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Article  •  31 May 2022


The best books to read for World Environment Day 2022

Celebrate World Environment Day 2022 by picking up one of these fascinating reads about sustainability, the climate crisis, and what we can do to make our planet a better place.

In 1972, June 5 was named World Environment Day by the UN General Assembly, and 50 years on, it’s still celebrated worldwide. This year, the World Environment Day global campaign theme is ‘Only One Earth’, highlighting the need for sustainability on a personal and societal level.

With World Environment Day just around the corner, there’s never been a better excuse to read up on all things related to the environment. Scroll on to see a variety of titles that you can celebrate World Environment Day with this year.

On this list, you’ll find a mix of fiction and nonfiction books to entertain and inspire.

Books to Celebrate World Environment Day 2022


Environmental themes in literary fiction


Blueback by Tim Winton

Abel Jackson’s world is vanishing. Living on an idyllic stretch of coast, he has plenty of friends in the sea, but as the years pass things start to change. The constant greed of humans becomes clear to Abel as the modern world comes to take claim of his patch of sea. From beloved Australian author Tim Winton, this novel is a beautiful allegory about a boy who finds his wisdom through living in harmony with all forms of life.


Echolalia by Briohny Doyle

Set in a small town in rural Australia, Echolalia weaves a tale of climate disaster and the bitter reality of adult life. As a landmark lake dries up, so too do the inner workings of one family disintegrate to near-nothingness. A story of crumbling humanity – both internal and external – Echolalia paints a bleak view of the direction we’re collectively heading.


Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

Part thriller, part love story, Once There Were Wolves follows Inti Flynn as she and her sister reintroduce fourteen grey wolves into the remote Scottish Highlands. When a local farmer is found dead, Inti must fight to protect the wolves – the creatures she loves the most. Will her reckless attempt to heal the dying landscape and help her sister work?

Plans for a sustainable future


How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates

From the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, comes this urgent but accessible plan for getting greenhouse gas emissions to zero in time to avoid a climate catastrophe. After decades of research on climate change, Gates has banded with a team of experts in physics, chemistry, political science and more to figure out what we can do to avoid the disaster we’re heading towards.


Our House is on Fire by Malena Ernman, Greta Thunberg, Beata Ernman, and Svante Thunberg

Based on real events in the Thunberg family, Our House is On Fire tells the story of a happy family whose life suddenly fell apart. When the eleven-year-old daughter – now known worldwide as the climate activist Greta Thunberg – refused to eat and speak, the family had to find ways to draw courage from their love for each other and our world. While the story centres around one family’s experience, it is a parable of hope in the climate emergency that faces us all.


Firestorm by Greg Mullins

Over five decades of work as a firefighter, Greg Mullins watched as weather patterns and natural disaster risks changed. Witnessing bushfires becoming bigger and more destructive, Mullins talked to scientists and compared the evidence with his own experience. The more he learned, the more it became clear: A deadly firestorm was coming. In early 2019, he tried to warn the government so that preparations could be made, but his warnings were ignored. Firestorm offers insight into the terror that is fighting a raging fire, as well as insight into the political evasion and settled science on the matter.

Climate change and the agriculture & food industry


Why you should give a f*ck about farming by Gabrielle Chan

It’s easy to think of farming as something separate from ourselves. But that’s not true. Anyone who eats or wears clothes makes daily decisions that influence farming, and it’s something that deserves more attention. As an industry at the intersection of the world’s biggest challenges around climate change, it’s time we usher in new ways of living and working on the land.


This is Vegan Propaganda by Ed Winters

Every time we eat, we have the power to radically transform the world we live in. That’s the message that vegan activist, educator, and influencer Ed Winters hopes to impart. Based on years of research, the book provides knowledge for understanding the true scale of the problems perpetuated by the ways we eat.


Toxic by Richard Flanagan

This exposé of the Tasmanian salmon farming industry is nothing short of shocking. For a long time, Tasmanian salmon has been praised for its pristine conditions, but the reality looks far different from that idealised portrayal. Burning forests in the Amazon, petrochemicals and synthetically pink-dyed flesh are all part of the dark realities of the secretive industry.

Discussing one of these at your next book club? Make a tasty vegan treat to accompany your chat. Vegan blackberry shortcake, chickpea cookie dough bites or vegan banana bread would be a welcome addition to any meet up.

Featured Titles

Blueback is an achingly beautiful story about family, belonging, and living a life in tune with the environment, from Tim Winton, one of Australia's best-loved authors.
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Longlisted for the 2022 Miles Franklin Award What might drive a mother to do the unthinkable?
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Once There Were Wolves

**A Journey into the Wild and the Human Heart**

From the author of the international bestseller Migrations comes a pulse-pounding new novel set in the wild Scottish Highlands

Read more
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster
In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical - and accessible - plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.
Read more
Our House is on Fire
A profoundly moving story of how love, courage and determination brought a family back from the brink
Read more
Combines thrilling stories of what it’s like to be on the front line of Australia’s first giga-fire with the hard truths of human-caused climate change, and what we do about it.
Read more
Why you should give a f*ck about farming
'I ask that if you were to read one nonfiction book this year, please make it this one.' Readings Monthly There is no farmers and others. If you eat or wear clothes, the decisions you make influence farming.
Read more
This Is Vegan Propaganda
The first book from vegan activist, educator and influencer, Ed Winters, who has a strong, loyal following on Instagram
Read more
Is Tasmanian salmon one big lie?
Read more

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