Invaluable Resource: The Green Guide for Families

green-guide-for-familiesI love to read, and always have at least 3 books on the go. Something fiction, something non-fiction, and something parenting. I also always have a stack of at least 30 (and sadly, I’m not exaggerating) books in my “waiting their turn” pile. The Green Guide for Families: The Complete Reference for Eco-Friendly Parents from National Geographic Books sat in that pile for a long time because it just kept getting buried. The poor thing. There were just so many series that came up in the meantime that I just had to finish. (Millennium trilogy, anyone? Begin with ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ and see if you get any parenting books read before you finish all three!)

Now that I’ve finally read it cover to cover, I’m recommending it to everyone I know with a family. It’s extremely well organized and is filled with practical advice and great ideas. It addresses all of the key environmental issues faced by parents of young children today, and takes a straightforward approach to things like lead-painted toys; vaccinations, antibiotics, vitamins, plastics, managing food allergies, avoiding fat and sugar filled snacks and SO much more. It’s just an awesome book that is sure to become dog eared as you reference it for years to come.

The author, trained scientist, seasoned writer, and mother of two small children Catherine Zandonella combines both knowledge and experience as she helps parents guide their children through a society that doesn’t always make green lifestyle choices easy and offers advice on raising children to “think green” from the start.

More From No Starch – Helping Regular People Do Amazing Things With Technology

art_of_rawNo Starch is one of our favourite publishing companies – I think of them as publishers for geeks. (And that’s totally a compliment. I married one.)

Many of their books aren’t of the parenting variety and don’t really “fit” here, but are applicable to enough of our readers that we like to share them anyway. Two titles that we’d love to share with you today apply to anyone who shoots with a D-SLR camera and wants to learn to shoot in RAW, and for anyone who becomes an “accidental administrator” of a network, whether at home or at work.

The Art of RAW Conversion: How to Produce Art-Quality Photos with Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Leading RAW Converters by Uwe Steinmueller and Jürgen Gulbins is a practical and beautifully illustrated guide that explains the advantages of working with RAW files (the digital equivalent of film negatives) and then how to use RAW converters to create the best digital image from each shot. It covers all of today’s most popular and innovative RAW converters, such as Photoshop Camera RAW, RawShooter, Lightroom, and Aperture) and how to get the best results from each one. As an amateur photographer (aren’t we all?) who shoots in RAW aboult half the time, I am really enjoying this book. Rather than reading it cover to cover, I leave it by my computer and each time I work on a session I’ve shot in RAW I use it to gather new ideas and streamline my workflow. With D-SLR cameras being affordable for the average parent now, almost everyone has the ability to shoot in RAW but almost nobody knows what to do with the files once they’ve been created. Thanks to this great & easy to follow book, anyone who wants to work with RAW now can do so without too much effort.

networks_covNetwork Know-How: An Essential Guide for the Accidental Admin by John Ross is just awesome for parents whose family members have two or more computers, because it will show you step by step how to connect them together and to the internet. No matter which OS you use (Windows, Mac or Linux), you’ll learn how to implement network addressing, configure adapters, hubs, switches, and your router, share music, photos, and documents, automate household appliances and stream digital audio and video to your home entertainment center and troubleshoot network slowdowns and failures. Sound like Greek? It did to me too, until I read John’s book. If I can do it, so can you!

Kids Are Turning Green

imturninggreenIt was only a couple of months ago that we reviewed the first book from The Little Environmentalists. Their new book, I’m Turning Green, is perhaps even better than the last.

Retailing for just $7.95, the newly released I’m Turning Green is a great book to educate even the youngest of children about the ways even someone their size can make a positive impact on our beautiful planet. It gives kids tips to conserve energy, water, and natural resources. As a little girl turns green from head to toe, kids learn that the little things that they do around the home can actually help save the planet that they live on. Each page consists of a statement about something a child can do…“I help to recycle our glass, aluminum and paper. What do I see happening to me? All of a sudden I see my arms turning green!” and an additional ‘Did you know?’ fact that can start some great ongoing conversations around environmental protection at the child & family level. We’re thoroughly enjoying this book and I’m sure your family would too. Just be prepared to be nagged whenever you forget to be a good environmental steward.