by Alan Greene, MD, FAAP
As you did when choosing an ob/gyn, you want to find a pediatrician who is top-notch medically. How much better if he or she is also on the journey to an environmentally sustainable perspective on pediatrics!
This may be the first time you have selected a pediatrician; if you already have children, you may have an established relationship with their pediatrician—or you may have inherited a treasured family doc from when you were a child.
In any case, here are five representative questions you may want to ask politely to gauge physicians' thoughts on things green:
In addition to conversations with prospective pediatricians, you can also get some insight into the green potential of a medical practice by making an office visit simply to observe. What kind of lighting is used? (Incandescent bulbs are very non-green.) What kinds of cleaners are used? (A strong scent of bleach or ammonia is the tip-off that green cleansers are not yet in use.) Are there any babies in the waiting room who are wearing cloth or hybrid diapers? This is a good sign that other parents with environmental concerns have chosen this doctor.
And from the comfort of your home, you can learn a lot about some physicians and their practices by looking at their Web sites -- many pediatricians have them now, but not all -- and by talking to other parents.
Dr. Alan Greene, author of Raising Baby Green and Feeding Baby Greene, is the founder of Dr.Greene.com and the WhiteOut Movement. He is a frequent guest on such shows as Good Morning America, The Today Show, and the Dr. Oz Show. He is on the Board of Directors of Healthy Child Healthy World and The Lunchbox Project. Dr. Greene is a practicing pediatrician at Stanford University's Packard Children's Hospital.