Woods in books on Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. This is an international event on which many people take action to help our planet. They march, plant trees or join clean ups. Everyone can do something to protect the Earth! Even small things can help. For example using a reusable bottle instead of plastic ones and eating less meat. Here is a list with more tips. Every year Earth Day has a different theme. The theme of 2019 is ‘Protect Our Species‘. Due to human activities like deforestation, pollution and unsustainable agriculture lots of animals are endangered. Think about bees, black rhinos and elephants.

In celebration of Earth Day I made a list with four books in which forests play an important role. May the books inspire you to protect real forests! 😊

Woods in books on Earth Day

1. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
The forest in this book is evil and powerful. It takes people who enter it. The ones who survive, come out different and just as dangerous as the forest itself. Agnieszka lives in a village close to this forest. Her people rely on a wizard known as the Dragon to protect them. Once every ten years the Dragon demands a young woman to serve him.

2. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
This book is clearly inspired by Alice in Wonderland. It has the same aesthetics and the main character even has the same name. One day Alice’s mother is kidnapped. She left behind a message: ‘Stay away from the Hazel Wood’. This the secret estate of Alice’s grandmother, a woman Alice has never met. The Hazel Wood is of course the place Alice has to find.

3. City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende
The forest in this story is one that actually exists: the Amazon. Alexander joins his grandmother on an International Geographic expedition to this rain forest. Their mission is to find the Beasts, legendary ancient animals.

4. Wildwood by Colin Meloy
This is a children’s story about Prue and Collin. Prue’s baby brother is kidnapped by crows and brought to Wildwood. The two children go to the forest to save him. Wildwood is a magical forest in the middle of Portland. It is inhabited by all kinds of talking animals. I loved the world building and the illustrations in this book. But the plot didn’t always make sense to me.

Earth day & three books about the consequences of climate change

I am quite busy, but I did make time to pay some attention to Earth Day. This day was created to make people aware of ecological concerns and to take action. The theme of this year is ‘End plastic pollution’. Most plastics degrade very slowly. So if someone throws plastic on the ground, it takes dozen years before it decomposes in the environment. In the meantime animals accidentally eat the plastic or it ends up in the ocean. Reason enough to reduce the amount of plastic you use! Before I move on to the books, first some tips:

  • Use a re-usable bottle instead of buying new plastic bottles every time you want to drink water.
  • Always bring you own bag, so you don’t have to buy plastic bags.
  • Buy a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one.

Now I want to recommend some science fiction books about the consquences of climate change. I read the first two books myself, and I really want to read the third book.

Earth day & three books about the consequences of climate change

Exodus by Julie Bertagna
In the year 2100 big parts of the earth has flooded due to global warming. The island of Mara is also drowning. She may be able to save the inhabitants, but their journey only begins when they find a city in the middle of the sea. Although this book is a dystopia, it all felt very realistic.

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
In a far future the earth is bare landscape. To search for the remaining resources, cities have got caterpillar tracks. London is hiding to avoid bigger and faster cities. Tom is one of the inhabitants of London. One day he tumbles down the waste chute and finds himself in the Out-Country.

Want by Cindy Pon
This book is set in a future where the place Taipei is plagued by pollution. Rich people can wear special suits, but the rest gets sick and dies early. The main character, Jason Zhou, will do everything to change this. Want sounds so exciting, it is on top of my TBR-list!

I would love to read more books in which the enviroment plays a role! Do you have recommendations for me? And did you read any of these books?

Climate change 101

Today is an important day: Earth Day. This is a day on which thousands of people take action for the environment. You may not have heard of Earth Day, but I am quite sure you are aware of climate change. You probably know it has something to do with higher temperatures, droughts and floods. Maybe you also heard about the Paris Climate Conference in 2015. Perhaps you already know climate change is an important subject. But you may not know why. Or you just want to learn more about it. Than this post is for you! I have collected some interesting stuff about climate change. I hope this will help you understand why it is important and how you can help to save our earth!

Before the Flood (2016)
In this epic documentary Leonardo DiCaprio goes on a journey to witness climate change firsthand. Everything is very well-explained, and Leonardo DiCarpio also gives solutions that could help to stop it. Before the Flood shows the threat of global warming, but also gives hope for the future. It is one of my all time favourite documentaries!

Screenshot Before the Flood
Screenshot from Before the Flood

TED talk – The case for optimism on climate change | Al Gore
It is important that influential people like Al Gore battle climate change. As a politician he talked a lot about the subject, made two movies about it and is vegan himself. In this informative TED talk he explains why we have to change and that this is totally possible.

TED talk – How we’re growing baby corals to rebuild reefs | Kristen Marhaver
I love TED talks, because you can learn so much in only 20 minutes. Especially the videos about lesser known subjects are interesting, like this one about coral reefs. Kirsten Marhaver told me about a consequence of global warming I wasn’t aware of.

Sustainable baby steps
This website already helped me a lot, and still does. It is the place to be for people who want to live a more sustainable live, but do not know where to start. The site explains why it is important and which steps you can take. It can be as easy as buying a reusable water bottle!

Reduce Footprints
This blog gives simple ideas to reduce your ecological footprint. It is no longer updated, but still has a big list with challenge to live a greener live. The footprint they are talking about measures the quantity of nature that is needed to support you. The problem is that humanity uses more natural capital than Earth can renew. You can measure your own ecological footprint with the Footprint Calculator.

Happy Earth Day! And remember:

“It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can do little.
Do what you can.”
– Sydney Smit

The importance of Earth Day

The importance of Earth Day

Did you know today is Earth Day? I wish I did not have to ask this question. A day on which people take action against environmental issues should be far more important. Not only deserves our planet its own day, it is also necessary. Here is why: climate change is real, it is probably caused by humans and proceeds at a very high rate. Without doubt you have heard about the consequences: higher temperatures, rise of the sea level, melting of sea ice and glaciers, and more extreme weather. But these consequences are not only something for the future. They are happening right now. On photos you can actually see how a lot of glaciers have melted in the last hundred years.

One of the most important actions taken against climate change was the conference held in Paris last December. 195 countries adopted an international climate agreement. Today most of these countries will be represented in New York to sign the Paris Agreement. One of the key goals is to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius between now and 2100. This goal can only be reached if all countries work together, and every one of them will significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

For a long time I asked myself: What difference will make a reduction of my own greenhouse gas emissions? Of course I cannot limit global warming on my own. But I believe every individual can make a difference. By making a change, you can be an inspiration for other people to make the same change, who in their turn can inspire more people. I think it was Mahatma  Gandhi who said:

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Here are some things you can do to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Eat less meat and dairy products. Livestock is responsible for half of all human-related emissions. Cows produce methane that is far more destructive than carbon dioxide. Furthermore, for the land that is necessary to cultivate animal food, thousands of acres of rain forests are destroyed. If everyone would have only one meatless day per week in the United States, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.
  • Choose more often for public transport or your bike instead of your car. Or use an electric car. The burning of gasoline releases carbon dioxide, after all.
  • Buy more organic and sustainable products. Companies make products largely based on the wishes of their consumers. So if more people ask for products that are environment friendly produced, I believe companies will act according to this wish. By buying sustainable products, you also reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. If you buy, for example, a recyclable bag, less materials need to be transported and processed to make new bags.
  • Choose green energy, like wind power or solar panels. Renewable sources of energy produce less carbon dioxide.