environmental reading

How Environmental Reading Is Beneficial for All Ages

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Everyone grows up understanding the importance of education. Whether you graduate from a public or private school or head to a university, everyone knows new knowledge changes who you are. It informs you and shows you the world so that you become a more well-rounded person.

Much of that change comes from reading, especially when kids start at a young age. Children may get books about making friends or sharing with their siblings, but they can grasp more essential topics as well. That’s why so many authors have published books for all ages that discuss the environment.

Check out how environmental reading is beneficial for all ages. It may make you more curious to pick up a book for yourself or bring some home to your family. 

1. Kids Get Curious

Most kids are naturally curious about what’s around them. It’s why they ask endless questions and wander off to do things on their own. When they open a book that tells them fascinating facts about the real world, they’ll get more curious about their environment.

No child will want to read a theoretical paper or scientific study, but a picture book could catch their eye. They might learn about ocean creatures and how they navigate around plastic pollution or oil spills and get inspired by a curiosity for the environment.

2. Books Challenge Thinking

Books are essential for people of all ages because they present a new way of looking at the world. Each new chapter and page challenges you and enhances your critical thinking, which helps in every area of life.

Critical thinking leads to better language skills, creativity and self-reflection. Children and adults can develop it through family games ⁠— which promote problem-solving and strategizing ⁠— or reading on their own. All of these abilities help people understand sustainable living and personal development.

3. People Learn Other Opinions

Adults who pick up books or read articles about the environment benefit from learning about the opinions of others. Despite whether those views have any weight, it prompts people to consider what they believe and form conclusions based on facts and research. It challenges how you form opinions, which is healthy to do at any age.

While you read, you’ll have to decide which beliefs are worth your time. It may help to read content like Daniel Botkin’s “25 Myths That Are Destroying the Environment.” It mentions common convictions and explains why they aren’t true, clearing the air for you to form more accurate opinions.

4. You Embrace Healthy Living

You may not understand the importance of avoiding plastics or chemical additives in food until you read about it. Becoming informed about a problem and its solution encourages people to embrace healthy living in new ways.

Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian published “Edible,” a book that celebrates local farms and businesses. It teaches readers how to cook with regional ingredients without needing to expand the grocery budget. The encouragement and energy from the book are contagious and show people that healthy living and eco-friendly lifestyles are easy.

5. Kids Learn About Consequences

Kids spend much of their time learning that actions have consequences. They’ll continue doing this as they grow up, but they can learn about specific environmental impacts from books. It’s part of their world-building process, so they always remember that life is much bigger than their grades and toys.

It’s easy for children to hear about consequences and only think of getting in trouble, but sometimes they’re good. Melanie Wash’s book, “10 Things I Can Do to Help My World,” teaches kids how to take action and how each choice helps the earth. It’s a bright and colorful way to show kids that they have the power to do something good.

Even with picture books, some little ones aren’t interested in reading. They may enjoy watching an environmental documentary, such as “Plastic China” or “Before the Flood” because it’s a visual experience. They’ll see the world instead of picturing it, which can sometimes make more of an impression on young minds.

6. Communities Come Together

As you or your kids read about how you can help the planet, new interests and passions will bloom. You’ll naturally begin to want acquaintances who feel the same way, which leads to communities coming together. You’ll make new friends and form groups so that you can do things for the environment.

People sometimes gather to clean up local parks or beaches. You can also set up a movie night to learn more about conservation, trying a film like “Happy Feet” or “Fly Away Home.” It all begins with picking up a book or magazine that catches your eye and introduces a new excitement.

7. Everyone Feels Empowered

Bad news always seems to be on the TV or radio. It’s hard to hear negativity all the time, especially when it seems so widespread. How can one person make a change when facing such big problems? You might feel discouraged, but environmental reading empowers people.

Everyone can help the planet, and each effort makes a difference. Kids can start tossing cans in the recycling, and adults can turn off lights when they leave a room. As you continue to read, you’ll learn more about how you and your loved ones have the power to change the world.

Read Something Today to Learn About the Environment

It’s never too late to start reading, especially when you want to learn something. Pick up a book, magazine or article that talks about what’s going on with the planet. Anyone who spends their time reading will enjoy more critical thinking, curiosity and empowerment. It’ll change how you approach your life and the passion you have for the planet.

Some Book Suggestions for the Whole Family:

  1. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
  2. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  3. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wholleben
  4. A Book of Rather Strange Animals by Caleb Comptom
  5. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

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About the author

Jane Marsh

Starting from an early age, Jane Marsh loved all animals and became a budding environmentalist. Now, Jane works as the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co where she covers topics related to climate policy, renewable energy, the food industry, and more.