Read, Renew, Return: a reading list for Earth Day and every day

Today, April 22, is Earth Day, and people all over the country are using this day to march for science and draw attention to the importance of scientific research to our communities, economy, democracy and future. If you are wondering what you can do to protect our climate today, use this Earth Day to start investigating. Here are some resources to begin:


Read: Bill Bryson’s brilliant book A Short History of Nearly Everything,  a meditation and series of conversations on the importance of science to the non-scientist.

Dawn Light: Observe the beauty of our planet with poet Diane Ackerman in her moving and enlightening book, a series of meditations on the life of the earth at dawn

Watch: Planet Earth, a five part documentary series that examines the beauty of the planet through its habitats, plants and animals.

Listen to the arguments:

Read: The Whale Warriors, in which author and journalist Peter Heller travels with a group of activists aboard the Farley Mowat fighting to save whales and other species from poachers in the Antarctic Ocean and around the world.

Moby Duck, which chronicles one man’s investigation into the journey of thousands of little plastic ducks that were lost in the ocean.

Oil and Honey – Engage with Bill McKibben’s memoir, in which the founder of alternately describes his time protesting the Key Stone Oil pipeline and keeping bees.

Watch: Gasland, about the hazardous conditions created by fracking, Food, Inc, about some of the harmful effects of the way we manufacture food, and Climate of Doubt, a Frontline episode on DVD on the reasons for political inaction around climate change.

Do something in your own life:

Read: No Impact Man: The adventures of a guilty liberal who attempts to Save the Planet and the discoveries he makes about himself and our way of life in the process, by Colin Beavan, or the documentary film made from the book. Find out about some of the challenges the author faced in trying to reduce his impact on the environment to zero.

Green your life with the Green Guide: The complete reference for consuming wisely, which provides tips for everything from changing the light bulbs to ecological flea repellents.

Get outside and enjoy nature with Vitamin N: 500 Ways to Enrich the Health and Happiness of Your Family and Community by Richard Louv or Edible Wild Plants for Beginners from Althea Press

Watch: Take a look at the Clean and Green series of lectures filmed at the Chelmsford Library, featuring speakers on such topics as Recycling, Composting, Soil Nutrition, Home energy, Greening your family, crafting with PLARN and Green for the Holidays, featuring recommendations from local experts!

Check out our Earth Day displays on the Main floor and downstairs for even more books on the topic, and have a Happy Earth Day all year round.