Welcome to the Direct Energy Monthly Book Series! We want to introduce you to the best books on a variety of engaging subjects – from green living and parenting to budgeting and home improvement. To ensure we provide a little something for everyone, each installment will feature books ranging from the introductory level to in-depth! While our recommendations aren’t specific endorsement of these books or authors, they do reflect what we feel are educational and analytical reads on the topic.
A broad and often complex concept, a definition for sustainability can range from jobs to culture to people to our environment. According to the UN Brundtland commission, sustainability includes “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
While most people wouldn’t call environmentalists shortsighted, this book doesn’t hesitate to question everything you’ve ever thought about environmental sustainability. Advocating for upcycling instead of downcycling, the book calls for a radical change in today’s industry and culture in order to preserve the environment.
McDonough and Braungart use their personal experiences and projects to show exactly how we can still live comfortable and profitable lives while also being ecologically conscious.
Recommended for: Creative readers who want to take upcycling to a whole new level.
If you’re looking for a book that will tell you the hard truths and facts about going green, then Esty and Winston’s Green to Gold is it. The duo spent over three years researching and interviewing many of the top companies in the world to help people understand why companies go green, how they do it, and the challenges they run into.
Recommended for: Executives or small business owners looking for ways to make their company more environmentally responsible.
A combination of funny and inspiring, Dough Fine’s Farewell My Subaru will make you want to say goodbye to your city life and start living off of the land. The memoir follows Fine, your average American, who sets out on a journey to see if he can keep his first world luxurious while also reducing his carbon footprint.
Recommended for: People who have always dreamed of moving out of the big city and into more rural areas.
If you’re looking for practical, “everyday” ways to reduce your carbon footprint, then Karen Christensen’s The Armchair Environmentalist is the book for you. Christensen shows readers how to change their everyday choices to make a real difference in the environment. Her “3 minute a day action plan to save the planet” can be practiced at home, work, and in your community.
Recommended for: Working parents who want to help create a green home and community.
Wanting to see if he could drive coast-to-coast without stopping at a single gas pump, journalist Greg Melville and his college buddy Iggy embark on this seemingly impossible journey. Vowing to only use vegetable oil collected from restaurant grease dumpsters along the way, the duo’s adventure is an eye-opening investigation into what we are and aren’t doing to help preserve our planet.
Recommended for: Folks seeking out adventure and thrill while still being environmentally conscious.
In next month’s installment of the Direct Energy Monthly Book Series, we’ll discuss Green Living!