Did you know that the average baby wears a total of 3,796 diapers in his or her lifetime? It’s true: moms, dads, and babysitters toss out 18 billion disposable diapers each year in the United States—enough to make a diaper trail around the Earth 90 times! And did you know that it takes ½ pint of crude oil to make the plastic lining of just one disposable diaper? That adds up to 1,898 pints for each baby!
We discovered these and many other astounding facts in National Geographic Kids’ book Human Footprint: Everything you will eat, use, wear, buy and throw out in your lifetime. This book, by Ellen Kirk, is a compilation of facts aiming to make younger children realize the impact of the human footprint, or the mark we make on the Earth. Using real-life pictures and bold graphics, Human Footprint is a tool for our children in helping them to understand what we can do to shrink that footprint and become more aware of our lifestyle. Perfect for Earth Day, it provides an educational approach to the next generation in hopes of them becoming more eco-friendly. At the end of the book, seven important tips are provided to the reader to aid in the process of reducing our impact on the Earth, leaving the responsibility in our hands. And we’re not talking protesting at Save the Earth rallies; these are seven simple things that every kid can do to help better our planet. Among the suggestions are: using less plastic and bringing a cloth bag to shopping outings; asking parents to use ENERGY STAR approved light bulbs; recycling cans and not wasting food, among other tips.
My 9-year-old daughter took a particular liking to the book, drawn in by the startling depictions and scientific spin of the content. One page shows an actual picture of 28, 433 rubber ducks—representing the amount a showers person will likely take in his or her lifetime. Each factoid page is published with a small green circle at the bottom providing the reader with a tip or idea on how he or she can better the situation addressed. And I’m pretty sure I’ll be a little more choosy in what my children eat after my daughter shared the fact that the average person will eat 14, 518 candy bars in his or her lifetime–enough to fill 12 shopping carts! Ouch. We’ll also use 156 toothbrushes in our lifetime, apparently to counteract the consumption of the 12 carts of candy bars.
What a wake-up call! Check out Human Footprint for your budding ecologist in honor of Earth Day. Available in bookstores everywhere and retailing for $6.95, your children won’t miss the lesson that accompanies this book. What better gift can we give our children than an appreciation of and responsibility to the Earth?
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. That’s IT Mommy received a copy of Human Footprint free of charge to facilitate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.