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Earth Day 2022

Let’s Go Greener Together this Earth Day!

Earth Day takes place on Friday 22nd April, and this year’s theme is Invest in Our Planet.  Never has it been more important to do just that as, whilst we are on the precipice, time has not yet run out. Earth Day implores us to act now and make a difference because a green future is a prosperous future, and we need a partnership for the planet to survive.  

Gloucestershire Libraries Greener Together collections help us to focus on what is happening now, and how we as individuals can all make a difference. When searching for this collection, don’t forget to type ‘climate change’ and not ‘Greener Together’ as the latter will retrieve zero results.

For those who are interested in reading about the effects of climate change, here are a few recommendations:

 

'The End of Nature' & 'Falter' by Bill McKibben 

It is hard to believe that Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature was originally written in 1989, but today, its message is more relevant than ever. He implores us to make a new partnership with nature that is based on respect, and to live a less complicated way of life. Falter is his further plea for us to change tack before it is too late.

 

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'The Easternmost House' & 'The Easternmost Sky' by Juliet Blaxford 

Juliet Blaxford’s The Easternmost House is a memoir which sums up what it is like to live in a house on a Suffolk cliff which is gradually succumbing to the elements. This is the reality of climate change on the coast; the East coast being the fastest eroding coastline in Europe. Juliet’s second book, The Easternmost Sky documents the changing agricultural farmland and nature reserves in Suffolk.  It is an elegy to the natural world and a plea to stem the effects of climate change.

 

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'A Bigger Picture' by Vanessa Nakate 

From the eroded coastline of Suffolk, we travel to Africa where Vanessa Nakate, an exceptional young activist, implores us to see A Bigger Picture. This book is an absolute must-read, and highlights the effects of global warming on the continent of Africa, ravaged by extreme temperatures, failing crops and de-forestation. Vanessa explains that ‘We are on the front line, but not on the front page’, so this book is a true eye-opener in regard to what is happening beyond our own shores; in essence, an unreported world. Greta Thunberg captures this, using a very apt metaphor: ‘while we may all be in the same storm, we are not all in the same boat’.

 

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'39 Ways to Save the Planet' by Tom Heap 

Earth Day urges us to act, innovate and implement, and Tom Heap’s 39 Ways to Save the Planet summarises scientific developments helping to reduce carbon emissions. It is extremely thought-provoking – great ideas which need to be scaled up across the world to help mitigate global warming and its catastrophic effects.

 

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These books define the reality of climate change, but what can we do to make a difference?  Whilst we may feel overwhelmed by the task in hand – and Megan Kennedy-Woodard urges us to Turn the Tide on Climate Anxiety, and channel our negative thoughts in a positive way – there are so many ways we can make a difference, including reducing our carbon footprint. This can be achieved in a variety of means, and the following books encourage us to change our lifestyles across the board:

 

'How to Save the World for Free' by Natalie Fee 

Natalie Fee’s How to Save the World for Free is a great place to start. It embraces all aspects of our lives, and encourages us to make simple changes to improve our lives and the future of the planet. An accessible book, that is both upbeat and engaging. It will help change your life!

 

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'30 Easy Ways to Join the Greener Revolution' by Ollie Hunter 

Ollie Hunter’s 30 Easy Ways to Join the Greener Revolution encourages us to live and eat sustainably, with plenty of ideas to help us ditch plastics and cling film and use natural alternatives. Yet another great introductory read that will help us make those necessary changes, which will not only improve our lives but also the lives of our communities and the world.

 

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'The Complete Vegetable Cookbook' by James Strawbridge

Growing your own vegetables is a great way of contributing to a sustainable lifestyle whilst also improving your health. Our Greener Together collections encourage us to become more self sufficient, and James Strawbridge’s The Complete Vegetable Cookbook helps us to adopt a zero waste approach, utilising the vegetables we have grown, season by season, thus reducing our carbon footprint.  Another way to make a difference is to reduce our meat consumption. You don’t have to be completely vegetarian – becoming flexitarian is a good starting point, as is trying meat-free Mondays.  Small steps; big impact. Karen Edwards’ The Planet Friendly Kitchen is an ideal way to learn more about shopping with a conscience, and helping to save the environment. It is a great introduction to changing our shopping habits, and showcases some very tasty recipes!

 

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'Loved Clothes Last' by Orsola de Castro 

Not all shopping consists of food. It is a well known fact that the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to climate change in relation to production practices and air miles. Quality versus quantity is an important factor as these items of clothes will last longer. Orsola de Castro’s Loved Clothes Last is an excellent book to help us rejuvenate and re-love our clothes, rather than discard them for newer versions. India Knight has described this book as ‘The most timely book you’ll read this year’ and it will certainly help you value your wardrobe! Wendy Ward’s How to Sew Sustainably helps us to reuse and repurpose items of material and clothes, transforming them into new garments.  Another great way of adding value to their shelf life, and helping the planet!

 

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'Gardening for Bumble Bees' by Dave Goulson 

Earth Day urges us to make a partnership with the planet, and what better way of doing so than sharing your garden with insects and birds. Growing the right plants is the first step and Dave Goulson’s 'Gardening for Bumble Bees' is an excellent starting point, ensuring that these most important insects have the food they need to thrive.  Planet earth will not survive without bees so we need to look after them and reject pesticides. Vicki Hird’s Rebugging the Planet introduces us to the numerous insects which share our gardens, and how it is essential to make them feel welcome. Our very future depends on this partnership. How each of us behaves has a huge ripple effect on our eco systems, so it is essential that we learn to live together in harmony. Isabella Tree’s Wilding is an inspiring read about the wonders of rewilding agricultural land. Intensive farming at Knepp was no longer economically sustainable, so Isabella Tree and her husband, Charlie Burrell, decide to let nature take its course, resulting in many rare species returning to the land. A true leap of faith, and a brilliant example of how to transform our broken countryside.

 

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'The Book of Hope' by Jane Goodall 

It is important to end on a positive note because negativity feeds inactivity. Whilst we do not have the luxury of time, we must all act now because it is not too late.  This positive message for turbulent times is encapsulated in Jane Goodall’s The Book of Hope.  A world-renowned naturalist and conservationist, Jane imparts sage advice and urges us to take action now. Her optimism is infectious, persuading us not to abandon hope. We can still make a difference. There is a saying, the right book at the right time. This is the right book and it is the right time.

 

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