December´s Book Club - On Sustainability
There´s a tonne of exciting things happening in December - snow fall, St Nicholas, presents, Home Alone reruns, the new Star Wars premiere. The list goes on and on. And then there´s the less glamorous part - waste. Presents you´ll never use and will forget in a corner, food leftover you´re not gonna end up eating, gift wrappings that could fill a landfill. Americans spend more than $7 billion on wrapping paper each year, according to Sundale Research and the vast majority of it doesn´t get recycled. Add that to all the single use plastic that doesn´t get recycled and you have a problem on your hand. That´s why I decided that my December readings will be centred around sustainability and minimalism. It seemed like an appropriate topic.
And since we´re there, here´s some exciting news: as of this month, instead of #bookTuesdays, I´ll be doing themed monthly book clubs to inspire your reading list. Without furhter ado - let´s get to December - sustainability month!
1. Greta Thunberg´s No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference
A tiny collection of Greta´s most powerful essays to inspire you to act now. Whether you like the girl or not, you have to admire how well informed and zealous she is about our environment and the ongoing climate and ecological crisis.
This book will teach you about greenhouse gas emissions, the Paris agreement and most importantly - about the ability of making a difference through passion and persistence.
" To do your best is no longer good enough. We must all do the seemingly impossible. And it´s ok if you refuse to listen to me. I am after all just a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl from Sweden. But you cannot ignore the scientists, or the science, or the millions of schoolchildren who are school-striking for their right to a future."
2. Will McCallum´s How to Give Up Plastic
Will McCallum is Greenpeace UK´s Head of Oceans and wrote this book to raise people´s awareness about what we are all doing to our oceans and what simple steps one can take to live more consciously on our blue planet.
The book starts up with a short history of fighting plastic, then proceeding with a chapter about the problem with plastic. Will proceeds next with some easy tips for giving up plastic in the bathroom, bedroom, nursery, workplace and even your communities. You´ll end the book feeling inspired, creative and definitely a better person.
If you´re not an avid reader and don´t feel inspired to read a book on this topic, I suggest you at least watch The Story of Plastic, it´s a fantastic documentary that goes into the topic.
"Like the last drink at a party, it was a good idea at the time, but it turned out pretty terribly".
3. Lucy Siegle´s Turning the Tide on Plastic
Lucy Siegle is a journalist and eco lifestyle expert who did an extensive investigation before writing this book. She spoke to scientific institutions, waste collectors, policy makers, manufacturers, retailers and householders to uncover the devastating impact of plastic pollution. If you only choose to read one book on plastic, let it be this one.
An inspiring call to action meets a practical guide for the ones looking to make a drastic change and adapt the record, replace, refuse, refill, rethink methodology and save the planet one straw at a time.
“Whenever you see packaging that is totally over the top, take up the pen and write to the company responsible. It needn’t be a formal letter – a tweet will often be just as if not more effective. Add the hashtag, #reducepackaging to your tweet, and make sure you copy in your local council and trading standards office (if they are on social media).”
4. The Minimalists´ Everything That Remains
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are two super charismatic Americans I discovered through their podcast - The Minimalists. They´re huge advocates of a minimalist and mindful lifestyle and believe one can only achieve this through fighting the consumerist clutter inducing mindset that surrounds us.
An authentic life is a life where one surrounds oneself with things that bring one joy and eliminate all the extra clutter in ones house, mind and heart. I loved their podcast so much that I had to buy their book and while it´s mostly just a written version of the things they preach in their podcast, it´s a beautiful reminder that less is more.
"But even while Rome is burning, there’s somehow time for shopping at IKEA. Social imperatives are a merciless bitch. Everyone is attempting to buy what no one can sell. See, when I moved out of the house earlier this week, trawling my many personal belongings in large bins and boxes and fifty-gallon garbage bags, my first inclination was, of course, to purchase the things I still “needed” for my new place. You know, the basics: food, hygiene products, a shower curtain, towels, a bed, and umm … oh, I need a couch and a matching leather chair and a love seat and a lamp and a desk and desk chair and another lamp for over there, and oh yeah don’t forget the sideboard that matches the desk and a dresser for the bedroom and oh I need a coffee table and a couple end tables and a TV-stand for the TV I still need to buy, and don’t these look nice, whadda you call ’em, throat pillows? Oh, throw pillows. Well that makes more sense. And now that I think about it I’m going to want my apartment to be “my style,” you know: my own motif, so I need certain decoratives to spruce up the decor, but wait, what is my style exactly, and do these stainless-steel picture frames embody that particular style? Does this replica Matisse sketch accurately capture my edgy-but-professional vibe? Exactly how “edgy” am I? What espresso maker defines me as a man? Does the fact that I’m even asking these questions mean I lack the dangling brass pendulum that’d make me a “man’s man”? How many plates/cups/bowls/spoons should a man own? I guess I need a diningroom table too, right? And a rug for the entryway and bathroom rugs (bath mats?) and what about that one thing, that thing that’s like a rug but longer? Yeah, a runner; I need one of those, and I’m also going to need…”