I just read the best parenting/family book of 2008 (okay, it was published in 2007, but I just read it...). It's revolutionary actually. It will rock your perspectives, alter your thinking, and change your world (literally). It's Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care by Dr. Alan Greene.
When I first picked up the book, I didn't have particularly high expectations. I thought it might be slightly too hippie or agenda-laden for my taste, but Dr. Greene sucked me in from the very first pages. I underlined and nodded my head and underlined some more. I read passages aloud to my husband. I turned off the lights and opened our blinds to read by the window (it's important to conserve electricity and energy, you know).
This book inspires action. It compels the reader to DO - to step out and make incremental changes to better our children's lives, our own lives, and our world. You'll learn how to make simple lifestyle changes for your baby in the womb, in the labor and delivery room, in the nursery, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, and beyond (those are the chapter titles). You'll find out what it really means to buy organic (and how to get started), how to choose baby care products that are free of harmful chemicals, whether cloth diapers or disposable diapers are better for the environment (the answer might surprise you), and how to treat ear infections (don't just reach for the antibiotics).
The wealth of information is astonishing, but it's presented in a concise, easy-to-read-and-digest format. The book makes excellent use of white space, illustrations, and cool text boxes with "Try This Today" tips, "Buying Green Guides" (that showcase various green products), and "Green Baby Stories" (which share tiny tales of how other parents are going green).
If Dr. Greene hasn't made it on the Oprah show yet, I expect (and hope) that he'll receive an invitation soon. Greene has created the only baby care book that specifically focuses on "greenness" (it's about time, by the way).
In case you're wondering exactly what "green" is - it's "a word representing a way of living in which we strive, with conscious awareness, to do things each day that in small, incremental steps improve the quality of our environment by preserving forests, cleaning air, husbanding soil, protecting wildlife, valuing dwindling resources, and at the same time maintaining our climate and sustaining our planet's crucial resources (p. 3)."
You should really go buy the book. While you do, I'll be over here making my "go green" to-do list...
WIN IT! One mama will win a copy of Raising Baby Green: The Earth Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care by Dr. Alan Greene. To enter, simply leave a comment and your e-mail address on this post by Monday, March 3, at midnight. The winner will be announced and contacted on Tuesday, March 4. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
* UPDATE * The winner is #106 mommie. Congratulations!