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Board of directors share book recommendations for Earth Day

2024-04-23 8:19 AM | Reuse Minnesota (Administrator)

Broaden your perspective by delving into a new book! We asked several Reuse Minnesota board of directors to share their favorite books on environmentalism and climate change. Check out your local library and add these picks to your reading list!

Margo Ashmore, Board of Director

Book recommendation: Climate Justice by Mary Robinson

“It helped me understand that social justice and environment are intertwined, that we don’t have to give up on one to help solve the other. It’s a fast, inspiring read, a woman diplomat’s point of view."

A quote from the book:
(About a meeting on implementing the Paris Agreement, November 11, 2016)

“Forty-eight of the poorest countries made an extraordinary pledge: They would receive all their energy from renewable resources by 2050. Having some of the countries most vulnerable to climate change lead on delivering the goals of Paris was a powerful and humbling declaration. The message was clear: There was no turning back. The rest of the world would forge ahead with or without the United States.”

Miriam Holsinger, Board of Director 

Book recommendation: Plastics: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel

“It was very honest about the good and the bad around plastics and offered lots of incredible history of the material. It was very engaging and an easy read.”

Emily Noyes, Board of Director 

Book recommendation: Jungle: How Tropical Forests Shaped the World-And Us by Patrick Roberts

“The book starts as a great history of the evolution of plants from their first appearance on earth, and then reviews human evolution in conjunction with access to forest and savannah biomes. The second half of the book focuses on the impact of human migration, colonialism, and finally, 21st century agricultural practices on contemporary tropical forests. It helps to contextualize how our current ecological crises related to deforestation and monoculture came to be, but also has a beautifully broad historical scope of the incredible role that tropical forests have played in the creation of everything that we know and love today. A call to action cloaked in a heartfelt celebration of horticultural diversity and resilience!?”

Jenny Kedward, Board of Director

Book recommendations: Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale by Adam Minter

“Omnivore's Dilemma was the first book I read about our food systems. I read it in my 20s and it opened my eyes to how growing and using our food has changed and our relationship to food has evolved. Like all Pollan's books, he does a great job of breaking down the complications and nuances of our food system into four accessible stories: corn farming, organic labels, meat production, and local foods. While there are many books that might get into the nitty gritty of food production better, Pollan's book includes the emotions and inner thoughts that I have had many times. It's a great starting book to learn how to understand and connect with what and how we eat.”

“I really enjoyed Secondhand, because it broadened my understanding of life outside of the U.S. and how the secondhand flow of goods is tied to different societies' needs and wants. I've been in the recycling field for nearly 18 years and I still learned many things I didn't know, such as the false concept of expiration dates on car seats! Minter leaves you questioning previously held beliefs about what we assume are good, well-intentioned programs. Unlike many environmental-focused books, this book will leave you with a better sense of what is happening around the world on-the-ground and some optimism for how we keep our clothing and housewares useful for longer.”

Jenny suggests trying Library Extension, a handy browser tool that checks your library’s catalog for book availability as you browse online. It’s a great way to easily access books and e-books from your library while you’re exploring options on the Internet.

Reuse Minnesota was founded in 2012 and is a member-based nonprofit that supports repair, resale, and rental businesses, bringing visibility to the reuse sector as a means to lower our state's impact on the environment.

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