Booklist: Books to Celebrate Earth Day and the Environmentalist in All of Us

Read the full post at The Hub.

Friday, April 22, 2016 is National Earth Day, a day celebrated around the globe to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Started in 1970 and gaining momentum in the 1990s, Earth Day is great time to reevaluate the impact that we are having on the planet. Environmentalism has often been a cause taken up with passion by teens and new adults, and one recent study shows that during the recession years, conservations efforts among teens rose.

In honor of Earth Day, here is a list of nonfiction and fiction titles that explore a variety of aspects of environmental issues and conservation actions.

The Subfield That Is Changing the Landscape of Literary Studies

Read the full story in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

A burgeoning subfield of literary studies that focuses on human beings’ impact on the environment is changing the curricula of English departments across the country.

Climate fiction — cli-fi, for short — often depicts a grim future of a changed world, portraying how humanity must deal with years of environmental neglect. The genre, which has seen a fourfold increase in published books in the past six years, according to data collected by Eco-fiction.com, is giving professors and students a bevy of books outside of environmental studies to anchor discussions of climate change and its consequences.

Climate fiction provides a window into our future — and ourselves

Read the full story from the NRDC Switchboard.

Cli-Fi novels such as Claire Vaye Watkins’ Gold Fame Citrus, Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife, and Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy have earned wide critical acclaim over the past few years. Secondary schools and universities across the country have also begun to incorporate Climate Fiction courses into their syllabi, providing an accessible platform for students to discuss current climate change impacts. While these irresistible page-turners transport us from reality, they might also motivate us to prevent a similar one.

Your Modern Lifestyle Is Made Possible by Creating Tons of Waste, New Book Reveals

Read the full story from Binghampton University.

Josh Reno, assistant professor of anthropology at Binghamton University, spent a year working as a paper picker at a large mega-landfill on the outskirts of Detroit, M.I., to explore the relationship North Americans have with garbage. His two big takeaways: a) People don’t think twice about what happens to the garbage they throw out and b) the American dream of two cars, a house and perfect commodities is made possible by creating tons of waste.

“By sending so much things to dumps, by subtracting them out of our lives, that actually has an effect on us. We tend to think, ‘How does all that waste affect other people? How does it affect the earth?’” said Reno. “But the counter-intuitive thing is that it also, in its absence, is shaping our way of looking at things.”

Reno delivers the nitty-gritty details of his job and the impact of waste management on society in Waste Away: Working and Living with a North American Landfill, a new book published by the University of California Press.

New book examines Canadian environmental politics

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

The Great Lakes region includes parts of eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.

And that distinction makes Great Lakes policy complicated.

There is a large difference between the duties, responsibilities and privileges of the states in the U.S. and the provinces in Canada, said Andrea Olive, a professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga and author of the recently published The Canadian Environment in Political Context.

How to Start Your Own Little Free Library in 6 Easy Steps

Read the full story at Shareable.

Little Free Libraries are simply brilliant. They create a sense of place and connect people while supporting literacy. As Margret Aldrich, author of the Little Free Library Book told Shareable, neighbors started coming over to visit as soon as she put a Little Free Library in her yard.

“When we placed the Little Free Library in front of our house, it was instant,” she says. “The minute we had it in the ground, we had neighbors crossing the street and coming from down the block to stop by and tell is how great it was. People who I had never spoken to came over to chat with us.”

To help people create a Little Free Library in their own neighborhood, the International Literacy Association and Little Free Library created Service Project Kit: Build a Little Free Library. The guide is full of tips for choosing a location, getting started, spreading the word about your library, and more. It also provides tips for teachers interested in putting a Little Free Library in their classroom. Here are the six main steps on how to create a little free library from the guide: