This Memorial Day, Remember Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

May 31st, 2010

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Thought you’d find another “keep it green” post here, huh? I’ve done that before.

But what I hadn’t done until recently is realize how few people actually take the time to truly commemorate Memorial Day.

Of course, every holiday is a bit like that. The religious complain that Christ has been left out of Christmas. Thanksgiving, for some,  is just a prelude to “Black Friday.” And Memorial Day…well, it’s the official launch of summer.

The beach beckons.

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Coolers must be filled.

Grills must be fired up.

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But it’s also a time when veterans, and those who love and respect them,  come together to honor the ultimate sacrifice – laying their lives on the line for this country.

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Today,  just steps from a busy boardwalk, I observed a sparsely attended ceremony honoring those who fought battles  long ago…and the battles of today.

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I wasn’t surprised to hear the Master Sargeant from Dover Air Force Base talking about receiving fallen soldiers from overseas, but I was a bit surprised to hear him talk about a time in the future, a time “when our  youth are no longer asked to make the ultimate sacrifice.”

Too late to visit a wreath laying in your community?  If you do nothing else, consider donating to the Memorial Day Donation Challenge  from Paralyzed Veterans of America (donations are doubled up through today). And be sure to head on over to Twilight Earth to read this poignant post from DC green guy Adam Shake, a veteran of the war in Bosnia.

– Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2010

Partying Like It’s 1999

May 30th, 2010

Despite the melancholy of my earlier post about Taking Stock prior to my college reunion, the fact is: I had a blast.

I danced the night away, closing down the first night’s party at 4 a.m., with a few of my sorority sisters and fraternity pals swirling around nearby.

Not bad for a gal who hasn’t stayed up that late in more than a decade!

I was so proud of that crazy accomplishment – I told everyone – and when Sigma Nu’s undisputed King of Late Night Partying anointed me “best dancer,” I beamed all weekend long.

Looking at the older reunion classes, I knew the day would come when staying up till 4 a.m. would be out of the question.  The first 25 years, gone by so fast! Our 50th reunion will be here tomorrow. Better to dance now, while we can.

And the serious questions I mulled over in my earlier blog post? When they came up, they led to interesting discussions, just as they always do.

Even “the titans of industry” from my class reached out, offering great business advice when I asked their thoughts. One old pal invited me to meet him at the Capitol Hill Club, also known as the National Republican Club. I laughed, telling him that if I happened to see a Republican Senator there, I might just button hole him to talk about TSCA reform. And he smiled, saying, “That’s okay, Lynn Anne.”

That’s  what old friends and reunions are for. Reconnecting. Reminiscing. Reflecting.

And partying like it’s 1999.

If you can go to your reunion, go.

Unfortunately, concerns left many of our classmates at home. As one high school classmate put it, “I heard the same excuses over and over again.  I’ve gained weight. I got divorced. I was laid off. I’m bald.”

“Hey,” he laughed with a dismissive wave of his hand, “We all have!”

Or, as I put it, “Or at least, one out of the four!”

Life can be hard at times. But the party goes on. We’re still here, and that’s worth celebrating.

So go back to your reunion. And if you go, be sure to  let me know what it was like!

– Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2010

Taking Stock

May 21st, 2010

There are moments in life that cause us to stop. To think. To reflect. It can be a life altering event like a birth, a death, or a divorce. Or it can be something simpler, but in many ways just as profound: a meeting with old friends. A peek back at life the way it used to be.

This afternoon, I’ll leave my husband and two munchkins behind  – (hope he’s remembering my Stay at Home Spouse Survival Tips!) – to attend my 25th college reunion at Lehigh University.

It’s hard to admit that the years have gone by so quickly, but it’s true. I still remember, as a young child, hearing the “old folks” around me say, “Life goes by quickly.” It didn’t seem possible then, but like so many things in life, only now do I know the elders were right.

Twenty five years ago, I was a scholarship kid, scared to death that I would lose my scholarship if I flunked Statistics or Advanced Calculus. (I never worked so hard for a D+ in my life!)  I was worried about paying back my student loans – (I did so early) – and I wondered if I would ever meet the right guy.   (It took 18 years of dating experience and a Strategic Plan to Meet a Man, but I finally did!)

I was so busy serving on a million class committees that sometimes it was hard to get my class work done (kind of like how this blog and my online activism with @GreenMoms interferes with biz dev work for my business).  Some things never change!

I wanted to explore the world (22 countries down, 180 or so to go!), make some money (Nasdaq 5000, easy come, easy go), and live an interesting life.

I didn’t expect my life to now be so consumed by environmental concerns.

Online, my friends’ beliefs are well known. It’s easy to complain about the evils of bottled water with bloggy friends like Beth of Fake Plastic Fish or Diane of Big Green Purse.

In real life, it’s far trickier. Those big chemical companies fighting full reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act? They recruit from colleges like Lehigh, and from MBA programs like Georgetown’s. (Hoya Saxa!)

In “real life,” many of my oldest and dearest friends aren’t working for NGOs, showing up for Capitol Hill testimony, or demonstrating in the streets.

Instead, they’re working hard for those same companies we like to challenge in the green blogosphere.  I know what it’s like. I’ve worked in marketing and PR for Fortune 500 firms.

They don’t want to question. They want to believe.

But I know from experience that face-to-face, those differences will melt away. I’ll smile with a skeptical twinkle in my eye, refer them to the EWG’s Skin Deep  Database, and agree to provide some questions they can forward to their colleagues. I don’t want to put my friends on the spot. They’re my friends after all, and it’s a party.

And then I’ll think, and reflect, on all that’s changed in 25 years.

What about you?

– Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2010

Thinking Again About a Hybrid or Electric Car? You’re Not the Only One

May 8th, 2010

It seems like an eternity ago that decisions to purchase hybrid and electric vehicles hinged mainly on considerations like fuel economy, the price at the pump, and the age and condition of your existing car.

The Gulf oil spill disaster changed all that.

Nothing in recent memory has so powerfully seared into our collective consciousness the need to reduce our dependence on oil.

Wildlife is dying.

The ocean is suffering.

Read this moving blog post by Larry Schweiger, President of The National Wildlife Federation.

Nothing will ever be the same again.

With this as the backdrop, I hate to confess, I have my own oil addiction. I don’t own a hybrid. One of our Subarus is eleven-years-old, and still in excellent condition. Our other Subaru is newer, and we bought it out of brand loyalty – the first one kept us safe after a deer crashed into our windshield when I was pregnant with Boo.

Subaru, when are you introducing hybrids or electric vehicles?

I’m in the market for a hybrid or electric car now. (Guess I should have really made the Volt test drive that Chevy invited me to!)

What about you?

This is a post for the Green Moms Carnival on Transportation, hosted by Big Green Purse.

– Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2010

A Wonderful Day: What to Say?

May 6th, 2010

I hear that some bloggers complain about not having enough material for their blogs.

My problem is the opposite: it’s hard to know what to cover – there’s so much stuff going on!

Today was a perfect example:

- That incredible government report about environmental causes of cancer. The very same topic we’ve been tackling via Green Moms Carnivals! Yes, eat organic and avoid toxic household cleansers and personal care products!

- The re-opening of FRESHFARM Market by The White House. Where does the time ago? It was less than a year ago that the Market launched. Now it’s back, with more farmers and more food for everyone! Check out these pix of Chef Jose Andres with his giant paella!

-  Oprah tackling #saferchemicals reform and overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act. Yes, really!

-  Moms Rising naming the Mother of the Decade!

- And Green Moms Carnival being named one of the top ten most influential Moms groups online. This is no “green list.” This is top 10 out of ALL Moms. I love it! It shows we’re spreading our message out beyond the “green choir” and out to a more mainstream audience. It means we’re achieving our goal – …”increasing the likelihood that our eco-conscious messages will be heard, understood and adopted by more people.” You can check out the press release from Groupable here.

Now…if only Boo would recover fully and go back to “camp school” for the first day this week (tomorrow is Friday)…it would truly be a great week!

– Lynn

Disclosure: My company, 4GreenPs, was retained to help with the re-launch of the FRESHFARM Markets by The White House, which I blogged about here. There was no compensation for this post, I blogged this out of sheer excitement!