My 8-year-old really likes “Human Footprint” by Ellen Kirk ($6.95), a short book that told him “everything you will eat, use, wear, buy, and throw out in your lifetime.”

The book starts off like this:

Your human footprint is the earth mark you make on the Earth.

You’re only one person in a country (the United States) that has 308,000,000 (that’s 308 million) people on a planet (Earth) that has 6,800,000,000 (that’s 6 billion, 8 hundred million) people.

So, with all those people, could your small human footprint really make a difference? Yes. You matter. What you do adds up.

The book then goes on for the next 32 pages to let kids know just how much they consume during their lifetimes. Here are few examples.
  • 3,796 diapers
  • 13,056 pints of milk
  • 28,433 showers
  • 14,518 candy bars
  • $52,972 on clothing
“Human Footprint” doesn’t just list average statistics, though. It gives kids suggestions on how to lessen their human footprint like wearing hand-me-downs (and being proud to do so) or taking excess weight out of the family car to increase gas mileage.

“Human Footprint” appeals to kids like the “National Geographic Kids Almanac” does or “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” and “Guinness Book of World Records” books do. It has bold photos, very large and colorful print, and information that is shocking, cool, and at times unbelievable.

I’ve bought several kids books on “being green” and been sent others to review, and they have been met with varying degrees of interest by my boys. This particular book was definitely one of the better-received ones.

Amazon has “Human Footprint” available for pre-order. It publishes on March 8, 2011. I think I’ll be taking this book in to my son’s third-grade class to read at their Earth Day celebration. 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Every three years, you eat your weight in bread
A National Geographic Kids book teaches all about the “Human Footprint.”