Keeping it light for the summer? I recently tore my way through these three, which loosely qualify as 'environmental' but definitely qualify as fun.
A Year Without "MADE IN CHINA," Sara Bongiorni
Bongiorni's book is what it says it is: a chronicle of her family's year boycotting goods from China. She doesn't have any major revelations, just neurotic obsessing about China and funny anecdotes about her two kids and husband. It's a lot like Not Buying It, arranged by the months of the year but lacking Judith Levine's subtle pathos and pointed philosophic moments. I was astonished by the amounts of crap (Chinese or not) she and her husband declared they absolutely had to have, especially for their kids. Plastic Halloween decorations? Squirt guns? Either her freelance writing job and her husband's academic position are unlike any other in America, or they're in a mountain of plastic-induced debt - every time they go to Target, they walk away with a huge pile, seemingly everything in the store that's not from China. Despite her un-selfawareness about this fact and others, Bongiorni is funny and very readable - I couldn't put it down!
The Gospel According to Larry, Janet Tashjian
Someone posted about this one on Colin's blog, and I decided to check it out, however embarrassed I might be to carry around a YA novel. It's a great story, about a senior in high school who isn't into buying and brands and celebrities. He's got funny friends and funny habits, and the structure of the tale is quite clever. I'd recommend it for young teens or an adult who wants some low-impact reading.
After looking up the author's name again, I found a blog and Facebook page dedicated to Larry - a very canny marketing strategy for this particular book. It appears as if a couple of sequels have come out since.
The Monkey-Wrench Gang, Edward Abbey
Sex, drugs, destruction...and environmentalism? Yep. Long before we got all smug on these here eco-blogs, Edward Abbey was out in the desert causing all kinds of mayhem, in the name of conservation/preservation and general antiestablistmentarianism. This work of fiction chronicles the adventures and misadventures of four eco-terrorists in the Southwest in the 70s. His charming caricatures get caught up in increasingly more dangerous scrapes and take you, the reader, on a Hunter S. Thompson-style ride.