BIBLIOGRAPHIES for Teaching Consumerism & Climate Change



Ehrenfeld, J. R., & Hoffman, A. J. (2013). Flourishing: A frank conversation about sustainability. Stanford University Press.

Flourishing is a critical analysis of the term sustainability.  Sustainability has lost its meaning and the authors argue that it must be re-defined–from sustaining a growing economy and consumption habits (which is impossible on a finite planet) to the flourishing of human beings and the planet forever.

Themes: Consumption, Sustainability, Happiness, Lifestyle, United States

McDonough, W., & Braungart, M. (2010). Cradle to cradle: Remaking the way we make things. North point press.

McDonough, W., & Braungart, M. (2013). The upcycle: Beyond sustainability–designing for abundance. Macmillan.

Merkel, J. (2003). Radical simplicity: Small footprints on a finite earth. New Society Publishers.

A valuable though dated book of one man recounting his effort to live as simply as possible.  Merkel also calculates what it would take for the entire world to live an approximate equal lifestyle.  

Theme: Consumption, Lifestyle, solutions, United States

Moss, M. (2013). Salt, sugar, fat: How the food giants hooked us. Random House.

An excellent review of the the changing diet of Americans from the 1950s onward as it relates to political, economic, social, cultural, and agricultural shifts in the United States.

Themes: Consumption, Food, Agriculture, Health, Lifestyle, Political Economy, Media

Sachs, J. (2011). The price of civilization: Economics and ethics after the fall. Random House.

Chapter 8 and 9 discuss changes in the U.S. consumer agenda, leading us away from social interaction and civic engagement and toward unhappiness and distraction.

Schor, J., & Holt, H. (Eds.). (2011). The consumer society reader. The New Press.

This edited volume draws on historical and contemporary key works describing the rise of consumerism in the United States.  

Themes: Consumption, United States, Culture, Politics, Gender, Lifestyle

Schor, J. (1999). “The new politics of consumption.Boston Review, 24(3-4), 4-9.

This short article discusses why Americans have an ever increasing demand for more consumer goods.

Themes: Consumption, United States, Culture, Politics

Snyder, R. L. (2009). Fugitive denim: a moving story of people and pants in the borderless world of global trade. WW Norton & Company.

A journalist review of the process of making clothing with perspectives of people from five different nations.

Theme: Fashion, International, Solution, Labor

Strasser, S. (2000). Waste and want: A social history of trash. Macmillan.

A historical review of the cultural, political, and economic change of the United States with its relationship to consumer goods and progressive obsolescence.

Theme: History, Techonology, Consumerism, Waste

Timmerman, K. (2012). Where am I wearing?: a global tour to the countries, factories, and people that make our clothes. John Wiley & Sons.

Timmerman follows the thread (pun intended) of his boxer shorts and other clothing items across continents.  While not providing a rigorous review of the process, Timmerman does provide a readable (and privileged) reflection on his experience meeting with people around the world.

Theme: Fashion, International, Solution, Labor


Realists of a Larger Reality

This is a short article (12 pages with political cartoons) and a video that argues not for a new green deal economy but a new alternative “core” economy with a focus relationships and community.

Environmental Impact of Consumption


Claudio L. (2007). Waste couture: environmental impact of the clothing industry. Environmental health perspectives, 115(9), A448–A454.  

Theme: Fashion, Waste, History, Environment

‘Don’t feed the monster!’ The people who have stopped buying new clothes

This is a short article describing how women in the UK are working with socially conscious businesses to make a stand against fast fashion.

Themes: Solution, Fashion, Waste, Women


Municipal Solid Waste

The US Environmental Protection Agency — Munici Solid Waste

This is the EPA’s overview of waste in the United States.  It provides a multitude of resources for understanding different types of waste and waste trends.

Themes: Waste, Statistics, Definitions

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The US Environmental Protection Agency – Recycling

The EPA’s website on what consumers can do to lower their ecological footprint

Theme: Waste, Solution

New Road Map Foundation.  2002.  All-Consuming Passion: Waking up from the American Dream.

Themes: Consumption, United States, Trends, Statistics