Happy Earth Day! This day is an opportunity to celebrate the wonders of our planet and consider how to be better stewards of it. From the smallest microbes to the tallest mountains, Earth is a pretty special place to be.
Check out this exciting mix of contemporary books, eBooks, audiobooks, and documentaries celebrating the planet we call home and contemplating our environmental responsibilities.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as “the younger brothers of creation.
Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change by George Marshall
Most of us recognize that climate change is real yet we do nothing to stop it. What is the psychological mechanism that allows us to know something is true but act as if it is not? Once we understand what excites, threatens, and motivates us, we can rethink climate change, for it is not an impossible problem. Rather, we can halt it if we make it our common purpose and common ground.
Earth Days PBS documentary
Director Robert Stone traces the origins of the modern environmental movement through the eyes of nine Americans who propelled the movement from its beginnings in the 1950s to its moment of triumph in 1970 with the original Earth Day and to its status as a major political force in America. (Kanopy)
The Emmy-winning CBS Sunday Morning correspondent chronicles his year traveling to every one of our national parks, discovering the most beautiful places and most interesting people that the United States has to offer.
I’m Not a Plastic Bag: A Graphic Novel by Rachel Hope Allison
This graphic novel brings to life the plight of our oceans in a moving fable about beauty, loneliness, and hope. I’m Not a Plastic Bag illuminates how our behavior as consumers is slowly destroying our beautiful oceans, and shows us how each person has a role to play in protecting the planet we call home.
Out of the Woods: Seeing Nature in the Everyday by Julia B. Corbett
In this fresh and introspective collection of essays, Julia Corbett examines nature in our lives with all of its ironies and contradictions by seamlessly integrating personal narratives with morsels of highly digestible science and research. Each story delves into an overlooked aspect of our relationship with nature–insects, garbage, backyards, noise, open doors, animals, and language–and how we cover our tracks.
Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth A. Rush
A journalist, weaving firsthand accounts from the people and places imperiled by climate change in America today, takes readers to the places hardest hit by the rising seas, which are transforming the coastline of the U.S. in irrevocable ways.
Sustainability Made Simple: Small Changes for Big Impact by Rosaly Byrd and Laurèn DeMates
This book is an introduction to sustainability and sustainable living that explores the relationship between everyday life and the intricate global environmental issues of today, including air and water pollution, deforestation, and climate change.
The Human Element by 1091 Media
During his four-decade career as a photographer and explorer, James Balog has focused his lens on the complex relationship between humans and nature. Balog argues that humans are part of the whole system of nature and not apart from it. Knowing this, he finds great hope that the fifth element, the human element, can bring the whole system back into balance. (Kanopy)
In this tour of an almost unfathomable world, Wohlleben describes the fascinating interplay between animals and plants and answers such questions as: How do they influence each other? Do lifeforms communicate across species boundaries? And what happens when this finely tuned system gets out of sync? By introducing us to the latest scientific discoveries and recounting his own insights from decades of observing nature, one of the world’s most famous foresters shows us how to recapture our sense of awe so we can see the world around us with completely new eyes.
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells
The Uninhabitable Earth is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation.
Wildfire: On the Front Lines with Station 8 by Heather Hansen
Throughout the 2016 wildfire season, journalist Heather Hansen witnessed firsthand the heroics of the Station 8 crew in Boulder, Colorado. She tells that story here, layered with the added context of the history, science, landscape, and human behavior that, year-by-year, increases the severity, frequency, and costs of conflagrations in the West.
Earth Day Titles for Kids:
Ocean soup: a recipe for you, me, and a cleaner sea by Meeg Pincus; illustrated by Lucy Semple
Our oceans are filled with plastics, but who exactly cooked up this soup? And, more importantly, what is the recipe for getting our oceans clean? This rhyming story pulls no punches about how we ended up in this mess but also offers hope and help for cleaning up ocean soup.
If I Were a Park Ranger by Catherine Stier, Patrick Corrigan
Imagine serving as a park ranger for our U.S. National Parks! Being a park ranger means protecting animals, the environment, and our country’s natural and historical heritage, from the wilds of Denali to the Statue of Liberty!
Old Enough to Save the Planet by Loll Kirby; illustrated by Adelina Lirius
The world is facing a climate crisis like we’ve never seen before. And kids around the world are stepping up to raise awareness and try to save the planet. As people saw in the youth climate strike in September 2019, kids will not stay silent about this subject—they’re going to make a change. Meet 12 young activists from around the world who are speaking out and taking action against climate change. Learn about the work they do and the challenges they face, and discover how the future of our planet starts with each and every one of us.
Penguin Rescue directed by Evan Tramel
When intergalactic space explorers Nick and Sammy get assigned their first mission they must travel to a distant planet named Earth to save a little penguin who is stranded on a collapsing ice shelf. In this educational adventure our intrepid space explorers will learn everything about the Arctic and its fascinating inhabitants. With arch-nemesis Rumble and Tumble hot on their heels, Nick and Sammy must race the clock to make it to the Arctic and save the day.
Looking for more recommendations? Need help downloading digital eBooks and audiobooks or streaming films with Kanopy? Visit the Poudre River Public Libraries in person or online at www.PoudreLibraries.org.