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Protect the Ecosystem and Environment with Books

Earth, the planet we must protect

 

2021.08.02

 

Climate crisis, zero waste, and sustainability; these are keywords commonly found these days. They seem to have become more common after the outbreak of COVID-19, as more people are interested in environmental issues due to this unprecedented disease. Also, as the social distancing period is extended, the increasing amount of daily trash such as plastic and single-use products rose as a social issue. Alert consumers are actively participating in solving environmental problems by carrying out campaigns such as zero waste, using environment-friendly products, and carrying reusable containers instead to reduce single-use packages. Efforts continue in the publishing industry as well. With public interest, books about ecosystems and the environment increased greatly. Also, books about the environment and zero waste are published, interacting with readers. Following is an introduction to books about the environment, featuring various ideas and practices for protecting Earth and the environment, which has become a duty more than just a trend.

 

Step by step towards zero waste

 

Zero waste is a hot topic in many media outlets with much public attention. Still, it is never easy to practice it in daily life, as it’s hard to give up the convenience of using single-use products.

 

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It’s My First Zero Waste, For You Who Start a Harmless day, Because We Are Not Single-Use

 

 

The book It’s My First Zero Waste (Panmidong (Minumsa)) is the author’s 5-year-long zero-waste record. The author provides a detailed explanation about ways to practice zero waste in daily life, such as eating out, make-up, and recycling, for novice “zero-wasters.” It will be of great help for those thinking of becoming a “zero-waster” and those who agree about issues such as climate change and a sustainable society but do not know how to respond to them. We might not be able to reduce trash by 100%, but if you are thinking about how to throw away less garbage, you are already a “zero-waster.”
Meanwhile, there are people who believe in the power of little practices rather than resigning to the current situation. For example, For You Who Start a Harmless Day (Bottle Press) enlightens readers that cynical smiles do not change anything, but proceeding with little movements can make great changes. The author introduces herself as a “reductionist” who makes the world a better place no matter how imperfect one might be. She looks for better ways, recognizing that things she does for the environment have several sides. Perhaps a good world is created when little efforts to protect the ordinary daily life gather – rather than great power?
The book Because We Are Not Single-Use (Slobbie) focuses on disposable products thrown away in large quantities. The author, an environmentalist, wrote this book dreaming of a world where not a single thing or person is treated as garbage. Plastic gives us convenience, but it eventually turns into trash and destroys nature, not to mention building up inside our bodies and the Earth. The author desperately shouts to the world in front of the damaged environment and offers ways to live “plastic-free” in this society full of trash. Our world will become clearer if we pay heed to the determined voice of the author.

 

It’s okay not to be an expert, if only we have an interest in it

 

Even a tiny amount of interest in daily life can change the world. Individuals’ interests become the community’s interest, and then the society’s. Such interests have always led the world in a better direction.

 

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There’s Going To Be Only Plastic Left on Earth!, Omniscient Earth, Teen Expert: Climate Change

 

 

There’s Going To Be Only Plastic Left on Earth! (Book Sense) is a book that discusses such interests. The book explains all types of plastic produced with different additives and how to remove substances left inside, detach labels, and recycle them properly. Also, readers will be able to understand that there’s no plastic on Earth that entirely decomposes. It is time we, as individuals and as a society, all have an interest in the environment, keeping in mind the warning from Earth, and giving up a bit of convenience.
There’s a saying, “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.” It means to think from the other person’s point of view. The book Omniscient Earth (Woods of Mind’s Books) is a book that encourages readers to review their life from the perspective of Earth, just like the title. Thinking from Earth’s side means recognizing Earth as a living being and looking back on how we’re living our daily lives on it. This book helps readers change the little things we do every day from the Earth’s point of view. Of course, it doesn’t force them to do so. The readers, you, can just do as much as you can, as there’s nothing more complicated than modern people’s lives. If your life is so full of things, you can start by making some space – reducing unnecessary consumption and pursuing a minimal life. The humane interest in Earth, though it might be small, will be the first step to saving the world.
The age group that is most sensitive and active in responding to climate change is teens. The teenagers, the next generation to live in an uncertain future induced by climate change, are already aware of how serious it is right now and have started to take action. The book Teen Expert: Climate Change (Pulbit) is about the environment and ecosystem written in accessible language for teens to understand. It uncovers the reality of climate change seen from the eyes of science and emphasizes that it is not climate “change” but a “crisis.” It implies that we can overcome this crisis by making little actions – the “climate action.” Teenagers are already changing the world by taking climate action. How about learning about the climate change they are paying attention to and seek ways to solve it through this book?

 

Books that encourage people to have an interest in climate change and environmental issues are also popular among the general public, not just environmental activists.

 

Environment-related picture books for the future

 

Efforts to protect the environment and ecosystems are drawn as picture books as well. Perhaps picture books are the medium that talks about the most important environmental issues for future generations in a serious but warm and touching tone.

 

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We Exist Everywhere, Our Island, Tuvalu, The Half Island

 

 

The book We Exist Everywhere (Liri) is a picture book where you can listen to the story of forests, rivers, and various animals and learn that we all live together. Their different voices acknowledge that humanity coexists on this planet with other valuable beings. And it also gives us a wake-up call that our perfectly normal actions could be driving them to extinction. Readers will have a chance to think deeply about whether they have been ignorant of how precious other beings are, blinded by convenience and entertainment. And they might be able to take a whole new view towards the relationship among people, animals, rivers, and forests through the book.
Meanwhile, Our Island, Tuvalu (CrayonHouse Co., Ltd.) is a story about Tuvalu, an island in the South Pacific ocean far away from us, which is in danger of submerging under the ocean due to global warming. Kids on the island live with nature as their partner, but they might be losing their homes due to adults destroying nature on the other side of Earth. This book raises the alarm about such a tragic situation and encourages its readers to mull over ways to solve global warming. How about we practice climate actions in life with children, though small, for Tuvalu which is in danger?
The book The Half Island (SOWONDAMU PUBLISHING) is about five siblings wandering in the ocean before settling on a safe and warm island. In the story, the five siblings recklessly throw away garbage and turn a blind eye to their contamination of the island to the extent that the island becomes uninhabitable for them, let alone the living beings that settled there long before them. The book shows how serious the situation we are in is, not to mention Earth’s current condition, through the five siblings symbolizing humanity. It also implies that we must cure and protect our sick Earth before it becomes a barren land where nothing can live.

 

Environmental issues in picture books are drawn metaphorically and realistically, carefully enlightening people about how serious the situation is.

 

Interest in climate change, environmental pollution, and the ecosystem is steadily increasing. As more teenagers are taking climate actions mainly led by Greta Thunberg, Korean teens are also making efforts for the environment with support from adults. If such small efforts gather to make great power, we might be able to ease the pain of Earth through the accumulation of small actions.

 

 


Written by Kang Chan-Hwi

 

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Kang Chan-Hwi

#ecosystem#environment#Earth#Climate crisis#zero waste
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