zero waste living books
Source: iStock, Page Street Publishing, Ebury Press, Skyhorse

8 Books to Help You Go Zero Waste or Live More Sustainably

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Nov. 18 2020, Updated 2:41 p.m. ET

While your friend who’s going zero waste may not need any more reusable straws, chances are, they’ll appreciate a book filled with tips on living sustainably. Fortunately, there are plenty of books on the market about going zero waste or low impact — bonus points if you purchase the book secondhand, of course.

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So, we’ve rounded up eight books about the zero-waste lifestyle that are sure to make the transition easy, simple, and fun. Most of the books on this list are filled with tips for reducing your plastic consumption and overall environmental impact, and we’ve also included a few that focus on other related issues, such as environmental racism, living minimally, the food system, and more.

“101 Ways to Go Zero Waste” by Kathryn Kellogg

kathryn kellogg going zero waste
Source: Countryman Press

Known for her blog Going Zero Waste, zero waste expert Kathryn Kellogg has an awesome book called 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste. The book is filled with tons of practical tips for reducing your environmental impact — not only in the realm of reducing your plastic consumption and trash, but also regarding shopping habits, burial methods, local politics, and more.

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“Give a Sh*t” by Ashlee Piper

ashlee piper give a shit book
Source: Running Press Adult

Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet. by Ashlee Piper is a helpful guide to caring about the planet, and letting that feeling reflect itself in your actions. Piper’s sense of humor is sprinkled throughout the book, making the journey to living sustainably more joyful. 

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“A Terrible Thing to Waste” by Harriet A. Washington

terrible thing to waste
Source: Little, Brown Spark

In addition to learning tips for reducing your impact, it’s also important to learn about the racist history of environmental destruction. Harriet A. Washington’s A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind, discusses the plethora of ways the U.S. perpetuates environmental racism against African Americans. She also includes plenty of tips on what readers can do to fight the effects of environmental racism on Black communities.

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“Zero Waste” by Shia Su

zero waste shia su book
Source: Skyhorse

Written by Shia Su, better known on Instagram and her blog as Wasteland Rebel, Zero Waste: Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash is a comprehensive guide to reducing your plastic waste and environmental impact as much as possible. The book is available in English, German, and Chinese, and it’s printed with soy ink on sustainably-sourced paper. 

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“Minimal” by Madeleine Olivia

madeleina olivia minimal
Source: Ebury Press

Minimal: How to Simplify Your Life and Live Sustainably by Madeleine Olivia isn’t just about lowering your environmental impact for the sake of the planet — it’s also about raising your sense of self and living a more fulfilled and mindful life. In addition to practical tips to reduce your footprint on the Earth, Minimal includes tips for caring for yourself in eco-friendly ways, such as guidelines for decluttering, making your own cosmetics and household cleaners, and more.

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“Eat for the Planet” by Nil Zacharias and Gene Stone

eat for the planet book
Source: Harry N. Abrams

Zacharias and Gene Stone’s Eat for the Planet: Saving the World One Bite at a Time is filled with beautiful infographics about how the industrialized food system — namely, animal agriculture — is destroying the planet. But the authors don’t just scare you away with that info; they also empower the reader to transition to a plant-based diet with plenty of guidance, showing you how eating vegan can dramatically reduce your impact on the planet.

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“Life Without Plastic” by Chantal Plamondon and Jay Sinha

life without plastic book
Source: Page Street Publishing

Not only is plastic bad for the environment, but it’s also not great for humans. Chantal Plamondon and Jay Sinha, founders of the website Life Without Plastic, put all their knowledge together to write the book Life Without Plastic: The Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding Plastic to Keep Your Family and the Planet Healthy. The book aims to help people analyze their own plastic consumption habits and find plastic-free alternatives. Life Without Plastic is printed on FSC-certified paper with BPA-free ink.

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“More Plants Less Waste” by Max La Manna

max la manna zero waste
Source: Quercus

More Plants Less Waste: Plant-Based Recipes + Zero Waste Life Hacks with Purpose by Max La Manna is technically a cookbook, filled with delicious vegan recipes as well as tips for reducing your waste, primarily in the kitchen. We’re huge fans of La Manna, and he recently shared some of his best tips for reducing food waste with Green Matters.

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