Tracey Bianchi, author of the fabulous book Green Mama: The Guilt-Free Guide to Helping You and Your Kids Save the Planet, recommends the following resources to help you and your family live with a conscious eye towards simplicity and stewardship of our God-given resources. I highly encourage you to check out both her book and website, as well as these additional resources!
Organizations to Consider:
A Rocha (www.arocha.org) A Christian conservation organization active in 18 different countries (and growing)
Environmental Defense Fund (www.edf.org)
Evangelical Climate Initiative (www.christiansandclimate.org)
Target Earth (www.targetearth.org) Christians serving the poor and the planet in 15 countries
World Wildlife Fund (www.worldwildlifefund.org)
Books for Kids and Teens:
It’s (Not) Easy Being Green: One Student’s Guide to Serving God and Saving the Planet by Emma Sleeth (for junior high and high school students)
My Space, Our Planet: Change is Possible organized by Jeca Taudte with submissions for planet friendly living from the My Space community (great if you have or know of a teen who lives in the My Space world)
My Bag and Me! by Karen Farmer (ages 2-6, comes with a reusable bag). The story of a child who brings a reusable bag to the store and learns how to make a difference this way
The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell (for all ages, an illustrated, thoughtful yet whimsical look at material goods versus the presence of people you love)
I Love Dirt: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature by Jennifer Ward (a pocket guide with a simple activity for every season and week of the year)
Books for Parents and Friends:
Serve God, Save the Planet by J. Matthew Sleeth (an outstanding overview of the green conversation inside and outside of Christian circles, includes helpful hints on how to live green)
Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey Sachs (powerful information on poverty, economics, climate change, etc., and how our crowded planet must do life differently if we want to survive. A great resource for those who want detailed information on sustainable living and why it matters)
Green, Greener, Greenest: A Practical Guide to Making Eco-Smart Choices a Part of Your Life by Lori Bongiorno (filled with tips and tricks for eco-friendly living and each option comes in three shades of green, allowing you to choose how deep you want to dive into an option)
Cool Green Stuff by Dave Evans (a photo book filled with savvy recycled, reused, and sustainable products that includes web links for each photo)
Goods for Babies and Children:
Tom’s Shoes (www.tomsshoes.com), buy a pair and they give a pair to someone in need. Their pink camo Tiny Toms are my favorite but they’ve got tons to choose from (for moms and dads too)
Kushtush Organics (www.kushtushorganics.com), Kushtush offers a wide range of bedding for children, from pillows to crib bumpers (as well as bath towels and even hemp shower curtains). They offer certified organic products that are made in the USA whenever possible (woo hoo!).
Happy Green Baby (www.happygreenbaby.com), Happy Green Baby offers a variety of children’s clothing from several earth-friendly options like soybean fiber, bamboo, organic cotton, and merino wool. They are good for your baby and good for the planet and they define their terms and offer an extensive list of what their products are made from. This is a label reading dream come true. Just click on their “Guide to Eco-Friendly Fabrics” link for details, you will have a chance to learn what their fibers are, where they come from, and why they help.
Tom’s of Maine Products (www.tomsofmaine.com), a veteran of the green world, Tom’s products are a staple in our home. In particular their Silly Strawberry Fluoride-Free Toothpaste for kids. And for mom and dad, their Natural Cleansing Mouthwash (alcohol and saccharin free) tops off your dental care routine without the harsh sting and chemicals from other mouthwashes.
Dr. Bronner’s Soaps (www.drbronner.com), their fair trade, peppermint organic bar soap will make you giddy in the shower or bath. It’s minty, fresh, and everyone in our house just loves the way it feels. A clean wash with a conscience.
Burt’s Bees Baby Washes and Shampoos (www.burtsbees.com), their Baby Bee Bubble Bath is the foamiest earth-friendly bubble bath we’ve used. Lots of bubbles and good for the earth. Their Baby Bee Shampoo and Wash is also wonderful and gentle for little (and big) bodies.
Plan Toys (www.plantoys.com), a company offering green toys that are made with recycled or sustainable harvested materials. Their banjo is my middle son’s favorite, their 4X4 Adventure Car is also quite fun.
Sprig Toys (www.sprigtoys.com), a company that offers battery free toys that still race and light up. Your kids are the power behind these toys and having them power their own toys naturally avoids the tons of batteries we toss out each year. They move your kids from passive to active play and they are eco-friendly and award winning toys too! Their Eco-Trucks are the favorite gift in our house.