Are you a Slactivista? Not Today! Take Action with Events in Bethesda & Your Hometown

October 24th, 2009

Yesterday at the final Blogpotomac Conference I “heard” a new word: Slactivista.  Actually, I “heard” it over Twitter in this tweet from conference organizer @GeoffLiving.

Wikipedia defines slactivism as  “a portmanteau formed out of the words slacker and activism. The word is considered a pejorative term that describes “feel-good” measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it feel satisfaction. The acts also tend to require little personal effort from the slacktivist.”

A lot of bloggers are, frankly, slactivists.  Yes, blogging is important….you can spread the word about actions, elicit attention from the media, get ideas for personal actions you can take. But at some point – you have to take action. Whether it’s advocating for a Greener School through your PTA, cleaning up a neighborhood park, or lobbying for change on Capitol Hill – you gotta get up and do.

Today’s the Day.

After months of lead-up, today is the International Day of Climate Action. What are you DOING?   Here’s what’s going on in my hometown of Bethesda. What about yours? You can check out this cool online finder to locate an event in your hometown.

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. today (and repeated on Wednesday 10/28 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.) head on over to Bethesda Green for  Greener Living, the first in a series of four interactive workshops where you will get hands-on information on how to save energy at home.

If you can’t  make either workshop, you can still sign up to track your energy use automatically with the online tool – and get paid for doing so!

Following the workshop, you can join a group heading down from Bethesda Green  to the events in DC.

At 5:30 p.m., you can join the folks at my wonderful CSA for an interfaith group event  of singing, chanting and meditation  focused on  climate change. Directions and RSVP are here.

As for me, like many parents, I’ve got kids’ birthday parties and kiddie Halloween parties to somehow balance with all this activism. But I’ll find a way to make my tiny difference…and you can too. Check out that online tool at…what an easy way (but not a slacker way!) to reduce your energy footprint.

Today’s the day. What are YOU doing?  Don’t be a slactivista!

— Lynn

In DC? Get Thee to GreenFest!

October 11th, 2009

I have no time to blog. So this is all I can say right now – get to GreenFest in DC today, you won’t regret it!  Check my organicmania tweetstream for deets.

More later!!


Another Green Moms Carnival on Wednesday: Conserving Resources

September 13th, 2009


Interested in contributing a post to the next Green Moms Carnival? Micaela of Mindful Momma is hosting on Wednesday, so here’s your chance to get a post in to her (quickly!) about Conserving Resources.  Please send it in to greenmomscarnival at gmail dot com.

Remember, we can’t guarantee that all submissions will be accepted. Read more about carnival submission guidelines here.

Thanks and have a great week!

Gotta go now and work on that post! :)

— Lynn

Green Moms Carnival: The Good News and The Bad News

August 10th, 2009

Well, the good news is that Beth of Fake Plastic Fish put up a special Green Moms Carnival today on Bottled Water.  It includes some interesting discussion about what transpired between Pepsi Cola and BlogHer’s Green Team. You can check it out here.

Now I was supposed to put up a carnival on Green Schools today too, for #ecomonday.

I’m so excited to say that I think it’s our biggest and best carnival yet, with nearly 30 submissions in these eight categories:

  1. At the Beginning: Green Childcare;
  2. Healthy Meals and How to Pack a Waste-Free Lunch;
  3. School Supply Lists and Eco-Friendly School Supplies;
  4. The Edible Schoolyard;
  5. Why It’s Worth Fighting to Keep Recess;
  6. Greening Your School: From Green Committees to Green Certification;
  7. Back to School: Homeschooling Edition; and
  8. Tips for College Kids Who Want to Go Green.

But I’m still not done with it, and a certain DH is encouraging me to call it a day. So I’ll leave you with Beth’s carnival and a promise to get our super – duper green schools carnival up tomorrow!

Inspired by Rocks in My Dryer, a super popular Mom blogger I admire, I’ve decided to take a Twitter and Bloggy break for the rest of the summer (the next three weeks). So after I post tomorrow, it will be quiet around here for a while.  I hope to  say that I’ve been in the pool more than once this summer after enjoying an extended cyber-break.


Copyright OrganicMania 2009

Two New OrganicMania BlogHer Sponsors Join Stonyfield: Snikiddy and Mom Made Foods

July 21st, 2009

Last year at this time, I blogged about shaking my head in bewilderment at all the buzz about the BlogHer conference.  I wasn’t sure I was ready to attend – and the cost of the trip just  made it impossible (although I didn’t disclose that publicly – I was too embarassed).

This year it’s a different story. Thanks to Stonyfield Farm’s BlogHer sponsorship, I’m going to finally participate in the BlogHer conference, the premiere conference for women bloggers.  When I announced the Stonyfield sponsorship, I put out a call for two more sponsors to help defray the costs of the trip.  I’m so grateful that two local, Mom-owned food companies stepped forward to join Stonyfield in sponsoring OrganicMania at BlogHer: Snikiddy and Mom Made Foods.

Last year’s interview with Mom Made Founder Heather Stouffer aka  @mommadefoods remains one of OrganicMania’s most popular posts, and led to me filling in for Mom Made’s Marketing Director, @jennifermommade, when she was on maternity leave last summer, and then continuing on for an additional six months as a consultant. I no longer work for Mom Made, but I’m so pleased that they’ve stepped forward to help with my trip and to provide some great rebate coupons for me to pass out at BlogHer so that other Moms  have an easy way to try Mom Made Foods organic children’s foods.

Snikiddy is a company I’ve followed closely for years. Based right where I live in Bethesda, Maryland (heck, Snikiddy’s owners live in my friends’ old home!), Snikiddy is another one of  those great “Mompreneur” success stories I love hearing about – and supporting. Founded by Mary Shulman, (aka @Snikiddy),  along with her mother, Snikiddy puts a healthier spin on snack foods –with no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial colors, no trans fats, and no preservatives.

One of the things that is hardest about making a switch to more organic, green and natural products is knowing what to buy. As I blogged yesterday, I still haven’t completed the switch myself. That’s one reason I’m so glad I’ll have coupons and rebate forms for Stonyfield’s organic Greek Oikos yogurt, Snikiddy, and Mom Made. I can give them to other women at BlogHer – to help them try these products and figure out if it’s worth it to them to make a switch.  So if you’re going to be at BlogHer, come up, say  hi, and don’t be shy about asking for a coupon or rebate form!

And again thanks to these great companies for reaching out to support this Mompreneur and so many other blogging women –   – Stonyfield Farms, Snikiddy, and Mom Made Foods.


Copyright OrganicMania 2009

Part II of the Unofficial BlogHer Stay-at-Home Spouse Survival Manual

July 17th, 2009

Yesterday I blogged here about my #1 tip for helping your husband to cope with his temporary single parenthood while you’re whooping it up at BlogHer.

( Avoid sending fabulous pictures back to your mate who is stuck at home with the kiddos!)

Sure, I was half-joking, so today’s tips are a bit more on the serious side. They really helped me muddle through with the kids when my husband was away on business travel.

Got any  tips? Please leave a comment and share!

#1. Read it here.

#2.  Make sure the fridge is stocked with all the groceries you’ll need while your spouse is away.     In our household, we’ve decided that not having coffee   and beer  is a “criminal offense.”   Here is a pic of the beer stock my husband left before his last trip.


Upon his return, DH checks to see how much is still there   – a good indicator of how things went while he was away!

#3.  Think about everyday routines that may become more difficult with one person gone. For example, in my family we have two different camp drop-offs in the summer time – in two different directions. I arranged to install a carseat in a neighbor’s car and she was able to take my little guy in several mornings, saving me more than an hour of precious time each day.

# 4. It may sound counter intuitive,  but inviting people over can really be less work, not more!   I hosted several playdates  when DH was gone   – putting  up with five children between the ages of 2 and 7. Believe it or not, it actually made things easier. If they’re happy, guess what? You’re happy.


5.  Slow food, schmow  food.  I really like to take it easy when DH is out of town. Frozen organic meals? Bring ‘em on.  Natural  snack food?   Pass the bag. Go ahead. Stock up on easy to fix meals like pasta, frozen pizza, and more. Make dinner plans as simple as possible.

6  Book a sitter for at least one night, or even for just for “the witching hours.”   Get out and relax, even if just  for an hour.

7. Consider paper plates. As I blogged here they even sell recycled plates at the grocery store now. Yes, I know it’s a bit of  a waste, but looking at an overflowing sink is a waste too…

8.  Stick to your family routines. When my DH travelled, I used to sometimes stay up past my usual bed time to talk on the phone to friends in other time zones, blog, or tweet. Then I’d pay for it the next day when I was too exhausted to deal cheerfully with the children. Abiding by  routines is easier on the kids too. Stick to the routine as much as possible – make sure regular dinner time, bed times, and night-night routines are followed.

9. Prepare yourself for a mess upon your return. Make no  comments on the state of total disrepair that you find the house in.   If you see Mount Clothesasaurius (as my DH calls the piled up laundry), just smile and move on. (Or pick up the laundry and start folding!)


10.  Book a sitter for the first or second night back. Take your DH out to dinner and a movie. Listen to him. Let him unwind.

Hope you have a great trip – to BlogHer – or wherever your travels take you. Got any other survival tips? Please leave a comment and share!

— Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2009

Michael Jackson, The Iron Curtain, and Freedom

June 26th, 2009


For all the memories of dancing the night away to Michael Jackson’s tunes, the one that haunts me most is of hearing his music from behind the Iron Curtain.

It was so long ago – more than 25 years now – that it’s easy to forget that back in those days, travel beyond the heavily fortified Berlin Wall was hard. I confess, I  had to lie to get through. Passing myself off as the fiancée of an East German couple’s grandson – who was in fact passing himself off as their grandson when he was actually just the son of some old and dear friends of theirs –  I was allowed a family exemption to travel to Hirschfelde, a tiny town near the “DreiLanderEck” of Poland, East Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Everything was different there. Fear. Poverty. Hunger. Dreariness.

And then, from the snack bar of a state forest in the middle of  Nowheresville, East Germany, I heard it.

“She Told Me Her Name Was Billie Jean, As She Caused A Scene….”

It was incredible. There I was in Ronald Reagan’s Godless Communist state, with East German army guards all around, “enemies of capitalism,” “enemies of democracy,” and there was Michael Jackson too. And then I saw the little smiles, the tiny bemused smirks from the people in that gray place.

It was then that I realized Michael Jackson was so much more than a Motown legend. He brought joy and happiness and hope to the world. He united all of us in our common humanity.

And today, his music, and the music of other talented Americans does the same in Iran, in North Korea, in Cuba, and in all the other countries around the globe that still hunger for the freedom the East Germans eventually found.

Music unites us all.

RIP, Michael Jackson.

Copyright 2009 OrganicMania

BPA Scandal: Now What? Here’s What.

June 4th, 2009

In my last post, I thanked the anonymous leaker who let us into the behind the scenes machinations at the Cosmos Club meeting of the BPA lobby.

Then I asked – Now What?

Well, Here’s What:

–    Congress is not amused. Check out this link to a letter from Congressman  Henry Waxman, demanding that NAMPA supply to Congress a complete list of background materials pertaining to the meetings held by the BPA Joint Trade Association in April and May, as well as a list of attendees at the meetings and the names of the members of the BPA Joint Trade Association;

– The FDA announced it will be conducting a full review of BPA’s safety, and will have its results “within weeks, not months” (as is typical);

–    Surprise, surprise, according to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, NAMPA has hired a crisis communications specialist. Let’s hope this “specialist” doesn’t leave annoying comments on green blogs, like the crisis people hired by the formaldehyde lobby when we blogged about toxins in baby products; and

– NAMPA announced on its home page and in a press statement that   ” a blatantly inaccurate and fabricated memo purportedly reporting on the discussion in that meeting is now being waved as evidence that the industry is colluding to cover up the facts. The Journal’s attempt to pass off this illegitimate
memo from an unidentified source as proof that industry is trying to manipulate the process is
shoddy journalism at best and a breach of journalistic ethics at worst. The fact is, despite the best efforts of the Journal to portray the meeting as something sinister, it was nothing more than an effort by industry to
find a way to portray correctly the science about BPA that has been repeatedly ignored by the media.”

(Note:  The Washington Post reported that a NAMPA lobbyist confirmed the accuracy of the memo, although she did point out that it was a “brainstorming session.”)

Check out these great posts for more info:
–    Enviroblog has a  terrific  round-up of all the news here at “The Week from Hell for BPA;”
–    The Smart Mama has her usual great take on the issue here with her post “Fall-out from Industry Memo Seeking Pregnant Women to Promote Bisphenol A.” Jennifer Taggert, aka The Smart Mama, has been covering this issue – along with a host of other environmental toxin issues for years –  and she’s got great insights into what’s going on;
–    Clementine W takes a practical stance with 10 Ways to Avoid BPA;  and

– The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has this “Chemical Fallout” breaking news feed you can subscribe to for breaking news on this issue as it unfolds.

Just hours ago, the Environmental Working Group released this link as part of an action alert asking  people to call Coke and Del Monte, two of the companies present at the infamous BPA meeting, to tell them to stop using BPA.

I can’t/won’t keep up with this issue on a near-daily basis – just wanted to pass along the news about how speedily things are being addressed, and direct you to The Smart Mama, Enviroblog, and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for breaking news updates.

Progress!  What a nice change from how things have been handled in the past!


Copyright OrganicMania 2009


SeeJaneDo? Hear Lynn ( OrganicMania), Jennifer ( The Smart Mama), and Lisa (@enviroblog) Talk!

May 29th, 2009


I’m the worst when it comes to posting press interviews. One would think I would have this down by now since it’s part of what I do for a living, but I always wind up feeling awkward about doing so (only when it comes to me, of course, not my clients!)

Anyway, after a month’s delay and with great apologies to Elisa Parker, producer and host of See Jane Do, here is a link to the interview posted about the online green activism practiced by the women at the Green Moms Carnival. Joining me in the interview is Green Moms Carnival Founding Member, author, environmental expert, and XRF-gun wielding lead-toy-tester Jennifer Taggert – also known as The Smart Mama – and Lisa Frack, online parent organizer at The Environmental Working Group. You can click here for a podcast of the interview which was broadcast on community radio station KVMR.

See Jane Do is the newest program program launched by nationally acclaimed community radio station KVMR, which documentary filmmaker Michael Moore calls “the best public radio station in America.” Thanks to a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, See Jane Do is being distributed to a national audience. Their focus is on ”capturing the stories of everyday women doing extraordinary things for the planet.” The producers have already gotten some fabulous interviews archived on line with fellow Green Moms Carnival Founding Member Diane MacEachern, author of The Big Green Purse; Chef Ann (transformed school lunches with Alice Waters), Joan Blades of and, Elisa Camahort Page of BlogHer and Anya Fernald, director of Slow Food Nation.

Check it out!


Copyright OrganicMania 2009

Gardening with the Green Moms: Talk About Stress Relief!

May 28th, 2009


Did this photo make you smile? Admittedly, I’m biased since that’s my “Baby Boo,” but how could it not make you smile?

That’s one of the greatest things about gardening (and children). They bring us so many smiles. And when our lives are full of the hectic everyday busyness that is modern life, plus the unexpected curve balls that life lobs at you every now and then, well, who couldn’t use some stress relief?

Want to know how to get started with your spring garden? Check out a round-up of great gardening posts from the Green Moms Carnival over at Green and Clean Mom. My own post about recycled seed starter pots was belatedly added to the carnival after its launch, because I was …well…stressed out dealing with child advocacy and green advocacy issues; an elderly, sick mother; stitches for Baby Boo; and the everyday craziness that all of us face as parents.

Have you started a garden yet? It’s not too late! Leave a comment and share!

And if you just can’t get around to it this year, take a walk and go enjoy someone else’s garden!

— Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2009 .