Hello there, and welcome to another pledge in MNN's Nest, an interactive program that helps you create and accomplish easy and Earth-friendly personal goals. With each goal that you tackle, you earn points that are then turned into donations to your favorite nonprofit eco-charity.
This particular is a piece o' cake. You don't even have to lift a finger to perform it. Well, almost. It's a task that simply involves finding a few minutes to sit down and expand your horizons with a good, green book of your choice (or, for all you non-traditionalists, sit down with an e-reader after downloading a good, green book of your choice). So c'mon, tear yourself away from the worldwide interwebs for a spell, cozy up and read three environmentally themed books this year. Naturally, your trusted eco-bookworms at MNN have a couple thoughts on how to start in on this one:
Picture this: Without a doubt, many environmentally themed books deal with heavy-handed topics that may prove to be more depressing than inspirational — anti-beach reads, if you will. While lofty tomes about pesticide poisoning, animals in distress and political corruption are indeed important members of the green literary canon, you may find it best to ease in with something a bit more accessible. Like Dr. Seuss. One of our favorite green reads, 1971's "The Lorax," is a beautifully illustrated, timeless — not to mention infectious — parable from the good doctor that will not only resonate with adults revisiting it or reading it for the first time, but with kids, as well. It's the requisite eco-bedtime story to share with burgeoning greenies.
Join the club: Did something in "Silent Spring" strike you as particularly powerful? Think "Walden" is a drag? "The Omnivore's Dilemma" keeping you up at night? Have a bone to pick with Barbara Kingsolver? We at MNN enjoy nothing more than getting fired up by a little (or large) spirited conversation, which is why we think joining or starting a green-themed book club is a great way to get into the eco-book groove. Since environmentally themed books transcend all genres — fiction, nonfiction, sci-fi/fantasy and on — you'll find something for everyone in your club, so feel free to mix it up. The Environmental Defense Fund has a solid list of influential green reads that you should consider incorporating into your club's reading list in between titles by Faulkner, Flaubert, Forster and Nicholas Sparks. For more au courant titles, check out our own picks for the top 10 environmental books of 2009. Dedicated book clubbers should also consider joining the Eco-Libris book club program where a tree is planted in a developing country each time you tackle a book. And remember, before you go out and buy the season's reads for your book club, consider borrowing them from a library, buying them secondhand or joining a book-share program.
Ready to stop reading this and pledge to read at least three environmentally themed books this year? Now get to it. And please, feel free get back to us with any recommendations.
More personal pledges to consider:
- Once a week, I will walk one place instead of driving.
- I will make my home more energy-efficient.
- I will actually use my reusable bags.
- I will get my kids (and myself!) outside more this year.
- I will do a toxin audit of my home.
- I will support my town's local and green businesses this year.
- I will eat more meals at home.
- Instead of throwing them away, I will recycle my old electronics before buying new ones.