Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday's green books series: Green Babies, Sage Moms (plus a giveaway of one copy)

Last week my first baby was born. I knew then that it's the perfect time to finish reading Lynda Fassa's "Green Babies, Sage Moms: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Your Organic Baby". The book is definitely for moms (and those who plan to be moms), but during the reading I found out that dads can also enjoy it and learn a thing or two on how be sage and green up their babies.

The book is guide "to becoming an empowered, environmentally conscious and raising healthy children" as the cover says. The author Lynda Fassa is very far from the crunchy granola type many still associate with green moms. She is a former Ford model, who founded Green Babies, an organic cotton clothing company, after she gave birth to her first (out of three) child and read an article in the NYT about farmers who abandon cotton in favor of growing organic cotton. There she started her green journey.

What Lynda found out and you can learn very quickly from the book is that going green equals becoming healthier and providing yourself with a better quality of life. This equilibrium becomes highly significant when it refers to the people you care the most about: your children.

The book is dedicated to the periods of time where the children are most vulnerable - during pregnancy and as little babies.

The first half of the book is focused on pregnancy - from the right food you should eat through the cosmetic products you should use to the safe way to clean the house to get it ready for the baby. This part is very women-oriented, but I still found there interesting information, which was relevant for me, like the various uses of my favorite wonder-material baking soda (who knew you can use it also as a laundry detergent?).

The second half of the book is full with great advices regarding newborns and babies. As I said, now that I'm a new father, I found these issues very relevant - for example, the diaper dilemma: how you do you do it without significantly reducing your comfort level and at the same time not harming the environment? I still didn't find the golden path, but the book, and it's the same for many other topics covered on it, does a great job by bringing you all the options and gives you to choose the right one for you - who knew there are so many options other than just disposable and cloth diapers to choose from?

One of the things I liked about the book is the dozens of stories on green products brought by the people who established and run the companies that sell them - these are not free ads but truly interesting stories about their green journey and how they started with their products. For anyone who is interested in green business in general this is fascinating stuff.

You can find these days many guides to green living, but I think that the focus of this book, the information that was carefully collected, the experience of the author as a mother of three and her approach which I found both positive and open-minded make this book a great guide to any mom or dad that would like to have a green compass that will guide them during the pregnancy and the early years of their children.

Would you like a free copy of the book? from now on we'll give away every copy of a book we receive to review and this book is going to be the first one we'll start with! All you need to do is to add a comment with an answer to this question: what's the most important thing I should do to keep my baby's ecological footprint to minimum? (and don't forget to include your email please..)

We'll choose from all the comments we'll receive to this post by Friday (6/6/08), 12pm EST the one we like the most and send the happy winner the review copy of the book.

Author: Lynda Fassa
Publisher: New American Library, a Division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Published on: January 2008
Pages: 256
Official Website: http://www.greenbabies.com/catalogue/gbsm.htm

Yours,
Raz @ Eco-Libris

9 comments:

Debby Stewart said...

Wow! First baby what a special time.So happy for you. That is some very good reading wish it would have been out when I had my daughter. Good Luck

Tan said...

Congratulations!

I think that the most impactful decision is to use cloth diapers, but not everyone can handle washing them after.
But when you think about your baby using 2-3 per day for 2-3 years... that is a whole lot of plastic ending up in the trash.

Craig Baird said...

The easiest way to lower the ecological footprint of your baby is to switch to cloth diapers. They are reusable because they can be cleaned, and they don't put diapers into landfills.
Each year, the United States throws away about 16 to 18 BILLION diapers each year, enough to stretch to the moon and back nine times. That can virtually be eliminated by using cloth diapers instead.
Cloth diapers are made from cotton, which is gentle on baby's skin. Typically, a baby will use 80 cloth diapers in their life, or 7,000 disposable diapers. Disposable diapers are used for a few hours, cloth diapers are used for months to years.
As well, it takes three times as much energy to make disposable diapers, and they generate 60 times more waste. Each year, one billion trees are destroyed each year to make disposable diapers and it takes as long as 500 years for disposable diapers to disappear.

Biana said...

What's the most important thing I should do to keep my baby's ecological footprint to minimum?

Congratulation! what a joy :)
well, in my opinion the most important thing to do is use washable cotton or other non-synthetic fabric diapers. Do not buy pampers or any other brand of disposable diapers because they are going to be used just once, and once you dispose them it takes them AGES to dissolve in the ground, and never fully.
you can make or buy (if you'll find, thought I'm sure there are websites for this) 3-4 washable diapers, and they will surely serve you for at least a year or so.
Just make sure to boil them otherwise they are never fully clean.

For the record, i do not have my own baby, i was raised on washable diapers, and the knowledge is taken from stories my mother told me. In those days "1985" they didn't have disposable diapers and what i just told you was their default.

I truly believe that the most environment contamination your baby is able of doing is only by using the diapers, get rid of them and you've got an Eco-baby :)

Cheers,
Biana

Stefanie said...

Congratulations on the new baby! I agree with the others, and I think most will, that the best thing you can do is use cloth diapers. They make them now where you can get them in all sorts of colors/prints. Remember the diaper covers! Also, kids grow so quickly that we find ourselves buying lots of clothes. The other thing you can do is to not throw away the clothes (if you aren't keeping them a hand-me-downs), but give them to someone who can use them (be it the local thrift store or posting them on Craigslist or a family member). Even if they are faded or have a stain here or there, you post them for free on Craigslist, and someone out there will find a use for them.

Congrats again!

Jai said...

This is a great baby shower gift. I have friends I've been trying to green for years and maybe this is the ticket.

And think, you start these ideals with a baby and soon enough they are telling their friends..."no wait, we compost that at my house."

Sandhi said...

From my point of view as much as you can use products from natural than you maximize your baby's growth and development more.And it will help our planet from pollution.Such as if you use reusable cloth rather than diaper.because every diaper needs plant for producing it.
you can use cloth more times.
Another thing you can did,that you can plant trees when your child born in your lawn.and everyday it will increasing with your child.you can take picture with him or her.
this work benefited two way.one you can use your time for conservation nature and another passing a good time.
one thing all of us should remember that nature didn't forget the abuse which we made.So, don't hurt her.
And congratulations for our new citizen of this planet.

jasmineleespicer@hotmail.com said...

MANY CONGRATULATIONS! the best thing i think you can do is be sure that you are leading a planet-friendly life before your baby comes into this world. being green is a mind-set, and a "way of life" - this is the most important thing that we can hand onto the next generation, ensuring that not only do we raise green babies, but also create green future adults too, and subsiquently green grand children and green great grandchildren etc etc etc. this way we minimize the ecological footprints of ourselves, our babies and even our future ansestors. the single most important thing in my opinion, is that the baby grows in this world seeing that being green is the norm, that they will look for sustainable solutions in their lives which will not damage the beautiful world in which they live. i am awaiting the arrival of twins in london!

Green Bean said...

Congratulations on your baby! It's a very exciting time but also overwhelming. My kids are now 5 and 3 but I sure wish I'd read this book when they were born. I'm sure you'll make better decisions for having read it.