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Updated by Matt LaClear on Mar 05, 2018
Headline for What's Your Favorite Recycling Book? Vote Today!
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Matt LaClear Matt LaClear
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What's Your Favorite Recycling Book? Vote Today!

If you're big into recycling you'll love all the books on this list. Which one is your favorite though? That's what we'd all like to know!

A Primer on Recycling: The Philosophy, History & Future of Our Waste

A quick look into the recycling industry and our waste - how recycling works, what is waste, a history of recycling, ways you can help, and even arguments against recycling. The book is for those unfamiliar but interested in recycling or for those who would like to conduct their own research and need a starting point. Hours of research has been poured into this book with a light touch into all aspects around recycling and the waste we generate.

Make Garbage Great: The Terracycle Family Guide to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

In this fun, pop culture exploration, two ecological entrepreneurs examine the materials we use in our daily lives, show how they impact the environment, and provide project ideas—from recycling to upcycling and more—to lessen our impact and protect our world.

Jam-packed with information, more than 200 photographs and illustrations, and approximately twenty DIY projects, this engaging, graphic volume shows us how we all can cut down, reuse, and repurpose the garbage we produce. With its easy hands-on design, Make Garbage Great contains information, little known facts, compelling graphics, and colorful illustrations and photos on a variety of common household waste-stream materials: Plastics, Glass and Ceramics, Paper, Wood, Textiles, Metal, Rubber, and Organics.

Tom Szaky, the founder of the award-winning nonprofit, environmental company TerraCycle, introduces each and explains what he’s learned about it in his personal life and with TerraCycle. He and Albe Zakes then provide a graphic historical timeline of each material's use in commercial goods—from how it’s manufactured to what happens when it’s throw out—an analysis of its impact on the environment now and tomorrow; suggestions for DIY projects to save it from the trash bin, and lists of helpful resources. They also include sidebars and definitions, fun and quirky facts, lists of reuse ideas, quotes, and illuminating interviews that add depth and insight.

All of us have a responsibility to protect our environment. Informative and inspirational, Make Garbage Great shows us how to be creative custodians today—and for the rest of our lives.

Our Plastic Legacy: How To Quit Plastic, Want Less & Live Green Daily

DID YOU KNOW: The first piece of plastic was created in 1905 and every single piece ever made since then still exists today?
DID YOU KNOW: By 2030 (not very far off) there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish?

Follow along in this conversational and action-oriented book. First learn the reasons why we should all be concerned about the plastic that is literally piling up on the planet - This plastic slowly breaks down over 300 - 1000 years as it ends up in our landfills, our oceans, our bodies, and ultimately our future generation's bodies.

Author Geordie Wardman then lays out a simple solution that we can each implement to make a difference reduce our plastic legacy, with examples and case studies from people already doing it.

In Our Plastic Legacy. How to quit plastic, want less, and live green daily, you will find:

Why plastic pollution is arguably the single most important environmental crises in the world today - most certainly contributing to climate change
Facts about how plastic affects our environment, particularly our oceans and our health
How a single person can do more to help solve the problem than ever imaginable
Inspirational interludes from various entrepreneurs, businesses, citizens and extraordinary moms from around the world and what they're doing to help solve or curb the problem -
Tips on how to live green and completely eliminate your plastic intake on a daily basis
A fresh, new mindset towards how to rid the desires and needs to keep adding plastic into your life which will prepare you with the foundation to make real life changes while providing you the ability to live simpler, cleaner, and more fulfilling lives, without leaving a multi-millennial plastic legacy on the earth.

Our Plastic Legacy equips readers with the key to unlock the simple pleasures that abound for all of us on a daily basis, no matter your background or upbringing, calling you to share your newly found wisdom with your family, your friends, and communities so that we can stop, once and for all, the mad consumption of plastic that is causing our planet to drown in a sea of plastics.

DON'T WAIT. Read this book now, and unlock the benefits of living a simpler, greener life today.

The Toilet Papers: Recycling Waste and Conserving Water

A classic is back in print! One of the favorite books of 1970s back-to-the-landers, The Toilet Papers is an informative, inspiring, and irreverent look at how people have dealt with their wastes through the centuries. In a historical survey, Van der Ryn provides the basic facts concerning human wastes, and describes safe designs for toilets that reduce water consumption and avert the necessity for expensive and unreliable treatment systems. The Toilet Papers provides do-it-yourself plans for a basic compost privy and a variety of graywater systems.A classic is back in print! One of the favorite books of 1970s back-to-the-landers, The Toilet Papers is an informative, inspiring, and irreverent look at how people have dealt with their wastes through the centuries. In a historical survey, Van der Ryn provides the basic facts concerning human wastes, and describes safe designs for toilets that reduce water consumption and avert the necessity for expensive and unreliable treatment systems. The Toilet Papers provides do-it-yourself plans for a basic compost privy and a variety of graywater systems.

Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste

Part inspirational story of Bea Johnson (the “Priestess of Waste-Free Living”) and how she transformed her family’s life for the better by reducing their waste to an astonishing one liter per year; part practical, step-by-step guide that gives readers tools and tips to diminish their footprint and simplify their lives.

Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash

Out of sight, out of mind ... Into our trash cans go dead batteries, dirty diapers, bygone burritos, broken toys, tattered socks, eight-track cassettes, scratched CDs, banana peels.... But where do these things go next? In a country that consumes and then casts off more and more, what actually happens to the things we throw away? In Garbage Land, acclaimed science writer Elizabeth Royte leads us on the wild adventure that begins once our trash hits the bottom of the can. Along the way, we meet an odor chemist who explains why trash smells so bad; garbage fairies and recycling gurus; neighbors of massive waste dumps; CEOs making fortunes by encouraging waste or encouraging recycling-often both at the same time; scientists trying to revive our most polluted places; fertilizer fanatics and adventurers who kayak amid sewage; paper people, steel people, aluminum people, plastic people, and even a guy who swears by recycling human waste. With a wink and a nod and a tightly clasped nose, Royte takes us on a bizarre cultural tour through slime, stench, and heat-in other words, through the back end of our ever-more supersized lifestyles. By showing us what happens to the things we've "disposed of," Royte reminds us that our decisions about consumption and waste have a very real impact-and that unless we undertake radical change, the garbage we create will always be with us: in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we consume. Radiantly written and boldly reported, Garbage Land is a brilliant exploration into the soiled heart of the American trash can.

Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

How can garbage turn into gold? What does recycling have to do with globalization? Where does all that stuff we throw away go, anyway?

When you drop your Diet Coke can or yesterday's newspaper in the recycling bin, where does it go? Probably halfway around the world, to people and places that clean up what you don't want and turn it into something you can't wait to buy. In Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter-veteran journalist and son of an American junkyard owner-travels deeply into a vast, often hidden, 500-billion-dollar industry that's transforming our economy and environment.

Minter takes us from back-alley Chinese computer recycling operations to recycling factories capable of processing a jumbo jet's worth of trash every day. Along the way, we meet an international cast of characters who have figured out how to squeeze Silicon Valley-scale fortunes from what we all throw away. Junkyard Planet reveals how "going green†? usually means making money-and why that's often the most sustainable choice, even when the recycling methods aren't pretty.

With unmatched access to and insight on the waste industry, and the explanatory gifts and an eye for detail worthy of a John McPhee or William Langewiesche, Minter traces the export of America's garbage and the massive profits that China and other rising nations earn from it. What emerges is an engaging, colorful, and sometimes troubling tale of how the way we consume and discard stuff brings home the ascent of a developing world that recognizes value where Americans don't. Junkyard Planet reveals that Americans might need to learn a smarter way to take out the trash.