Book suggestions

Hi! I recently read a good book, No Impact Man which is inspiring me to try and be more sustainable! First up: biking whenever possible + limiting single-use items.

Anyhow - seeking book suggestions for further reading on the topic of sustainable living (and eating)!

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I have a long list of books to get through and not enough time to read them all! I’m a huge fan of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which I just finished. Highly recommend for a better understanding of our current food ecosystem.

One big takeaway was how impactful commodity corn has been on what we eat and on the planet in general.

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One of my favorites on Walden-relevant topics is Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World. I’m a huge fan of the Audible version.


I really loved The Third Plate by Dan Barber! And for those interested in the sustainable production of ocean-based food products, I highly recommend Song for the Blue Ocean and Eat Like a Fish.


Just started reading The Third Plate - so far a fan!

@jackie late response here, but curious how your reduction of single-use items is going. One item that continues to bubble up for me is sponges vs brushes for cleaning dishes. Sponges are kinda gross, but seem less energy intensive to produce than brushes. Any thoughts?

Another book I found to be thought provoking on the subject of Sustainability was “Less is More: How degrowth will save the world”. One of the premises of the book is that even if society were to discover an infinite source of clean energy, it wouldn’t offset the other anthropogenic impacts like the production of single use waste and cycles planned obsolescence. It’s a really interesting example of looking upstream for root causes and how to address them.

Thanks for the thoughts @nick!

re: single-use items, it’s a work in progress. The big one I’m struggling to replace is gallon sized plastic bags, especially for thawing / transporting my Walden meat or storing bread loaves. I have some of the reusable silicone plastic bags but they can be hard to clean and I haven’t invested in big enough ones.

I haven’t thought as much about energy intensiveness of brushes vs sponges, but I tend to err on the side of the longer-lasting item, because of the volume of landfill it will take up vs many sponges, which still feels relevant even if a single sponge is less energy intensive. I think I may go for a cloth dish rag at some point too so it can be machine washed, nixing the need to debate brush vs sponge!

A big one (that won’t help you but could help others in your life!) that I’m a fan of is menstrual cups instead of pads or tampons. And for anyone who has kids I’m super curious what the diaper debate is like.

Thanks for the book suggestion! Did it talk about individual actions or industry changes or both?

It’s been a while since I’ve read the book, but the more salient points to me were on the industry side rather than actions for individual consumers, although you can always extrapolate by using your purchasing power for organizations that look more like the ones modeled in the book.

The gallon size bags is a hard one. For bread loaves beeswax wraps work okay, although they don’t last as long as I would like. For walden meats, I found that a sealable tupperware works pretty well for transport / thawing. Especially with bacon or other products I don’t eat all at once! Doing that with my sliced ham right now.

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