Holiday books
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Date: 24 June, 2008


'If you're anything like me, a vital part of your packing is a huge pile of books.'


Suzanne Elvidge offers a selection of the best eco books for your holiday reading

The traditional British summer is here (by which I mean it rains a bit, is sunny a bit, and then cloudy a bit, and people mutter about climate change, whichever form of weather we are having), and you’ve booked your ethical summer holiday.

If you are anything like me, a vital part of your packing (after your eco clothes of course) is a huge pile of books.

Starting off with the classic, Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson. This was first published in 1962, and is the book credited with starting the environmental movement. If you buy from Amazon using this link, Christian Aid gets a donation.

Fragile Earth shows dramatic and disturbing before and after images of the world and how it is changing (buy from Amazon).

Night Fire: Big Oil, Poison Air, and Margie Richard's Fight to Save Her Town – written by a journalist, this is the story of a woman’s fight to make a chemical take responsibility for its pollution (buy from Amazon).

Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World discusses how altruistic entrepreneurs operate differently than the typical business people, and how small movements can become a critical mass (buy from Amazon).

The Kitchen Revolution is a cook book with a difference – this includes menus of a weeks worth of meals based on seasonal ingredients, with some meals using leftovers from others, and is designed to reduce the amount of food we waste (buy from Amazon).

Eco Chic: The Fashion Paradox looks at how the fashion industry is changing as awareness of environmental concerns becomes more widespread (buy from Amazon).


For the younger holiday makers, How to Turn Your Parents Green is written for kids ages 8 and up, and will empower them to influence their parents (and teachers) to go green, from turning off taps to eating organic (buy from Amazon).

And for the smallest people on holiday with you, there’s Peter Rabbit Naturally Better, which includes the original book and other related books printed with vegetable inks on paper from managed forests (buy the baby book from Amazon).

Carry your book in a bag made from a real book, read by the light of a hand-cranked or solar light, and mark your place with a recycled bookmark.

Finally, if you don’t want to read about eco issues, but you want to source your reading matter in a recycled way, buy them from a charity shop, find them online from Green Metropolis, or get them on Freecycle. You could also plant trees for the books you buy, or pass them on using BookCrossing after you’ve finished with them.

Further reading

Ethical reading

Green holiday reads

• Read other ethical lifestyle articles


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