Choosing a Sustainable Lifestyle: Recommended Reading

Factor Four

For PRL, Plastic is an obvious pollutant and most people already understand that we have a problem. Will politics one day force a change, and make "polluters pay"?

The best book about this is called: Factor Four: Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use - The New Report to the Club of Rome

It was written after the Rio conference in 1992. So, only 30 years ago!

Factor Four
Factor Four
Lucy Siegle
Lucy Siegle

Turning the Tide on Plastic...

Circular Economy / Lifestyle is the next big thing - we really like Lucy Siegle and her work.

This is one of her superb books:

Turning the Tide on Plastic: How Humanity (And You) Can Make Our Globe Clean Again

"Enough plastic is thrown away every year to circle the world 4 times.
More than 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year.
300 million tonnes of new plastic is produced every year.
An estimated 15-51 trillion pieces of plastic now litter the world's oceans.
38.5 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK.
million plastic bottles are used per minute around the world.
500 million plastic straws are used per year.

Without big action, at the current rate, pieces of plastic will outnumber fish in the ocean by 2050. That is the legacy we are leaving our children and grandchildren."

What We Leave Behind

It starts with a day at the beach. A single white sock that somehow spoils everything. It's enough to send writer and ornithologist Stanislaw Lubienski on a quest to understand what we throw away, where it goes and whether it will be our legacy.

By analysing items he unearths on his trips into nature - a plastic bottle, a cigarette butt, an empty aerosol can - tracing their origins and explaining the harm they can do, he shows how consumer society has developed out of control, to the point of environmental catastrophe.

He also looks with a birdwatcher's eye at how various animals have come to adapt to and even rely on our rubbish, and interrogates the cultural significance of waste and the origins of our throw-away lifestyles. Finally, he adds a personal touch by examining his own "environmental neurosis" and by going out with refuse crews to watch them work.

While Lubienski never hectors his readers, nor shames them, his clear-eyed, persuasive and humble polemic reminds us what we, as individuals, can and cannot do to address an apocalyptic issue while there's still something worth saving.

Translated from the Polish by Zosia Krasodomska-Jones

What We Leave Behind
What We Leave Behind
The Chaos Point
The Chaos Point

The Chaos Point: The world at the crossroads

We have a choice: Breakdown or Breakthrough.

In THE CHAOS POINT revered author and systems theorist Ervin Laszlo tells us that we are at a critical juncture in history, a 'decision-window' where we face both the danger of global collapse and the opportunity of worldwide renewal.

According to Laszlo we have six to seven years to head off unsustainable trends that would lead to a 'tipping point' beyond which there is no turning back. After this tipping point we either evolve to a safer, more sustainable world, or the social, economic and ecological systems that frame our life break down.

This is the Chaos Point, but this need not be the end of the world, only the end of a phase of the world beyond which a new world could dawn. In today's decision-window we have a unique chance of creating that new world and this pioneering book tells us what healing and renewal means, and how each of us can help in achieving it.


The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health...

Annie Leonard, creator of the internet film sensation "The Story of Stuff", viewed over 6 million times, offers an astonishing, galvanizing book that tells the story of all the 'stuff' we use everyday - where our bottled water, mobile phones and jeans come from, how they're made and distributed, and where they really go when we throw them away.

Our out-of-control consumption habits are killing the planet and threatening our health, but Annie provides hope that change is within reach.

Like "An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring", "The Story of Stuff" will be an instant classic.

The Story of Stuff
The Story of Stuff