When we published The Green Guide in 2008, Meryl Streep called it "the ultimate green living reference." Now, building on that success, here's a guide to eco-friendly parenting that's expertly organized and filled with practical advice, definitive explanations, and imaginative ideas.
Addressing the key environmental issues faced by parents of young children today, this book takes a straightforward approach to such urgent concerns as lead-painted toys; the risks and benefits of vaccinations, antibiotics, and vitamins; the potential side effects of plastic bottles and containers; how to manage food allergies and avoid fat- and sugar-filled snacks; and much more.
A trained scientist, seasoned writer, and mother of two small children, author Catherine Zandonella combines knowledge and experience as she helps parents guide youngsters through a society that doesn't always make green lifestyle choices easy. She also offers sensible advice on raising children who "think green" right from the start and shows how green choices can actually cost less.
Combining two trusted names with tried-and-true advice, this is sure to become the go-to guide for a new generation of green parents.
Catherine Zandonella, science editor of The Green Guide, has worked as a research scientist and science teacher and, more recently, has been a science writer for Newsday, Nature, and New Scientist.
"Do This, Don't Do That"
According to Green Guide Families: The Complete Reference for Eco-Friendly Parents author Catherine Zandonella, when thinking about how to go green, it is important to remember that protecting the environment and protecting your family's health go hand in hand. Just follow the simple rule, "If it is good for the planet, then it is most likely good for my child." Here are 5 simple tips to get you started.
1. Do invest in Pyrex bowls. Don't use the plastic containers to reheat food. They can go from fridge to freezer to microwave to tablepractical and attractive, and you don't have to worry about microwaving in plastic, or choosing the right kind of plastic. They last for years so you are not generating waste. (Plastic margarine tubs make great storage containers for children’s craft items.)
2. When buying organic: Do choose organic soft-skinned fruits and vegetables because these are the kinds that tend to absorb pesticides into the skin. A list of the top fruits and vegetables to buy organic can be found in the book. Don't spend money on organic potato chips or cookie bars. (You are paying for packaging that ends up in the garbage).
3. Sunscreen for babies: Do dress your children and babies in "rashguards" or other sun-protective clothing. Don't lather their entire bodies with sunscreen. These should have a UPF rating (similar to the SPF rating of sunscreens). Sun-protective clothing also protects fish and aquatic life from exposure to chemicals. There is a company called Coolibar (http://www.coolibar.com) that has really cute kids' clothes and bathing suits. For older children, choose a sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxidethe white ones. These block both UVA and UVB rays and don't contain potentially harmful chemicals such as oxybenzone.
4. When hosting a party: Do use reusable plastic plates and cups. Use your own tablewareor purchase an inexpensive set for partiesinstead of buying plastic forks and spoons. You can reuse these for years, saving money as well as being able to cross one more errand off your list prior to party time. At your party: Don't buy paper goods or plastic utensils. Do use large containers of drinks, milk and water. Don't serve juice boxes and individual size drinks.
5. To freshen the air inside your home, Do eliminate odors with a box of baking soda or if you crave a scent, make some home-made potpourri. It is easy to make by saving flower petals from your garden, air-drying them, and combining them with dried orange and lemon peels. Don’t buy air fresheners.