Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living
Nicole Caldwell (New Society, June)
Part memoir, part theory, and part DIY manual, this book offers step-by-step instructions for turning an aquarium into a garden, upcycling trash, and more.
Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel
Carl Safina (Holt, July)
Safina takes readers into the lives and minds of elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, free-living wolves in Yellowstone, and whales in the Pacific Northwest, reporting on their capacity for self-awareness, empathy, and grief.
The Brown Agenda: My Mission to Clean Up the World’s Most Life-Threatening Pollution
Richard Fuller, with Damon DiMarco (Santa Monica, Aug.)
Fuller, an environmentalist and the founder of the non-profit organization Pure Earth, recounts his ongoing fight against “brown” pollution, sites where man-made toxic pollutants have taken root and spread, often as a result of aggressive industrialization.
Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World
Jared Green (Princeton Architectural Press, Apr.)
Architects, urban planners, landscape architects, and others respond to the question, “What contemporary or historical design gives you hope for a sustainable future?” with essays on everything Angkor Wat to mushroom board as a replacement for Styrofoam.
The Food Activist’s Handbook
Ali Berlow (Storey, May)
The author, who got her start with an NPR program called A Cook’s Notebook, shows how projects like connecting food pantries with local food providers, organizing community composting, and starting a school garden can help keep family farms intact, keep money in the local economy, reduce the carbon footprint associated with food transportation, and preserve local landscapes.
Mark Stoll (Oxford Univ., June)
Religion, according to historian Stoll’s research, provided early environmentalists with deeply embedded moral and cultural ways of viewing the world, as well as content, tone, and direction for the causes they espoused.
William deBuys (Little, Brown, out now)
Journalist deBuys and conservationist William Robichaud search for the elusive saola, the only large mammal species discovered in the last 100 years, in the Laotian jungle.
Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day
Gene Baur, with Gene Stone (Rodale, out now)
Baur, cofounder and president of farm animal protection organization Farm Sanctuary, and Stone, author of Forks Over Knives, which promotes a plant-based diet, offer a vegan, animal-friendly lifestyle guide.
Make Garbage Great: The TerraCycle Family Guide to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle
Tom Szaky and Albe Zakes (Harper Design, July)
With more than 200 photographs and illustrations, and some 20 DIY projects, this is a guide to reducing, reusing, and repurposing the garbage the average household produces.
The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey
Deborah Cramer (Yale Univ., Apr.)
The author follows the annual 9,000-mile odyssey of the red knot, a threatened species of shorebird that survives on horseshoe crab eggs, from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic.
The Oyster War: The True Story of a Small Farm, Big Politics, and the Future of Wilderness in America
Summer Brennan (Counterpoint, Aug.)
Environmentalists, national politicians, scientists, and the Department of the Interior all joined a protracted battle over a Marin County, Calif., estuary, where a small oyster farm had operated since the 1930s.
Poisoned Planet: How Constant Exposure to Man-Made Chemicals Is Putting Your Life at Risk
Julian Cribb (Allen & Unwin, Apr.)
Science journalist Cribb shows how people regularly interact with harmful chemicals in food, water, cosmetics, furniture, and other everyday items, and explains why individuals, rather than governments, should take action.
Cynthia Barnett (Crown, Apr.)
Barnett offers a sweeping look at the weather phenomenon of the title, beginning four billion years ago with the formation of the oceans, taking in the birth of modern weather forecasting, and building to a discussion of climate change.
Rethink: The Way You Live
Amanda Talbot (Chronicle, out now)
Images of homes around the globe illustrate how creative design choices—bringing more nature inside; installing moving walls for multifunctional spaces—can promote sustainable living.
Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells
Helen Scales (Bloomsbury Sigma, July)
A marine biologist shows how seashells have given us color, gems, food, and new medicines, and assesses the threats that molluscs and their shells still face.
The Western Flyer: Steinbeck’s Boat, the Sea of Cortez, and the Saga of Pacific Fisheries
Kevin M. Bailey (Univ. of Chicago, Apr.)
Drawing on John Steinbeck’s archives, interviews with family members of crew, and more than three decades of working in Pacific Northwest fisheries, Bailey traces the depletion of marine life through the voyages of a single ship.
Per Espen Stoknes (Chelsea Green, Apr.)
Stoknes identifies the five main psychological barriers to action on climate change, offering five strategies for talking about global warming in a simple, social, and positive way.