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Five Books to Read during Earth Hour

Emma Bouloudis

Here at Culture Calling we are well aware that a life in plastic is decidedly not fantastic. So to mark this year’s Earth Hour, here’s our definitive guide for budding conservationists and seasoned tree-huggers alike to our favourite literary offerings in the world of all things eco. Switch off those appliances, unplug yourself from the matrix of the modern world, and recalibrate your senses with a candle-lit reading of one of our top-picks below.


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Wilding – Isabella Tree
“By expurgating nature from children's lives we are depriving the environment of its champions for the future.” 
Wilding functions as a literary triage against unsustainable farming practises and modern agriculture’s relentless poking and pillaging of the earth. Penned by a former intensive farmer, it chronicles an ecologically anarchic patch of West Sussex called Knepp’s farm which has been rebirthed into a bio-diverse and sustainable Eden. Taking the baton from Monbiot’s Feral, there is a revolutionary current that flows through this book, where tidiness and husbandry is swapped for an autonomous approach to the land. This is a call for a whole new way of nurturing the environment around us, and it’s demanding, practical, and ambitious.

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No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference – Greta Thunberg 
“I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” 
An author who needs no introduction, No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference is an anthology of Greta’s age defying and age defining speeches which sparked a chain reaction of school strikes, protests, and marches. Delivered by the Scandi superhero herself, the book is a volcanic polemic against society’s indifference and apathy to climate change. The language is precise, razor sharp, and inflamed, making this an urgent and compelling read for minds young and old who are ready and impatient to change the world.

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Relax with some Romantic poetry 
“And then my heart with pleasure fills, 
And dances with the daffodils – Wordsworth” 

As undoubtedly crucial as it is, the reality of climate change can often be an unsettling one. When you need a break from politics and picketing, we recommend unwinding with the sumptuous language and resplendent verses of Romantic poetry. Although it can seem the Romantics were strictly an all-boys club, alongside the obligatory big names of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Percy Bysshe Shelley, there is a veritable mountain of female talent to discover. Some lesser-known poets to get stuck into include the astonishingly prolific Felicia Hemans, political activist Amelia Alderson Opie, and queen-of-the-sonnet Charlotte Smith.

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Silence: in the Age of Noise – Erling Kagge
“Their heads are now filled with more ambitions than questions.” 
If you’ve taken part in Earth Hour before, something that quickly becomes startlingly obvious is how distracted, disturbed, and distressed we are by our phones, screens, and devices. Our lives have become governed by an omnipresent around-the-clock barrage of 24-hour news, social media, and ceaseless advertising, and the modern world is definitely a loud one. Kagge offers a much-needed antidote to the noise and presents us with a unique challenge – to switch off, unplug, and embrace the peace.

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The Life Of... Series - David Attenborough
“An understanding of the natural world is a source of not only great curiosity, but great fulfilment.” 
No earth hour listicle would be complete without a mention to the king of conservation himself, Sir David Attenborough. His documentaries have inspired a passion for ecology in generations of viewers, and his books are equally captivating. The series spans from birds, mammals, and reptiles, to plants, undergrowth, and insect life, and the pages are laden with vibrant, glossy images of chartreuse tree frogs with hawthorn berry eyes and flame billed toucans with mouths agape in the Amazonian heat. Once you’re finished reading, we of course recommend an essential rewatch of the corresponding TV series.

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