Skip to Content

Best Children’s Books About Sustainability

Feel free to share

Top 10 Children’s Books About Sustainability

Sustainable living is a big topic for young kids, but it’s one that’s important for them to understand. If you’re interested in teaching your kids about eco-friendly living in a way they’ll grasp, check out these top children’s books about sustainability.

1. “Just a Dream”

Just a Dream

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always been what most people would call a tree-hugger. What I haven’t talked about is how “Just a Dream” by Chris Van Allsburg is the book that really pushed me toward sustainable living — even though I didn’t even know at the time that sustainable living was a thing.

The book is about a young boy who travels to the future to discover a world where trees are cut down for one toothpick, pollution is so bad you can no longer see the Grand Canyon, and cars are stuck in an endless traffic jam. Because of his journey, the young boy realizes how important it is to keep the planet healthy.

My parents got me this book when I was 8 years old, and I really struck a chord in me. I didn’t want to grow up in a world like the future the little boy witnessed, and I started doing my part to help take care of the environment.

Related: How to Help Kids Have a More Sustainable Summer

2. “The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean”

The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean

Now that I’m a parent, I’m even more dedicated to taking care of our planet so my son has a place that’s healthy and safe to live. Right now, he loves the Pout-Pout Fish books. So when we saw “The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean” by Deborah Diesen, we immediately had to read it.

In the book, the fish realize that the big mess they see in their ocean was created by them. They learn how to work together to get rid of the mess and what they can do to make sure it never comes back.

It’s a good book to help children understand that everyone needs to work together to help protect our environment.

Related: How to Prevent Microfiber Pollution

3. “The EARTH Book”

The EARTH Book

“The EARTH Book” by Todd Parr is a great way to help kids learn about conservation and environmental protection.

The book highlights incredibly simple ways children can help take care of the environment, such as turning off the water when they brush their teeth or taking reusable shopping bags to the market. It then follows these actions with a because statement to make the message more meaningful and show children exactly why we take these steps.

Even better, this eco-friendly book practices what it preaches. It’s printed with recycled materials and non-toxic soy inks.

Related: Where to Donate Used Books

4. “Can We Save the Tiger?”

Can We Save the Tiger

Extinction is an intimidating concept for children to understand. Yet Martin Jenkins does so with facts and a touch of optimism in “Can We Save the Tiger?”

Jenkins covers a variety of endangered species that need our help, from the tiny partula snail to the mighty tiger, and illustrator Vicky White does an amazing job of showcasing these animals in her portraits.

While reading this book, children learn that we CAN save the tiger. It just requires some hard work and smart, sustainable decisions about how we live.

Related: Best Eco-Friendly Gifts for Kids

5. “One Plastic Bag”

One Plastic Bag

We all understand how important it is to reduce our plastic use, and “One Plastic Bag” by Miranda Paul creates a story that helps children grasp this concept.

It started with just one plastic bag dropped along the side of the road. But then the bags kept accumulating, and they began hurting animals, people, and the environment.

That’s when a young girl named Isatou Ceesay comes up with a way to recycle the bags and help her community.

Not only does this book help teach children about the importance of cutting back on using plastic, but it also shows how one person can truly make a big difference.

Related: 50+ Awesome Alternatives to Plastic

6. “The Lorax”

The Lorax

“The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss is a timeless and classic book about green living and helping those who can’t speak up for themselves. The story shows children the dangers of taking our natural resources for granted.

While you might begin to think that it’s too late to save the Truffula Trees, the final pages of the book teach us that one seed and one small child can make all the difference.

Related: How to Reduce Paper Towel Use

7. “10 Things I Can Do to Help My World”

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World

“10 Things I Can Do to Help My World” by Melanie Walsh is one of the best children’s books about sustainability because it gives kids actionable steps they can take to go green.

The book includes helpful and easy suggestions that every child manage, such as using both sides of the paper when drawing or coloring and turning off the water while brushing teeth.

Not only do these steps help children feel like they’re contributing, but they also get children applying eco-friendly practices from a young age, which makes it easier for these habits to stick.

Related: Best Sustainable Clothing for Children

8. “Why Should I?” Series

Why Should I? Series

If you’ve spent any time around young children, you know one of their favorite questions is, “Why”. Jen Green uses this natural curiosity to help kids understand sustainability with her “Why Should I?” series.

In “Why Should I Recycle?” Jen uses entertaining stories to show why it’s important for us to recycle. “Why Should I Save Water?” talks about the importance of clean water and goes over several ways children and their families can conserve water.

It’s easy for kids to take electricity for granted because it’s something they never see. In “Why Should I Save Energy?” children discover the importance of electricity and simple energy-saving concepts.

The final book in the series is “Why Should I Protect Nature?” In this book, children learn the importance of respecting trees, flowers, and animals by not littering.

Related: Super Fun Wooden Toys for Kids of All Ages

9. “We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers”

We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers

In “We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers” by Lauren Child, a young girl named Lola learns about recycling. She then discovers she can get her very own live tree if she wins a recycling contest. But she only has two weeks to finish the competition.

That’s when she decides to ask her classmates for help and discovers that they’re all extremely very good recyclers.

This is a really cute story that’s perfect for teaching young children about recycling. It’s also printed on FSC-approved paper, includes plenty of helpful recycling tips, and comes with a tree poster just like Lola’s.

Related: Easy Ways to Reduce Waste Right Now

10. “Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth”

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth

Composting is becoming more common in households around the world. While it’s incredibly simple to compost, many people still have questions about how it works, especially children.

If you and your family are getting ready to start a compost pile, “Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth” by Mary McKenna Siddals is an excellent resource to get.

This is the perfect book to provide all the answers kids and families have about composting. It explains how to start a compost pile, what’s safe to put in it, why it’s important, and how it works.

Related: Best Plants for a Children’s Garden

Excellent Children’s Books About Sustainability

The next time you have a rainy day and you’re looking for an eco-friendly indoor activity for your kids to enjoy, why not pick up a book?

When you’re trying to teach children about sustainable living and get them started on good green living habits that can last a lifetime, reading a picture book can help.

Thanks to these outstanding children’s books about sustainability, you can teach your children about a variety of important eco-friendly topics.

More Eco-Friendly Living Tips

Now that you’ve picked out some of the best children’s books about sustainable living to read to your kids, are you ready for even more fantastic eco-friendly living tips? Then be sure to check out some of our other popular posts:

Get a FREE copy of our 10 Natural Cleaning Essentials when you subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Earth Friendly Tips:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.

Young boy reading book text overlay 10 Outstanding Children's Books About Sustainability
Mother and daughter reading book text overlay Top 10 Children's Books About Sustainable Living
Children reading books text overlay 10 Children's Books About Sustainability


Wednesday 30th of September 2020

Thanks for this awesome list of books - I know a few of them but will definitely checkout the others! ... you might be interested in a book I wrote and illustrated about a penguin and chicken who conquer ocean trash, called "Fernando Invents Socks!" :)


Thursday 1st of October 2020

That's awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Comments are closed.