12 environmental & sustainably focused books for kids!

Now more than ever it is vital that we instil in our children the importance of taking care of our beautiful planet! Engaging in simple conversations around waste pollution and environmental preservation helps our kids appreciate the extraordinary ecosystem that they're a part of, helping to create a desire in them to effect positive change.

Cultivating a respect for the natural world and establishing a value for sustainability is best started early, so we've compiled a list of our 12 favourite resources that can help to encourage the next generation of environmental champions! 

12 sustainability focused books every kid should read

1. Lenny And The Ants by Jessica Chapnik Kahn

Lenny And The Ants by Jessica Chapnik Kahn

A fun and warm-hearted story for children of all ages. Together with Lenny the roo, children go on a journey to discover a whole new way to think about food. This delightful picture book highlights the importance of minimising waste by uncovering the joy of re-inventing and sharing food. There are even some recipes to try! Proceeds from the sale of the book support OzHarvest, Australia’s leading food rescue organisation.

2. The Wild Tribe Heroes series by Ellie Jackson

The Wild Tribe Heroes series by Ellie Jackson

The Wild Tribe Heroes books are a collection of gentle and engaging true stories about animals that find themselves in trouble when their lives are affected by plastic in the oceans, palm oil deforestation or climate change. Enjoy beautiful storytelling that also teaches children about environmental issues in a positive and inspiring way with happy endings and ideas for the future. Follow each one of the wildlife heroes to see what happens, how they are saved and what you can do to help them! 

3. Bee & Me by Alison Jay

Bee & Me by Alison Jay

A beautiful wordless picture book brings a personal note to the plight of the honeybee and offers a message of hope. A little girl befriends a bee that takes her on a journey of discovery, revealing an action that every child can take to aid in conservation. Alison Jay’s original artwork brings the story gently to life, pointing out the sadness of a world without bees.

4. Your Planet Needs You! by Philip Bunting

Your Planet Needs You! by Philip Bunting

Once the garbos empty our bins each week, we tend not to think about where our waste goes, or the impact it has on the planet. And let’s be honest, nobody really likes to think about rubbish (pee-ew!). But as a result, waste remains a major cultural blind spot in Australia, and throughout the developed world. With a focus on domestic waste, Your Planet Needs You! is a positive primer on waste – where it comes from, where it ends up, and what we can all do to help reduce our rubbish. Optimistic in tone and illustrated primarily with [recycled] paper-cuts, this book is built from information accessible enough for the youngest minds to grasp, and simple enough for the rest of us to put into daily practice.

5. The Plastic Problem by Aubre Andrus

The Plastic Problem by Aubre Andrus

Look around you - plastic is everywhere! It's in your shoes, pens, toothbrush, car, toys, TV, water bottles, food packaging... It's so popular that it's almost impossible to get through one day without using it. And it's creating major problems for our planet, wildlife and ourselves. With The Plastic Problem, you'll discover loads of brilliant and easy ways to cut plastic out of your life! By becoming a 'plastic patroller' instead of a plastic polluter, your actions will help protect our world, and inspire friends and family to do the same. A book from Lonely Planet Kids, inspiring the next generation of global citizens and their parents to approach life in a way that makes every day an adventure!

6. Plastic: Past, Present, And Future by Eun-ju Kim

Plastic: Past, Present, And Future by Eun-ju Kim

The world consumes over 300 million tonnes of plastic each year. But when did we start using plastic? And why? Where does all the plastic waste go? Journey through the life cycle of plastic – how plastics are produced, the many uses of plastics throughout the last century, how our plastic use has spiralled out of control, and what we can do about it.

7. You Can Change The World by Lucy Bell

You Can Change The World by Lucy Bell

Every day, we see a problem we would like to fix. A piece of rubbish in a green, grassy park. Plastic water bottles buried in the sand at the beach. A garbage bin overflowing onto the street. A skinny, stray dog. A homeless person on a cold day. These problems seem impossible for one person to change. But we can fix them, if we each do our part – one step at a time. This practical guide is designed to empower kids to make changes in their lives to help make a difference in the world. Filled with information, ideas and activities, and interspersed with features on amazing children around the world.

8. How To Save The Whole Stinkin' Planet by Lee Constable

How To Save The Whole Stinkin' Planet by Lee Constable

How to Save the Whole Stinkin' Planet will take you on a garbological adventure like no other. From diving into the rubbish bin and delving around in the landfill, to rummaging through the recycling and digging about in compost. As a waste warrior in training, you will earn points and badges as you work your way through each chapter, completing activities, DIYs and eco-experiments! Whether you are conducting your own bin audit, creating a landfill model or making a mini compost heap - all this waste warrior training will be enhancing your understanding of waste management and the impact our household rubbish is having on the planet.

9. Yucky Worms by Vivian French

Yucky Worms by Vivian French

Worms - fun, fascinating and wriggly worms! The humble earthworm plays a significant role in the environment, as all farmers and gardeners know: it aerates the soil, composts dead matter into rich humus in which seeds can germinate and plants can grow. Kids are invited to find out where worms live, see how they move, and understand why gardeners consider them friends with the help of this humorous and informative look at an unappreciated and fascinating creature.

10. What A Waste by Jess French

What A Waste by Jess French

Everything you need to know about what we're doing to our environment, good and bad, from pollution and litter to renewable energy and plastic recycling. This environmental book will teach keen young ecologists about how our actions affect planet Earth. Did you know that every single plastic toothbrush ever made still exists? Or that there's a floating mass of rubbish larger than the USA drifting around the Pacific Ocean? It's not all bad news though - as well as explaining where we're going wrong, What a Waste shows what we're doing right! Discover plans already in motion to save our seas, how countries are implementing schemes that are having a positive impact, and how your waste can be turned into something useful. Every small change helps our planet!

11. Our Street by Beck Lowe & David Holmgren

Our Street by Beck Lowe & David Holmgren

Our Street is a brilliantly illustrated story book for upper primary school age children. It explores how suburban life changes between the 1950s and 2020s, and provides a positive vision of the future. It is a useful tool for parents and educators to help inspire children with positive solutions for sustainable and resilient living, whilst reflecting on Australian history. 

12. Greta And The Giants by Zoe Tucker

Greta And The Giants by Zoe Tucker

Greta is a little girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants first came to the forest, they chopped down trees to make houses. Then they chopped down more trees and made even bigger homes. The houses grew into towns and the towns grew into cities, until now there is hardly any forest left. Join Greta as she discovers how to help the animals who live in the forest and team up with her in the fight against the 'giants'.


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