I love it when my children get excited about the things that are important to me. The other day my daughter was lamenting to me that there was a book at school that she really wanted to show me, but it was at school. I suggested to her that she tell the teacher that she would like to borrow the book to show her mom. I’ve met with her teacher and I know that she is a very reasonable person so I was sure this was good advice. Today Ellie was thrilled to bring the book home to show me, and I was thrilled to see what she was so excited about. “Human Footprint” by Ellen Kirk. Subtitled “Everything you will eat, use, wear, buy and throw out in your lifetime.”
What a great book for children! It is filled with huge, beautiful pictures and easy to understand facts and action suggestions. The book is designed to teach children that even though you are only one person, you have a real impact on this planet, just by living your regular life. You can also watch the 92 minuteHuman Footprint Movie, from which the book is taken, either online or on DVD.
Ellie was particularly excited to show me that the first example was about diapers “You wore a total of 3,796 diapers when you were a baby” and she proudly stated that her little brother didn’t wear them! This page points out that “It takes a 1/2 pint of crude oil to make the plastic lining of just 1 disposable diaper. That adds up to 1,898 pints for each baby!” By those numbers, each baby that wears disposable diapers will wear 237 gallons of crude oil during their infancy.
The action on this page is “Ask parents you know to use biodegradable or cloth diapers some of the time.” If you know someone who might want to consider using cloth diapers, they can read more about cloth diapers in the posts we’ve written about why and how to consider cloth.
The Medford Energy Committee was just talking about volunteering to read to Elementary School classes during the annual “Royal Reader Day” and members were asking for suggestions of possible books. I recommended to them Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up and Weezer Changes the World, and I’m going to add this book to my list of books I recommend for elementary school children.
If you’re looking for some good kids books, check them out! For younger kids check out my review of One Less Fish by Kim Michelle Toft and Allan Sheather. While we link to the Amazon listings to them (and they are referral links) I recommend that you borrow them from the library.
This article is cross-posted from my green living blog, Green Lifestyle Changes. For more like this you can go to the blog and subscribe to email updates.