It’s probably not news to you when I say that the climate is at a crisis point. The effects of rising temperatures, pollution, and human activities are being seen across the globe, there’s nowhere to hide from it.
Yet, all is not lost. We don’t have to cower away, and giving up is certainly not on the table – it’s time to get clued up on climate change and how we can make a difference!
That’s why today, for National Read a Book Day, we’re bringing you Tobi’s Top 5 reads for environmental enthusiasts! From biodiversity and plastic pollution, to extinction and economics, these books cover all you need to know to start your climate action journey!
Speaking of Sustainability with Tobi Odiachi
Tobi shared some impactful books with us in this week’s episode of our podcast, ‘Speaking of Sustainability…’. As a writer, mechanical engineering graduate, and UK Youth Climate Coalition member, we spoke to Tobi about getting into environmentalism, breaking down content for audiences on Instagram, the UKYCC, and much more.
In particular, discussion of the differences in climate change awareness and environmentalism between Nigeria and the UK was hard hitting. Tobi’s parents come from Nigeria, and having visited many times herself she notes that the direct impacts of the climate crisis, such as severe weather and disrupted harvests, are much more acutely felt there. In the UK for example, if harvests are disrupted, we will still see stocked shelves with products from around the world in our supermarkets. In a local market in Nigeria however, if farmers struggle with crops and fishermen see dwindling fish stocks, they won’t be able to provide the produce to locals, or earn money on those sales.
Tobi’s Recommended Reading
Further to our talk about some of her favourite environmental books during our podcast recording, Tobi has kindly shared a book list for TSL supporters to sink their teeth into. Get learning and unlearning with these 5 engaging reads!
- No More Rubbish Excuses by Martin Dorey
“When I began to learn about the climate and environmental crisis, one of the first questions I had was “what can I do to help?”. I found some of the most helpful answers in Martin Dorey’s “No. More. Rubbish. Excuses.” From how to reduce plastic usage to what to do with food waste. It’s a short and sweet manual on all the steps, big and small, we can make to reduce our impact on the environment.”
- Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth
“You wouldn’t be alone if you found yourself questioning the suitability of the current economic model and if there isn’t a more effective model. If it’s so effective, why are we in this present situation, poverty in the midst of overconsumption and scarcity amongst so much waste? Kate Raworth seeks to explain the reason for this in the first few chapters of Doughnut Economics and even presents a new model which in theory is more inclusive and considerate of all economic factors.”
- Wilding by Isabella Tree
“Wilding by Isabella Tree is, I believe, every environmentalist’s fairy tale. It’s the story of the restoration of the Knepp farm in Kent to its original state before the agricultural activity commenced. It takes us through the different stages of the farm’s restoration, from the replanting of native plant species to the reintroduction of cattle, ponies, pigs and deer. It also describes how these changes made the farmlands healthier and attractive to other species. As they say, “Build it and they will come”. Personally, it brought me some hope that some of the damage brought to wildlands could be reversed and the biodiversity restored.”
- The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
“If there was ever a picture of the current situation the planet is in that needed painting, Elizabeth Kolbert has done it with The Sixth Extinction. Elizabeth Kolbert uses the demise of different species, the Golden Panama Frog, the Sumatran Rhino and the Black-faced Honeycreeper of Maui to explain that the planet has seen 5 extinctions and makes the argument that we are currently in the 6th, brought on by us. It’s a great book which inspires me regularly as it provides a reminder of the severity of the crisis we are facing.”
- Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
“This is one of my favourite books. I read it at a time where I needed a bit of inspiration. Drawing from the Indigenous American culture, Robin Wall Kimmerer speaks of what our relationship with the soil ought to be; one filled with respect and gratitude for all the good it gives us. In the book, Robin Wall Kimmerer encourages readers to find a new appreciation for the soil, plants and animals by recounting her journey to find the same. Through stories of maple syrup, the black ash tree and the three sisters garden, Braiding Sweetgrass made me see things quite differently.”