So I'm going to try keep this list short, but it will be hard! While there are a TON of books out there in regards to being "green", this list is focused on books that can directly inspire the individual to be more sustainably minded in their everyday activities.
Basics on Energy and Energy Policy:
End of Oil - Paul Roberts
- Despite the title, this book is on all forms of energy, not just oil. It goes into the very basics of what energy is, and then looks at the technical/political issues behind each form of energy, including: oil, coal, natural gas, solar/wind, hydrogen, etc.
Hot, Flat, and Crowded - Thomas Friedman
- This is Friedman's follow up to The World is Flat. The majority focuses on decisions our policy makers need to be making and the public needs to be demanding for a clean energy future. He also sets a vision for what the clean energy future looks like. It is a realistic assessment of where we are and where we have to go. A large portion of his argument of his for clean energy is focused on Global Warming, but he points at out many of the benefits aside from preventing GW.
Sustainable Living and Decision Making
Deep Economy - Bill McKibben
- Bill's book is awesome. It gets down to the roots of what "happiness" is. Are you happy working 50 hrs a week and rarely seeing friends or family? Would you be happier spending more time with the ones you love and your community. It's a whole new perspective on how we approach sustainable living.
Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollan
- The main focus is on our food supply and how we make eating decisions, but his section on Polyface Farms is fascinating. Polyface is truly sustainable enterprises. Think about how you can apply some of their operating principles to your daily habits!
Mid-Course Correction - Ray Anderson
- Ray really got me thinking about what it means to be sustainable and his book really set me on this path back in the Summer of 2004. If he can turn a massive company into the right direction, you can do the same for your home or business!
Energy Self-Help Books
The Home Energy Diet - Paul Scheckel
- Now that your motivated to take action, this is the book to figure out what to do first. It's so simple to follow that anyone can do it. Couple that with the fact that it is backed by Mother Earth News, and you know you are in good hands.
That's all for now. Please comment on any other book ideas!