, she was incredible and motivating.  Also, you can save yourself cash, cut food waste and help the planet with my fridge forage recipes

Vegetables, Soil & Hope, by the founder of Riverford, Guy Singh-Watson. You probably know what a fan I am of Riverford and Guy who has done so much to get more organic, ethically grown food to our dinner tables. I also love his rants and reflections which will challenge what you think about your food and where it comes from. He also wrote the foreword in my cookbook Eat Green

The Edible City, by John Rensten. You don’t have to live in the country to forage. Learn how to spot wild garlic and elderflower in your urban parks, and all the amazing wild greens in between. Lots of tips for foraging responsibly.

SILO: The Zero Waste Blueprint by Doug McMaster. I’ve named Doug as one of my most inspirational food waste pioneers over here. And I know lots of you would agree! He is dedicated to total zero waste in his Silo restaurant in East London. This book is his thinking behind zero waste and his journey to getting there. It’s a truly inspirational book.

Letters to the Earth: Writing to a Planet in Crisis. I cry reading this, which was given to me by the manager of Cambridge Waterstones book shop when I was there on my tour back in Feb. It’s letters from well-known activists, poets, writers and scientists calling us to action in the fight against climate change. 

The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide by Jen Gale. A down-to-earth, practical guide to making small changes in your everyday lives that will help you to cut plastic and waste across your life. The key here is small (not perfect!) changes everyday! 

FOOD: Bigger Than The Plate by the Victoria & Albert museum who put on this fantastic exhibition in 2019 opening up conversation on how our collective choices can help create a more sustainable future food system.  I loved cooking for the launch using rescued veg from The Felix Project alongside some of the ladies behind HUBB Community Kitchen set up after the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

More Plants Less Waste by Max La Manna. Max is brilliant at giving waste-free food advice alongside recipes that will get you eating more plants at the centre of your plate plus loads of fun ideas for growing at home.

I Quit Sugar: Simplicious Flow by Sarah Wilson. I’m a massive fan of Sarah and her cookbooks, including this one with loads of hacks, meal plans, shopping lists and recipes to help you cut waste at home in the easiest of ways. 

PS And forgive me for shouting out my own book! My latest cookbook, Eat Green, is all about how we can shop, cook, eat and use up food in a more planet-friendly way, and you know what, it is delicious, exciting and it really can save us time and money. Read about Eat Green, over here. 

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