Eco Baby, A Guide to Green Parenting by Sally Jane Hall, is the latest book from Green Books. A simple title but a massive subject, but at 224 pages it’s small enough to be manageable and is also broken into sections which means dipping in and out is easy.
I’m not pregnant and neither is my girlfriend so I passed it on a friend who’s due in July, but more on her opinion later. From non-childbearing point of view I had a look through the book and was amazed by the huge range of subjects covered in the book (and you need to know when having a baby).
What is good about this book is that it doesn’t just tell you what green things there are for parents, but rather how to be a parent in a green way. So it will go through things like what equipment is needed for nappy changing – information for any parent, green or not – and then how these steps can be done in an environmentally-conscious way.
Practical tips like tax credits for saving accounts are interspersed with how to be green when buying presents for other people having babies. And also Sally will give reasons behind things – why going organic is better for babies and why some paints in the nursery are better than others. I like the fact she explains the reason rather than just telling you how to be greener.
There are also comparison charts which don’t shy away if being green is more expensive and then at the back of the book there’s a list of resources for further information and places to buy the suggested items from.
But that’s my view. Over to Lorraine for a parent-to-be’s view…
What do you think the aim of the book is?
It’s to provide parents (first time parents as well as experienced parents) with tips on how to be more environmentally friendly when bringing up their baby. Tips range from eco friendly paint in the nursery to enviro friendly household cleaning products/cosmetics.
What was the best bit?
I found the information about different types of nappies very useful. When shown the average cost of using re-usables against disposables it is quite an eye opener. I will be looking into using re-usuables and information has been provided in the book about which companies sell them.
Was the information presented in a clear way?
Yes the way the book set out all the information was very clear. There were a few things which were common sense, ie. if you want to be more environmentally-friendly then recycle and use some second hand items rather than buying everying brand new – such as cots or prams (but not car seats or mattresses).
Did it seem preachy or trying hard to convert you?
Not at all. The book sets out to give you the information about environmentally friendly alternatives, however, it also understands that as a new parent things are going to be difficult and not to set yourself impossible goals – just do what you can.
Was it a balanced, sensible approach or did you fine suggestions just not practical?
The suggestion for finding nursery furniture which was FSC was quite difficult. As well as trying to be enviro-friendly a lot of first time parents have tight budgets, not all the recommendations could be carried out on a low budget.
Forgetting about the ‘eco’ part, how was the book as a guide to parenting?
As a guide to parenting I think the book should also be used along side a book such as What to Expect When you are Expecting or What to Expect the First Year books.
At almost £10 would it be worth buying? Would you recommend to others and indeed pass the book on when you’ve finished?
I think the price is reasonable, I would recommend it to others, however, not for a while as I’d like to keep hold if it myself for a little while longer so I can refer back to some of the tips!
Eco Baby, A Guide to Green Parenting costa £9.99 and is available from Green Books.