National Geographic Kids “Human Footprint” Book Review and Giveaway

National Geographic Kid's Human Footprint

What is a human footprint?

How big do you think our family’s footprint might be?

What choices do we make every day that impact our human footprint?

A new book put out by National Geographic Kids looks at all those questions and more in Human Footprint: Everything You Will Eat, Use, Wear, Buy, and Throw Out in Your Lifetime by Ellen Kirk. It can definitely be difficult for children, and even many adults, to understand that their seemingly innocent daily choices can have an effect on the world around them, sometimes for years to come.

The great thing about this book is that there are no judgements. It simply shows what consumption of various items is for the average American in the United States in their lifetime. What to do with that information is up to you and your child. Each page has a number and a photograph giving visual representation of that number.

Our Human Footprint

For instance the average American will:

  • use 3,796 diapers
  • drink 13,056 pints of milk
  • take 28,433 showers
  • eat 14,518 candy bars
  • spend $52,972 on clothing

Each page then includes suggestions on each page for ways to make small changes that would have a positive impact on their human footprint. From taking extra weight out the car to fixing leaky faucets, these are all simple things that can start our kids down the going green path.

When National Geographic sent me this book to review, I was really curious to see how my kids would like it. They really did, although it had the greatest impact on my oldest. I would suggest this for age 5 & up with the expectation that older children will have a greater understanding of the content.

I was able to ask questions while we were reading, see what facts interested them more (cows that burp and fart are always a hit with little boys!), and see what they understand about our impact on the world around us. I believe that the way the suggestions are presented gives a wonderful opportunity to discuss choices your family makes now and what they could continue to improve on to make a difference.

Human Footprint Clothing

It ends with ‘How To Shrink Your Human Footprint: 7 Important Tips’ which are simple enough for kids to understand and can be expanded on easily as well. We were able to talk about the reasons why we make certain choices: walking to the library versus driving the car or turning electric and battery-operated toys off when we are done using them. We talk about these things all the time, and yet my 7 year old was still able to see it in a new light after reading “Human Footprint.” I love that.

The message, “Use only what you need, and have fun doing it!” is something that will hopefully resonate with your kids as it did mine and lead to more interesting conversations down the road.

You can purchase Human Footprint: Everything You Will Eat, Use, Wear, Buy, and Throw Out in Your Lifetime by Ellen Kirk at affiliate Amazon now.

Or, you can try to win a copy here!

Enter to Win: Leave a comment on this post. Tell me why you want to win.

Additional Entry Methods (leave a comment for each):

  1. Share your favorite tip for going green with kids.
  2. Share a creative way to get kids thinking about their human footprint.
  3. Visit National Geographic Kids and share something new you learned or something you would like to try.
  4. Link to this post on your blog.
  5. Like this post on Facebook.
  6. Tweet this post (please don’t be spammy).
  7. Stumble this post.
  8. Leave a meaningful comment on any other post.
  9. Subscribe to my rss feed, subscribe by email, “like” on Facebook, for 1 entry each, but only if you really want to. Nothing is more sad than lots of unsubscribes and unlikes. ;)

Contest Deadline: April 7 @ 9 pm PST.

Contest eligibility and fine print: Open to all US residents that are not me. The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond, so make sure I have a valid email address. Email addresses will not be sold or used in any other way than to notify the winner.

See my disclosure policy here. This book was sent to me for review. All opinions are my own. Amazon is an affiliate.

Good luck!

Congratulations to our winner, Pat! The winner was chosen via

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


National Geographic Kids “Human Footprint” Book Review and Giveaway — 91 Comments

  1. I’m always trying to find new ways to explain why we do (and don’t do) what we do! Sounds like this would be perfect! taleah AT roknor DOT com

  2. I would love to share this with my kids we are trying so hard to be a green family, we even recently moved so my husband could have a green job thanks for the chance to win

  3. This sounds like a great book! I want to win because I think seeing the information in pictures would help drive the point home for kids more so than just talking about it all the time.

  4. I think a great way to help kids ‘go green’ is talking about how they can give their old clothes and toys to a smaller child so that they get reused instead of having to produce more. Also, helping them understand that yard sale or goodwill clothes and toys not only save money, but help save our planet.

  5. I like the footprint on the front of the book – to illustrate our footprint to kids we could have them make a footprint on a piece of paper out of (non dirty) trash from our house, and then talk about ways that we could lower the amount of the trash that we throw away.

  6. It’s important to teach kids the impact we all have on the Earth & the earlier we start to teach them all the better.
    fastkat at gmail dot com

  7. I think teaching kids to recycle at an early age will be helpful to showing them how to be green

  8. What a fun book!
    We are going camping this summer with nieces and nephews and this would be a great book to take a long and share with them!

    What a wonderful reminder for all ages!


  9. I’d love to win this for my kids, especially my 13 y.o. son. He has taken a “who cares” attitude lately to environmental issues and I think that this book might open his eyes a little better than a nagging mom could.
    ohmiss14 at yahoo dot com

  10. I think that one of the best ways to go green with kids is getting them out to help clean up trash in their own neighborhoods as often as possible. I have both of my kids bring along trash bags when we go for walks and we pick up any trash we see. After a while, they just get used to looking for it and picking it up on their own.
    ohmiss14 at yahoo dot com

  11. I love Nat Geo Kids’ little kids section! Right now, they are focused on starting a garden – a resource I have been looking for that is aimed at little ones! I can’t wait to get started exploring it.
    ohmiss14 at yahoo dot com

  12. I think this would be an awesome way to explain these things to my kiddos! Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. I would like this for my daughter because it is so important for children to learn about what we do today affects the future.

  14. I think this book would be wonderful for our entire family. This book may help us (parents) “live by example” for our 3 yr old son.