Recommended Reading


  • The Age of Sustainable Development by Jeffrey D. Sachs
  • Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist by Ray C. Anderson
  • Cool Companies: How the Best Businesses Boost Profits and Productivity by Cutting Greenhouse-Gas Emissions by Joseph J. Romm
  • Dancing with the Tiger: Learning Sustainability Step by Natural Step by Brian Nattrass and Mary Altomare
  • Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben
  • Designer's Atlas of Sustainability: Charting the Conceptual Landscape through Economy, Ecology and Culture by Ann Thorpe
  • Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth by Lester R. Brown
  • From Uneconomic Growth to a Steady-State Economy by Herman E. Daly
  • The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change by Al Gore
  • The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems by Van Jones
  • The Natural Step for Business: Wealth, Ecology and The Evolutionary Corporation by Brian Nattress and Mary Altomare
  • The Natural Step for Communities: How Cities and Towns Can Change to Sustainable Practices by Sarah James, Torbjörn Lahti
  • The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World by Peter Senge
  • Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era by Amory Lovins
  • The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win by Jeffrey Hollender and Bill Breen
  • This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate by Naomi Klein
  • The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience by Rob Hopkins
  • Winning the Oil Endgame by Amory B. Lovins, E. Kyle Datta, Odd-Even Bustnes, Jonathan G. Koomey and Nathan J. Glasgow
  • The World Economy by Angus Maddison
  • The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman


  • An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore
  • Arithmetic, Population and Energy by Dr. Albert A. Brooks
  • Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe
  • The Ecology of Commerce Revised Edition: A Declaration of Sustainability by Paul Hawken
  • Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter and Poorer – And What You Can Do About It edited by Karl B. Weber
  • Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman
  • Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway
  • Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins
  • The Natural Step Story: Seeding a Quiet Revolution by Karl-Henrik Robèrt
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  • The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health – And a Vision for Change by Annie Leonard

Climate Change/Global Warming

  • An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power by Al Gore
  • Cool Companies: How the Best Businesses Boost Profits and Productivity by Cutting Greenhouse-Gas Emissions by Joseph J. Romm
  • Designer's Atlas of Sustainability: Charting the Conceptual Landscape through Economy, Ecology and Culture by Ann Thorpe
  • Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon
  • The End of Nature by Bill McKibben
  • Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power by Mark Schapiro
  • Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas, and the Weather of the Future by Climate Central
  • Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester R. Brown


  • Affluenza: How Overconsumption is Killing Us – and How to Fight Back by John De Graaf, David Wann, Thomas H. Naylor
  • Architecture & Design vs. Consumerism: How Design Activism Confronts Growth by Ann Thorpe
  • Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce
  • Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole by Benjamin R. Barber
  • Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists by Michael Brower, Warren Leon, Union of Concerned Scientists staff
  • The Environment Equation: 100 Factors That Can Add to or Subtract From Your Total Carbon Footprint by Alex Shimo-Barry
  • Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living by Doug Fine
  • The Lazy Environmentalist: Your Guide to Easy, Stylish, Green Living by Josh Dorfman
  • Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth by Williams E. Rees, Mathis Wackernagel, Phil Testemale
  • Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle by David Wann


  • The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

Environmental History

  • Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England by William Cronan
  • Down to Earth: Nature's Role in American History by Ted Steinberg
  • The Environment and the People in American Cities, 1600s–1900s: Disorder, Inequality, and Social Change by Dorceta E. Taylor
  • Green, Inc.: An Environmental Insider Reveals How A Good Cause Has Gone Bad by Christine MacDonald
  • The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough
  • Managing the Environment, Managing Ourselves: A History of American Environmental Policy by Richard N. L. Andrews
  • Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist by Bill McKibben
  • Republic of Nature: An Environmental History of the United States by Mark Fiege
  • The Sanitary City: Environmental Services in Urban America from Colonial Times to the Present by Martin V. Melosi
  • Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World by J. R. McNeill
  • The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift by Andres R. Edwards


  • Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action by J. Matthew Sleeth, MD


  • Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan
  • In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan
  • Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
  • Omnivore's Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat (Young Readers Edition) by Michael Pollan
  • Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture by Darrin Nordahl
  • Public Produce: Cultivating Our Parks, Plazas, and Streets for Healthier Cities by Darrin Nordahl
  • Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System by Raj Patel

Gore, Al

  • An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore
  • An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power by Al Gore
  • The Assault on Reason by Al Gore
  • Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit by Al Gore
  • The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change by Al Gore
  • Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis by Al Gore
  • Our Choice: How We Can Solve the Climate Crisis (Young Readers Edition) by Al Gore

Social Sustainability

  • Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice and Beauty to the World by Paul Hawken


  • Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David R. Montgomery
  • Know Soil Know Life by David L. Lindbo, Deb A. Kozlowsi, Clay Robinson (editors)
  • Soil Biology Primer by Elaine R. Ingham
  • Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Setup & Maintain a Vermicomposting System by Mary Appelhof

Systems Thinking

  • Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella H. Meadows


  • Precious Commodity: Providing Water for America's Cities by Martin V. Melosi

Miscellaneous Titles

  • eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben
  • Environmental Science: Toward a Sustainable Future (ninth edition) by Richard T. Wright
  • Feasted Landscapes: Sustainability in American Topics Vols. 1 & 2 by Lori De La Cruz, Brandon Morton, Yolanda Romero and Roy Vu
  • The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature by David Suzuki
  • A Slice of Organic Life edited by Sheherazade Goldsmith
  • The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen
  • Wandering Home: A Long Walk Across America's Most Hopeful Landscape by Bill McKibben
  • Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century by Alex Steffen (editor)
  • Worldchanging, Revised Edition: A User's Guide for the 21st Century by Alex Steffen (editor)

Northwest Earth Institute Discussion Courses

  • Global Warming: Changing Course
  • A four-session course exploring the history and science of global warming, personal values and habits as they relate to climate change, and personal actions to curb the effects of global warming.
  • Choices for Sustainable Living
  • A seven-session course exploring the meaning of sustainable living and the ties between lifestyle choices and their impact on ecological systems.
  • Menu for the Future
  • A six-session course exploring the connection between food and sustainability.
  • Voluntary Simplicity
  • A five-session course addressing the distractions of modern society that keep us from caring for ourselves, our relationships, and the environment
  • Healthy Children — Healthy Planet
  • A seven-session course that discusses how the pervasive effects of advertising, media, and our consumer culture can influence a child's view of the world.
  • Discovering a Sense of Place
  • A seven-session course focusing on knowing and protecting our place.
  • Exploring Deep Ecology
  • An eight-session course addressing core values and how they affect the way we view and treat the earth.