Living Green in 2012
Alan Greene, M.D., the foremost pediatric voice in the green movement, picks his fave all-natural products, services, and ideas of 2012.
“What's in this book could change the trajectory of children's health.” Those words were spoken by former U.S. Surgeon General Julius Richmond, M.D., in 2007, shortly after the release of Raising Baby Green, the best-selling book written by Alan Greene, M.D., a pediatrician in Danville, CA, and one of the first (and most prominent) voices in the green-baby movement. So we asked the aptly named doctor to pick the top natural and eco-friendly ideas, breakthroughs, services, and products for everyday families. (You know who you are: You want to do right by your kids, but you're not ready to use a spruce as a loofah.)
1. Rated G (for green): Set in a swaying 3-D underwater world, the animated hit Bubble Guppies on Nick Jr. encourages kids to be active (the characters regularly ask viewers to “Get up and dance!” or “Go outside!”) and learn about bettering their world. The “Boy Meets Squirrel” episode may be the best programming I've seen about recycling and the environment.
3. Baby-bottle back track: In my universe, this was one of the most dramatic announcements of the past year: Last October a coalition of companies that produce bisphenol-A (BPA) asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to eliminate rules that allow the chemical to be used in baby bottles and sippy cups. Think about that: The manufacturers of BPA want the FDA to ban BPA. Just five years ago, BPA was found in most baby bottles; now it's almost impossible to find. This is great news, but there's more work to be done. Next stop: removing it from canned goods.