Giveaway: “Little Green Books” for your little green kid!

mom kid read

(This giveaway is now closed for entries.  See “comments” for the winner! And thanks to all who entered!)

One of my favorite family traditions is snuggling up to read books with my kids. They love a great story and there is no better way to give a “little green lesson” than to wrap it into a fabulous story that kids can embrace.

I especially love when a book ‘practices what it preaches’ and that’s why I love Simon & Schuster’s new series of “Little Green Books”! With Earth Day right around the corner (April 22nd, so mark your calendars!) there is no better way to start the conversation about our fabulous planet Earth!  And this series of books is as green as the tales they tell… they are made from 100% recycled paper, printed with vegetable based inks and 100% recyclable too (not that you would ever want to part with them unless you were passing them along, but “just so ya’ know!”).

I’ve always encouraged reading stories to children as a way to help plant the seed of awareness for protecting our environment and endangered species, and teaching kids that they can ‘take charge’ by recycling and conserving our resources… and my kids and I give this series a big green thumbs up!

I’m excited to tell you that Simon & Schuster is also offering a terrific “book bundle” from their series of Little Green Books for a Mom Goes Green reader!  Books include:i can save

  • I Can Save the Earth!
  • I Can Save the Ocean!
  • The Polar Bears’ Home
  • Trees for the Okapis
  • SpongeBob to the Rescue

All you have to do is leave a comment saying you’d like to win and tell me about the “little green kid” you’d like to share these books with, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. The winner will be selected on April 7, so they’ll arrive in time for Earth Day! (US entries only… sorry!)

In the meanwhile, consider sharing some “little green books” to create some “big green ideas!”

How big is YOUR carbon footprint?

carbon ftprntUntil a few years ago, the term “carbon footprint” was absolutely foreign to me.  In all honesty, I had no real sense of what it meant… just a very vague understanding that it had something to do with global warming and climate change.

If you still don’t have a true sense of what it means, here’s a quick and simple definition:

Carbon Footprint – the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by your daily activities and use of material goods.  Used to determine your personal participation in global warming.

Eww.  That makes it sound so villainous!… my “participation in global warming”…

So, have you ever wondered about your footprint?  I’ve ALWAYS wondered.  The Global Footprint Network has a fun little calculator (if discovering how horribly we’re impacting our planet can actually be fun!) and it probably told me more than I wanted to know.  Answering some basic questions about my daily lifestyle alerted me to the fact that if everyone lived like me, it would take 3.5 planets to provide enough resources to support us. Ouch.  Although it doesn’t tell you how you rank, I’m sure I’m below average, but still… ouch!

There is also a great calculator for kids at Zero Footprint.  My kids scored fantastic, and far below average, so at least I’m doing something right!

Well, come’on!  How did you fare?… Baby footprint?  Gargantuan footprint?  Take the quiz, and fess-up… if you dare…

Environmental issues: our kids’ reality

The other night while I was looking at my Twitter account, our daughter snuggled up next to me on the couch.  Within 10 seconds she said “Aww, Mommy.  Thank you!”

kids-hands-on-globeI couldn’t imagine what prompted that little show of love, but I sure did enjoy it! I said “you’re welcome, but thank you for what, honey?”  She said “That, Mommy!” and pointed to the quote on my Twitter page that read: “I’m just trying to do my part to help make the world a better place for my children.”  At that moment, I realized that what I’m doing (and what we’re ALL doing) really does make a difference.

Ironically, this comment came on the heels of reading a recent study on kids’ fears about the environment.  While they should be worrying more about playing with their friends, homework, watching their favorite TV shows or earning a sweet treat after dinner, these fears about our world are very real to them.

This study, commissioned by Habitat Heroes, uncovered some interesting facts, including:

  • 1 in 3 children (ages 6-11) fear that the planet won’t exist when they grown up
  • More than half (56%) believe the Earth will not be as good a place to live
  • Girls worry more than boys, but overall, kids in metro areas worry more than those in rural settings
  • 28% say they fear the extinction of animals more than anything elsekiids-on-globe
  • Nearly 25% worry about enough safe drinking water

The results don’t surprise me, because this is a part of their reality, and it’s also a reminder that they are “listening” and know that concerns truly exist in today’s world.  Had you asked any of us these questions when we were 8, I don’t imagine the worry would have been as great (if there at all).

(Habitat Heroes has also developed a great site for kids to learn, play and find ideas to help the environment.  If they are afraid, maybe this will help them to learn and discover ways to help.)

But my favorite result was this:  An amazing 95% of the children believe that their parents are trying to save the environment by recycling, using reusable batteries and conserving electricity and water.

Whether that is true or not, I believe the message is this… they believe in us, so we have to do our best not to let them down.