Letter from the Editor April 2010

Jenna Hammond

It's hard to imagine that prior to Generation X, the term "eco-friendly" wasn't in the public vocabulary. While Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, this April holiday gains incredible momentum every year. A recent Google search turned up 83,200,000 results with Earth Day in the search box. And the number grows daily.

Yet, despite the high hopes that Earth Day brings annually, a great disconnect remains regarding how we can be good stewards of the environment, especially on the 364 days of the year not dubbed Earth Day. To narrow the divide, we have two articles addressing how your family can take an active role that best suits your lifestyle to help protect the planet. There's no need to give all of your kids' belongings to Good Will and vow to pursue veganism (though kudos to you if those are your intentions). You'll find that to best celebrate Earth Day this month and every month, it's essential to make caring for the planet accessible, routine and fun, and to get your kids in on the act. After all, Mother Earth starts with mother.

For parents with infants, flip to "Organic From the Get-Go" by Shazi Visram, author of HAPPYBABY: The Organic Guide to Baby's First 24 Months (Harper Paperbacks). The article addresses the impact of toxins on our kids and ways to be eco-conscious while raising tots. How can a new parent worry about waste when she throws away a dirty dozen of diapers each day? Fret not about the hardship of being green. Before Visram shares steps to protect your little one and the planet, she suggests parents decide what "shade of green" to be. The decision makes adopting eco-wise habits less daunting. And Visram's subsequent tips should make you as a parent feel better as you learn measures to safeguard infants from environmental ills.

For parents of older tykes, "How to Grow Green Kids" makes being proactive about the stake of the planet equally accessible— for adults and kids alike. Read the article by freelance writer and activist Leslie Orndoff for creative feats you can actually enjoy with your brood that reduce, reuse and recycle. Discover how your garden can grow your children's interest in conservation, even how the simple pastime of catching lightning bugs can connect you all to nature.

Does your family celebrate the planet in other ways? Reveal such activities at www.parentguidenews.com/Forums. Find the discussion thread in the Cooking & Crafts section that references artistic uses for recyclables or start your own thread on anything you'd like regarding parenting, whether or not it has to do with Earth Day. That's not to say you won't learn more about dealing with waste. As members of the online message board might recall, one father wrote in with the predicament of trying to potty train his son. A handful of other parents chimed in with advice. See if you have anything to add to the forum. And for an expert's take on the topic, check out the article "Sons and Diapers" by Simone Cave, author of Potty Training Boys the Easy Way (Perseus Books). If you're on diaper duty, you'll definitely want to read the article before recycling it.

Happy Earth Day and enjoy the issue.

Jenna Hammond