Green Guide Families: The Complete Reference for Eco-Friendly Parents


Meryl Streep called the original Green Guide "the ultimate green living reference." Now, here's an eco-friendly guide to parenting that's expertly organized and filled with practical advice, definitive explanations, and imaginative ideas.

Green Guide-Families addresses the key environmental issues faced by parents of young children today and suggests the best ways to raise children to "think green" right from ...

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Meryl Streep called the original Green Guide "the ultimate green living reference." Now, here's an eco-friendly guide to parenting that's expertly organized and filled with practical advice, definitive explanations, and imaginative ideas.

Green Guide-Families addresses the key environmental issues faced by parents of young children today and suggests the best ways to raise children to "think green" right from the start.

Are cloth diapers really better for the planet? See page 187.

How do I find an eco-friendly and family-friendly vacation destination? See page 333.

How do I make sure that my child's toys are free of toxic metals and planet-harming chemicals? See page 228.

Are there eco-friendly and less toxic sunscreens for children? See page 210.

What money-saving tips can help me buy organic fruits and vegetables on a budget? See page 100.

How can I protect my child from chemicals that are linked to learning and behavioral disorders? See page 13.

How do I convince my child's school to adopt planet-friendly practices like recycling and using fewer toxic pesticides? See page 261.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The book offers guidance on making environmentally sound decisions about food, health, clothing, home décor, toys, toiletries, travel and play activities.” –The Denver Post
“A handy resource…it addresses—with solid information and a thoughtful manner—myriad health and environmental concerns that can bombard parents at every turn.” –Arkansas Democrat Gazette
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426205422
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 3/16/2010
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,039,569
  • Product dimensions: 9.24 (w) x 7.42 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
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Read an Excerpt

Green Guide Families

The Complete Reference for Eco-Friendly Parents
By Catherine Zandonella

National Geographic

Copyright © 2010 Catherine Zandonella
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781426205422

“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 table -- practical 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 ( that has really cute kids' clothes and bathing suits.  For older children, choose a sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide - the 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 tableware - or purchase an inexpensive set for parties - instead 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.


Excerpted from Green Guide Families by Catherine Zandonella Copyright © 2010 by Catherine Zandonella. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 6

1 The Home Front

Creating a Safe and Eco-friendly Home 11

2 Green and Lean

How to Raise a Healthy Eater in a Toxic World 51

3 Green Foods

Eating Right for the Planet 81

4 Living Well

Practical Tips for Keeping Your Children Healthy 115

5 Kids That Care

Raising Kids for Lifelong Green Living 153

6 Baby Steps

Better Choices for Your Baby's First Year 183

7 Play Time

Toys and Activities for a Healthy Child and Planet 223

8 School Days

Healthy and Eco-friendly Schools 261

9 Earth-Friendly Festivities

Parties, Holidays, and Celebrations 291

10 Family Vacations

Going Green When Getting Away From It All 333

Notes 369

Further Reading 378

Resources 381

About the Green Guide 389

Index 391

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