Ed note: Ohio University is celebrating Earth Week April 22-26, 2013. We are celebrating the week with a series of posts about Alden Library and Resources to compliment research on Sustainability, Environment and Global Issues by Environmental Studies Intern, Emily Schmidt.
Long before sustainability became a popular buzzword, Rachel Carson was becoming a trailblazer for environmental protection. Her most notable book, Silent Spring, brought to light the impact of pollution and pesticide use in the United States. While considered controversial at the time, Carson’s books provide a foundation for exploring the world of sustainability. Carson’s book started nationwide conversations about environmentalism, much like Whole Earth Catalog, which began publications six years after Carson’s bestseller hit bookshelves.
Like Silent Spring, Whole Earth Catalog was seemingly before its time. With regular publications from 1968 to 1972, Whole Earth provided readers with a global view of the environmental movement. After 1972, the catalog was published intermittently until 1998. During its run, activists and well-known writers such as Dave Foreman and Paul Hawken contributed to the catalog. With incredible photography and insightful, thought-provoking articles Whole Earth Catalog is certainly worth some exploration. Both Silent Spring and Whole Earth Catalog were published years before the nation’s first Earth Day in 1970. Explore the Whole Earth Catalog courtesy of Open Culture (great website) to get an idea of what these folks were all about.
Earth Day, celebrated every April 22nd, was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. According to the Earth Day Network, the first Earth Day took advantage of the momentum of current environmental issues that were at the forefront of the public’s concerns. Since 1970, what began as a one-day celebration has evolved into week and month-long campaigns to bring awareness to growing environmental issues. Included in the list of books below are current popular topics concerning environmentalism, sustainability and conservation:
- The Environment in Anthropology: A Reader in Ecology, Culture, and Sustainable Living edited by Nora Haenn and Richard Wilk
- World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler
- Eco-Republic: What the Ancients Can Teach Us about Ethics, Virtue, and Sustainable Living by Melissa Lane
- Green Washed: Why We Can’t Buy Our Way to a Green Planet by Kendra Pierre-Louis
- Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough
- The Geography of Childhood: Why Children Need Wild Places by Gary Paul Nabhan and Stephen Trimble
- Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash by Susan Strasser
- The Environmental Policy Paradox by Zachary A. Smith
- The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability by Paul Hawken
- The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
- Food Policy: Integrating Health, Environment and Society by Tim Lang, David Barling and Martin Caraher
- Global Warming: The Complete Briefing by John T. Houghton
- As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial by Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan
- Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben
- Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity From a Consumer Culture by Shannon Hayes
- Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Diana Wright
- Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
If these books or their respective authors hold interest for you; just check in ALICE and see what else we have in our collections by doing an Author search or even a Subject search to see what else is written on your topic. Remember, if we don’t have the title, you can also check OhioLINK. Or Ask a Librarian!
Websites such as Goodreads and Amazon have compiled their own list of top books. These sites are great starting points for finding particular sustainability genres such as food, climate change, development or economics. If you’d rather be more hands-on this Earth Day, go to the College Green by Memorial Auditorium from 9 am to 1 pm to participate in the Earth Day Festival! Sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, the festival includes swing dance lessons, bike-powered smoothies and yoga on the lawn.