best selling and most popular environmental science textbooks to buy

The Best Environmental Science Textbooks to Consider

Environmental Science is an essential interdisciplinary subject that requires a rudimentary knowledge of all branches of science. Nowadays, basic knowledge about the environment and the effect of humans is considered extremely important. From the perspective of college admissions, it helps an applicant shine more increases the chances of securing the entrance.

Many students wishing to get in an Ivy League school or their dream college boost their application by taking different AP-level courses in high school in addition to scoring well in their SATs. There are many AP subjects available, and the selection depends entirely on the student’s interests and future ambitions.

There are multiple textbooks students can use to prepare for their AP exams. In this guide, we’ll go through some of the factors that must be considered while purchasing an Environmental science textbook for an AP exam.


The Best Environmental Science Textbooks to Consider

Environmental Science: Toward A Sustainable Future

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Environmental Science: Toward A Sustainable Future is perfect for those who are new to the field and want to learn more about it. This book has focused on three main themes of science, sustainability, and stewardship. It can help you to build a useful foundation providing you with only current and important information.

It is easy to read and will be especially helpful for students of introductory courses in Environmental Science. It also touches on the theme of pollution prevention. This book became a bestseller due to its useful content and reader-friendly approach. This book concentrates on making readers capable of critical evaluation. They can evaluate the latest environmental problems and apply that knowledge to their everyday lives.

The book shows the interactions of humans within the natural environment, explores scientific basis and history, which stands behind. And, also it takes a closer look at society and its response concerning different environmental issues. Richard T. Wright, one of the authors, is a Professor of Biology at Gordon College, in Massachusetts where he taught environmental science for 28 years. In the book, the authors discuss sustainable development and public policy showing how they shape the world.


  • Good for newcomers
  • Touches the topic of pollution prevention
  • Easy to read and understand


  • It’s high-priced not every student can afford it.


Environmental Science: Systems and Solutions

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Environmental Science: Systems and Solutions is a book that can show you the big picture of today’s interactions between humans and nature. It can become a starting point for those who have an interest in this field. The authors show how the different facets of the subject fit together, whether it is history, sociology, or politics – plus, all the information has strongly based on evidence. This book is perfect for students who want to master their knowledge in both environmental science and environmental studies.

The authors demonstrate how aspects of the natural environment have interconnected with humans, their behavior, and different strategies. A section on Resource Use and Management introduces the concept of sustainability; dealing with environmental degradation represents various threats to the environment and reduction strategies. There is also a bonus section that is available online on Social Solutions to Environmental Concerns. This section also takes a more in-depth look at complex issues concerning the environment and different ways to address them through science, technology, or human behavior. The book is full of relevant case studies, numerous calculations, practical applications, and contemporary data.


  • Profound insight into Environmental Science with the reader-friendly approach
  • Lots of colorful charts and photos
  • Bonus section available online


  • Expensive for students


Environmental Science

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The Environmental Science by Daniel Chiras is designed for the undergraduate, introductory environmental science course and helps to understand the basics of the field. It presents a comprehensive, reader-friendly introduction to current environmental issues that focus on sustainable solutions that respond to economic, social, and environmental goals. This book is exploring the real causes of environmental problems and possible solutions with the representation of both sides’ opinions on critical issues. It is an amazingly thought-provoking book with a pretty fair review of different problems in the field.

The author tried to show both facets of each environmental issue while developing critical thinking of his readership. It contains Critical Thinking Exercises, Go Green Tips, Key Concept, and Spotlight on Sustainability and Point/Counterpoint debates. Apart from this, readers have provided updated statistics and data on critical issues. The author encourages his audience to develop a deep understanding and critical attitude towards different environmental questions. He discusses the challenges of the growing human population and resource depletion, non-renewable and renewable energy, advantages and disadvantages, and presents possible solutions to existing problems.


  • Includes information about economics and ecology
  • Go Green Tips section
  • The author wrote more than 25 books
  • Develops critical thinking


  • A few complaints about typos and sloppy grammar mistakes


Visualizing Environmental Science

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Visualizing Environmental Science is an amazing guide for students into the world of environment and deep issues connected to it. It is a valuable opportunity to identify, connect, and learn more about the concerns and problems of the modern world. It helps the reader to build their perspective of environmental science and its impacts. The book is beautifully illustrated and holds the reader’s attention. It will show you the whole discipline, its main concepts, issues, strategies to solve the problems, and lots of other useful information.

The author tries to encourage his readership to dig deeper and to realize the richness of the subject. This book represents a unique visual approach. It will help you to acquire the necessary skills and to embrace the whole issue. The 4th edition has expanded the visible part using insights from different research concentrating on student learning and feedback from readers. The book is quite pricy, although it’s worth it – no more tedious, dry information with long-winded blocks of writing. It has arranged with photos, illustrations, graphs, etc. It also contains human population trends, which can be quite curious to see.


  • Very entertaining and interesting
  • Shows human population trends


  • A bit pricy
  • Contains more shallow information than other similar books


Environmental Science: A Global Concern

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Environmental Science: A Global Concern is a comprehensive presentation of the environmental field for those who don’t know much about the science, issues connected to the environment, possible solutions, and sustainability. The author encourages his readers to look deeper and develop critical thinking, global awareness, and environmental responsibility. The book will be perfect for students who study environmental science, environmental studies, human ecology, or any other relevant subjects.

The author tries to give his readers a clear sense of what environmental science is and why it matters in everyday life. The book provides the readership with an up-to-date view of essential themes in this field. The authors give evidence of serious environmental challenges and ideas about how to overcome them.

An entire chapter is devoted to ecological restoration, which has examined as one of the most important aspects of ecology nowadays. The book also shows examples of real progress and gives students ideas on how to improve the environment. It emphasizes that every one of us can do something useful to improve the ecology and environment around us.


  • The chapter on ecological restoration
  • It makes an accent on civic engagement


  • A bit pricy
  • Sometimes it feels a bit basic


Other Environmental Science Textbooks to Think About

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Why should I study Environmental Sciences?

For those who are planning to opt for engineering and pure sciences, knowing more about the environmental challenges we face is necessary as climate change is slowly becoming one of the biggest problems of this century, and the young generation will be most affected by it.

Even if someone has graduated and is currently working but wants to expand his or her knowledge simply, environmental science textbook is a great choice. They are straightforward to understand, and authors start the concepts from the primary level. Books are regularly updated and can keep you updated with the latest happenings in the field. Similarly, all information in the books is independently verified and is generally free from any bias or other factors, that the reader gets the whole picture.


Some tips for acing the AP level Environmental science exams

Before we move forward to the buying guide, some tips will help prepare for any AP subject.

  • Don’t study hard, study smart
  • Pay attention in class and try to revise the same topics on the same day
  • Make a strict schedule and follow it
  • Take care of your nutrition
  • Test yourself under pressure and time your performance
  • Ask for help
  • Focus on your studies


The ultimate textbook buying guide

If the school selects your textbooks, you are good to go, but for your AP courses, it’s better if you look for an excellent book that will help you easily tackle the exams efficiently. Some of the factors that you must consider are listed below.

Tone and engagement

This characteristic is essential for readers to understand the concepts being introduced. The way different topics are submitted must be engaging and have to keep the readers interested. Since the issues are related to sciences, it’s better if the book uses real-life examples to explain the issues in complete detail.

Updated information

As a general rule of thumb, try to buy books that were most recently updated. By ensuring that the books you are using are correctly updated, you can make sure that you have the latest and correct knowledge of the exam syllabus and the content.

Availability of other resources

Most books come equipped with companion CDs and other resources that will prove helpful in preparing for the exam. Using these resources will help you get an edge and make you able to analyze the question and score high marks critically.

Multiple choice questions and past exams

Make sure the book you are selecting has a massive set of practice questions and past exams. Remember! Practice makes a man perfect. The more you are accustomed to performing under pressure, the better your performance will be during the actual exam.

Many students perform excellently while practicing but fail to replicate it during the actual exam. The main reason behind it is their inability to absorb external pressure. During the exam, they get nervous and spend more than the recommended time on a single section, which in turn ruins their entire performance. The only way to prevent this breakdown in the exam is to keep practicing regularly. With enough practice, solving the questions will become second nature to you, and then you won’t care about any external pressure during the actual exam.

Books must educate

Most books focus more on how to pass the exam rather than giving knowledge to the readers. Books are there to educate, not prepare for the exam. Stay away from those books. The main point of getting an education is to learn rather than gaining some numbers. Focusing on marks would give you instant gratification, but in the long run, education will help you throughout your life.

Keynotes and other short concepts

Some books do not add these sections, but the addition of keynotes and other short concepts will help you out. Introduction to new things is an excellent way of keeping the reader engaged and is especially recommended by top educators as it encourages students to research their own and develops their aptitude.


An additional note

Environmental science is an important subject that can develop students’ interest in pure sciences and engineering from an early age. Our world needs a pool of ecologically responsible and talented scientists that can comprehend the depth of the problem and then work together towards finding a viable solution. To achieve that, youngsters and high schoolers must be educated early on to take care of the environment irrespective of the profession they choose.



The primary purpose of this guide was to educate the readers about the different environmental science textbooks available in the market and how to choose one smartly to ace the AP Environmental Science exam. We hope it was helpful, and now you’ll be able to select the best environmental science textbook confidently. Good luck!

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Related Posts
  • The Best Environmental Science Textbooks to Consider
  • Environmental Science: A Global Concern
  • Why should I study Environmental Sciences?
  • Some tips for acing the AP level Environmental science exams
  • The ultimate textbook buying guide
  • An additional note
  • Conclusion