One of the authors (*cough* Kathryn Kellogg *cough*) is a friend and I’ve freelanced for her blog, Going Zero Waste. You should totally check out her blog if you haven’t already. Naturally, I have her book too – bought it the minute I heard it was available for purchase. The three books I talk about in the beginning of this post are books I’ve read and enjoyed myself – which is why I delve into them more than the others I list at the end. The five other books I talk about are ones I haven’t read yet but would love to add to my ever growing collection – so I’ve pretty much just summarized them from what I’ve found online.
I think it’s so important to read and expand your mind. I’m also the kind of person who really prefers having a physical book in my hands. The beautiful thing about reading and writing is that everyone has a unique perspective. While the books listed here are all about zero waste living, they’re each written differently – and that’s the beauty of it. Now without further ado, here are 8 zero waste books that will inspire you!
8 Zero Waste Books That Will Inspire You
1. 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste
by Kathryn Kellogg
Kathryn Kellogg is the founder of Going Zero Waste, a blog that talks about zero waste living in a positive, proactive light. Her new book, 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste, accomplishes the same task by creating a helpful blueprint for reducing waste one step at a time.
If you’re just beginning your zero waste journey, this is the perfect book for you. It’s loaded with simple swaps, DIY recipes, and lots of research that’s easy to digest.
The book is broken down into 10 chapters: Beginner steps; kitchen + cooking; bathroom products + personal care; cleaning; conscious consumer; work, school + out to eat; travel + transportation; special events; zero waste and beyond; the big picture.
Each chapter gives easy to follow tips and tricks for reducing waste in your life – whether it be single-use waste, food waste, or energy waste. I love the fact this book isn’t confined to just plastic pollution, but covers a wide array of zero waste topics worth mentioning – like composting!
Kathryn is an inspiration and this book will leave you nothing short of inspired. It is full of simple tips for helping to produce less trash and is worth the read. – Review from Katie on Amazon
The DIYs in 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste are probably my favorite part. I specifically love all the cleaning DIYs in the book – they’re so handy! Especially the natural bleach alternative she writes about (page 121 if you’re curious).
One of the most interesting parts of the book, for me at least, was tip #94 – zero waste burial. Being I’m so young, I don’t really tend to think about death (creeps me out), but it was certainly eye opening. I learned even in death you can be pretty wasteful – but there are creative ways to get around that, which Kathryn explains.
Another fun fact? The book itself is printed on a mix of recycled paper and forest service certified paper. Also, the book is plastic-free and not laminated – meaning the whole book is recyclable/compostable! Hopefully you won’t get to that point – you can always gift your copy to a friend to keep it out of the waste stream too.
Kathryn’s book is definitely a read I encourage zero waste beginners and veterans alike to pursue. You’ll certainly learn something new – I know I did! Be sure to grab a copy here – it’s available on kindle, audio and paperback!
2. Zero Waste: Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash
by Shia Su
Shia Su is a total zero waste nerd, and you have to love her for it. I initially found out about her through Instagram, but she has a killer blog too called Wasteland Rebel. Her book, Zero Waste: Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash, breaks down how she fit a whole year’s worth of trash into one small mason jar.
If you’re just beginning your zero waste journey, this book is a great choice. It’s also very aesthetically pleasing because there are so many beautiful pictures in it (most of which Shia took herself).
Admittedly, this was the very first zero waste book I ever purchased, so it has a soft spot in my heart. I reference it a lot to this day because there’s so much helpful information in it.
The book is broken down into 12 sections: Introduction; zero waste lifestyle; how to get started; where and how to shop; food prep and storage; housekeeping; toiletries and hygiene; period talk; bathroom talk; wardrobe and fashion; paper waste; trash talk.
Shia wastes no time pointing out the worldwide trash epidemic – but she does it in such a way where she clearly hasn’t given up hope and wants to inspire you too.
This book is an excellent all-around guide to reducing waste. Thank you for writing this and putting your wisdom into this book, Shia! Now I have an easy guide to pull off my shelf whenever I have a question or need a simple effective DIY recipes. The book is well-written, has great photos, and keeps things SIMPLE! – Review from Summer on Amazon
I really love the housekeeping section because there’s this big handy chart that tells you about ingredients you can use to make homemade cleaning products. The chart lists the ingredient, the packaging for it, where to buy it, how yielding it is, and how much you should buy. Super helpful!
One of the interesting parts of Zero Waste: Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash, for me, was the “bathroom talk” section. Here she talks about the importance of plastic-free toilet paper, what to use instead of paper towels in public restrooms, and bidets. These are things we don’t often talk about, but honestly should.
Also, fun fact – this book is printed on sustainably sourced paper using soy inks. Gotta love that!
Shia’s book is definitely a helpful resource for anyone whose zero waste. I’ve learned a lot from it and continue to reference it even now! Grab a copy here – her book is available on kindle and paperback.
3. F**k Plastic: 101 Ways to Free Yourself From Plastic and Save the World
by Rodale Sustainability
This book’s title is a little abrasive, but it’s still super inspiring. F**k Plastic: 101 Ways to Free Yourself From Plastic and Save the World is published by Rodale Sustainability – so not any one person.
If you’re not aware, Rodale Institute is growing the organic movement through research, farmer training, and consumer education. They’ve been around since the 1940s, so they’ve been around the block – they also issued a magazine I adored called ‘Rodale’s Organic Life’ – it isn’t available anymore sadly. However, I’ll happily read anything written by them!
The reason I find this book so inspiring is because it provides these quick, easy tips that anyone can do – it truly empowers you and makes you feel you can make a difference.
F**k Plastic is divided into 5 sections: Introduction; food + drink; around the house; lifestyle; saving the world.
The book isn’t long at all – it’s a very quick read, and in my opinion that makes it even better. It’s fun sized and also easy to fit into your purse or work bag, should you choose to.
Book arrived earliest day possible. It’s a cute little book, only about 115 pages. Great beginner book for people starting the no plastic revolution. I read it in less than 2 hours. – Review from Jo on Amazon
I really love how the tips are numbered and are easy to digest little blurbs on each page. Also, there are cute little illustrations for some of the tips that get a smirk out of me.
I really loved the “around the house” section – the tips in there were so easy, doable and relatable. There were things in there I learned that I never thought to do – like swapping out cleaning gloves (which are usually made from plastic or synthetic rubber) for 100 percent natural rubber or latex gloves.
I thought the lifestyle section was very interesting – it had a lot of great tips about handling gifts, cards, glitter, shopping, envelopes, pet care, and even sex. I thought what they had to say about headphones was really interesting (tip #85, page 98) – who knew there were eco-friendly headphone choices out there?
Also, I loved how this book was printed without any plastic – no lamination or anything. Really lives up to its standards.
This is a great book for those who are looking for a quick read, or want to give a less intimidating book to someone just starting their plastic free journey. Grab a copy of it here – It’s available for kindle and hardcover.
More zero waste books (I have yet to read – but must)
These zero waste books are amazing too – but I haven’t read them yet. I felt it wouldn’t be fair to talk about them in-depthly without reading them first – so I’m just summarizing from what I’ve found online.
That said, they look absolutely amazing, so definitely go check them out!
4. Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson – Often referred to as the mother of the zero waste movement, Bea Johnson is quite revered. So is her book, the Zero Waste Home. It covers Bea’s own personal story about making the switch to plastic-free living, along with how she reduced her family’s waste to one liter per year. If there’s one book you must read – it’s certainly this one.
What do you think of these zero waste books? Have you read any of them?
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