Sustainability is a buzz word these days, but the concepts are important, especially to children. After all, much of what people are trying to do with sustainable practices is make the world a better place (and still exist) for the children of today when they grow up and their children and so on.
While sustainability is big conceptually, if you break it down into categories, you’ll find that there is a lot of great literature out there for kids in areas like recycling, home gardening, and biking and easy sustainable practices. All of these books help children understand that they can be a part of the solution and sometimes, they can take charge too. Check it out!
- Bag in the Wind by Ted Kooser. This story follows a plastic bag and illustrates the ideas of reusing and recycling without being preachy.
- What Can We Do About Trash and Recycling? (Protecting Our Planet) by Lorijo Metz explains what happens to trash, how the recycling process works, and the importance of recycling.
- Cool Crafts with Old Wrappers, Cans, and Bottles: Green Projects for Resourceful Kids by Carol Sirrine and Creating by Recycling by Laia Sadurni & Anna Llimos are both great texts that combine craftiness with recycling. It doesn’t just have to be sorting bottles and cans, it can be making things too!
- Dig, Plant, Grow: A Kid’s Guide to Gardening by Felder Rushing and Growing a Garden by Marie Schuh are both excellent resources as they provide hands on tips for children trying to start either their own garden, or help out with the family’s.
- Yucky Worms by Vivian French. This fun picture book explains the importance of worms to a garden.
- The Garden Project by Margaret McNamara is an easy reader about a class coming together to plan and work a garden.
- In the Garden by Peggy Collins. This picture book shows how much fun gardening can be and is ideal for prereaders to early readers.
Biking and Easy Sustainable Practices
- Go Fly a Bike! The Ultimate Book of Bicycle Fun, Freedom, and Science by Bill Haduch. Everything cool and interesting about biking is in this book.
- Kids Easy Bike Care: Tune-Ups, Tools, & Quick Fixes by Steve Cole. What good is a bike if you don’t know how to take care of it? Cole clues kids in on how to deal with flats and all the rest so they can ride easy.
- Local Farms and Sustainable Foods by Julia Vogel. More than just growing your own food, kids can learn why it is important to buy the family’s food locally if they can.
- Reducing Your Carbon Footprint at Home by Sarah B. David. While this information book does include facts about recycling, I included it in this category because of its general outlook on sustainable practices that kids can do at home.
- Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children’s Authors Tell You How to Go Green by Dan Gutman. From the voices children trust comes advice on what they can do to make the world a cleaner place.