5 Books To Kickstart Your Zero-Waste Lifestyle Journey

4 Mins Read

Are you ready to make the move to becoming more zero-waste? These books can help.

Faced with our overflowing landfills, the global plastic ocean pollution crisis, and our ecological emergency, it’s more important than ever to make impactful changes to our daily lives. If you’re in need of some motivation and guidance in your low-waste journey, we’ve pulled together the must-read books on making the shift to a zero-waste lifestyle.

1. Mottainai Grandma

Mottainai Grandma, also known as “The Waste-Not-Want-Not Grandmother” is written by Japanese author Mariko Shinju. Inspired by her own efforts to try and explain wastefulness to her child, this easy read is all about eliminating waste and countering the throwaway consumerist habits that have permeated our mainstream culture. 

Mottainai Grandma is available online on Amazon.

2. The Year Of Less

The Year of Less is a self-help memoir documenting author Cait Flanders’ two-year shopping ban journey. This book showcases the benefits of transitioning into a low-waste life, from finding fulfillment without consumption to turning away from costly and unhealthy “stress-relief” go-tos like shopping, alcohol, and food. This book will inspire you on your low-waste path to less things, less waste and less impact on our earth. Plus, it has some pretty practical tips too, which will help you break free from the grips of our wasteful consumer culture. 

The Year Of Less is available online on Amazon.

3. Goodbye, Things

Meet the new king of decluttering in Goodbye, Things by Japanese minimalist Fumio Sasaki. This bedside read will introduce you to new minimalist technology, from colour and information minimalism (hello, emotional and mental decluttering!) to LOHAS, which stands for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. Encouraging readers to adopt these principles in their daily habits, Sasaki’s minimalist agenda will no doubt encourage more mindful, environmentally friendly ways of living. 

Goodbye, Things is available on Amazon.

4. The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

Authored by American journalist and deputy editor at New York Magazine David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth is a 2019 book that is an expansion of his eponymous 2017 article. In the book, Wallace-Wells details the depressing trajectory the world is headed towards if we continue to take no action: food shortages, a global refugee crisis, climate wars, severe flooding, and economic devastation, just to name a few. If there is a book that will motivate you to take environmental issues seriously and make dramatic changes to your daily habits to reduce our impact on the planet, it’s this one.

The Uninhabitable Earth is available on Fishpond, Book Depository and Amazon.

Banish Clutter Book Sheila Chandra

5. Banish Clutter Forever: How The Toothbrush Principle Will Change Your Life

Banish Clutter Forever is a book by Sheila Chandra, where she proposes the solution of the “toothbrush principle” – that organising our homes according to the way we use and store our toothbrush- as a great decluttering tool. This step-by-step guide will help you say no to all the extra purchases that end up as “lost” things in your apartment. While the book geared towards organisation, the principle Chandra introduces is useful to help all of us on our journey to bidding farewell to the cycle of annual clear-outs and purchases driven by our wasteful consumer culture.

Banish Clutter Forever is available on Amazon.

Lead image courtesy of Pexels.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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