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Blog Sustainable reading: How you can change the world with books

Sustainable reading: How you can change the world with books

By Luke Chapman | Family, Kids, Parents, Teachers, Top Tips, Environment

Sustainable reading: How you can change the world with books

We're sharing our top sustainable reading tips and environmental books to inspire everyone to make a difference

Paper, paper, and more paper! Books are full of it, and it's why we love them. Slowly turning over the pages, the new book smell when you open one up, the endless adventures you feel when you walk into a bookshop, these are all things we treasure about owning a copy of our books, but have you ever thought about the environmental impact this has?

We've got your back! Reading is important to so many people, including us, so we wanted to share our best tips on reading sustainably, and how you can change the world with books.

Buy second hand-

Ever find the perfect piece of clothing or long-lost love on vinyl in the charity shop? Well why not get your books from there too! Most charity shops have bookshelves full of books wanting to be read and loved. Head down there and grab yourself a bargain whilst saving the planet.

Paperback alternatives-

E-book readers still create a lot of energy and waste in production, therefore these are only more sustainable than paper books if you read a certain amount per month. If you have a tablet at home, or even your mobile, consider using this to read your new book to have hardly any impact on your carbon footprint! Audiobooks are also a great way to help reduce paper use, take your favourite author on your weekly shop, on the way to school, or even in the car.

Share the love-

There's nothing like sharing a little love every now and then, and this works with books too! When you finish your book, consider donating them to a local charity shop, give them to a friend to read, or even find a book swap group online or in your neighbourhood, thrifty!

Sprout Pencils-

Ever wanted to grow a plant from your very own pencil? Well now you can with Sprout pencils. This genius pencil contains a seed in place of a rubber at the end of it, so when your pencil is too short to use, turn it into a garden!

Join a library-

The ultimate way to reuse is at your local library. Brimming with books, your local library will offer a range of titles you can borrow, often for free. Once you're done, take it back for the next person, sharing the love infinitely!


Our final tip on reading sustainably is to... read! Use books to educate yourself on all things climate change and sustainability. Reading spreads information and can help you reduce your impact on our planet, reading is fundamental! If you don't know where to start, here are our recommendations of environmental and sustainability books:

  • There is no planet B- Mike Burners Lee
  • In a world full of unanswerable questions and often void of hope, Mike Burners Lee explores a more hopeful future and sets out the actions we must take to leave a planet for the younger generations. Suitable for young adults.
  • The digger and the flower- Joseph Kuefler
  • Examining the impact of its own work, when the digger goes to work one day and finds beauty in the rubble it sets in motion a series of events that will change the city forever. A picture book suitable for children aged 4-8.
  • The Tree Lady- Joseph Hopkins
  • Unearth the true story of green-thumbed pioneer and activist Kate Sessions who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush, leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens. 5 to 10 years.
  • How to change everything- Naomi Klein
  • Suitable reading for 7-10-year-olds, this book is the self-professed "Young humans guide to protecting the planet and each other". With notes on coronavirus, warming seas, and fires, this book helps guide young people to taking action and making a difference.
  • Protect the Planet!- Jess French
  • This book featured as a 2021 World Book Day book and continues to be an interesting and poignant picture book teaching 5-7 years olds that by acting with kindness towards other people, plants, animals, and yourself, you can help to protect the planet.
  • The Tindims and the Ten Green Bottles- Sally Gardner and Lydia Corry
  • Focussing on ocean pollution, in this book the Tindims are on the hunt for ten green glass bottles to make a brand new bottle, but where will the bottles be found?
Published: Thu 22nd Apr 2021

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