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What is a Green Room?
By Dr. Alan Greene, M.D., www.drgreene.com

When decorating or remodeling any room of your home, "green" means using products and materials that include the following characteristics:

  1. Are locally manufactured. Buying products manufactured nearby cuts down on the waste of fuel and the emissions that result from transporting goods long distances, and also supports your local economy.

  2. Conserve natural resources. These include products that are made from rapidly renewable materials generally produced from agricultural crops, such as organic cotton, wool, sisal, cork, and bamboo, and products made from wood derived from certified well-managed forests. Examples include cork and bamboo flooring.

  3. Are salvaged. Some construction and decorating components can be reused or rescued, thus reducing the consumption of new products made from raw materials. Examples include period hardware and millwork.

  4. Contain recycled content. These include products made of materials that have been diverted from the landfill and put into the production of new products. An example is flooring made of reclaimed wood.

  5. Are made to last. Green products don't need frequent replacement. Well-made items constructed from quality materials stay out of landfills and incinerators and save the production costs of replacement products.

  6. Avoid toxic emissions. Green products minimize toxic industrial chemicals and contribute to a healthy home environment. Examples include zero- or low-VOC paints, caulks, and adhesives.

With these criteria in mind, let's start the green nursery makeover with an empty room, then furnish, decorate, and stock it with products that are safe for both the baby and the environment.

Remember, every change you make in the green direction is a positive step. So whether you make one small change or redo the entire room "green," you're contributing to the green movement and giving your child a healthier home in which to have her sweet dreams. It's a good feeling knowing you are doing something that's right for your family and the planet-and at the same time creating a beautiful living space

About the Author:
Dr. Alan GreeneDr. Alan Greene, author of Raising Baby Greene, is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of California San Francisco. In addition to being the founder of www.DrGreene.com, he is the Chief Medical Officer of A.D.A.M., and the Pediatric Expert for WebMD. He is the Chair Elect of The Organic Center and on the Advisory Board of Healthy Child Healthy World. Dr. Greene appears frequently on TV, radio, websites, and in print including appearances on The Today Show, Fox and Friends, The Wall Street Journal, Parents Magazine, and US Weekly. Dr. Greene is a practicing pediatrician at Stanford University's Packard Children's Hospital.

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