BlogHer from Afar: BlogHers for Congress?

August 16th, 2011

For the past two years, I’ve attended the annual BlogHer blogging convention, but this August I was across the country in Manhattan, the site of last year’s BlogHer.

While I was too busy enjoying NYC to follow either #HomeHer or #BlogHer11, BlogHer was on my mind. At the Museum of Natural History, I sent twitpix of female science students to @WhyMommy, the woman who inspired this blog, and whom I finally met last summer at #blogher10.

I snuck a few minutes to google  “blogher + blogs,” and to email my green blogger friends, just back from BlogHer 11, to get the scoop.

As always at BlogHer, it appears there were some controversies. The “Anti-Green Movement of Bill My Parents?” – bad joke, overzealous marketing, or actually quite funny? Those Styrofoam plates – ditch them, Blogher! And the HuffPost women session? Whiners or honest sharings?

The fact is, BlogHer is as close as some of us will get to a slice of truly all American apple pie. No, BlogHer in some ways is not as diverse as America – it’s more affluent, more white, and better educated. But the fact is, it’s a place where for several days, in packed conference halls and on dance floors, women interact. The “Queerosphere” group of LGBT women is there, with their rocking party, open to all. So too are the  “Modern Marthas,” women who blog about  hearth and home. There are the Change Agents, radical Moms, activists who want to change the world. Then there are those who pack extra suitcases just for the swag, or come solely to  connect with brands. There are those who refuse to set foot in the exhibit hall because of the rampant  commercialism.  And there’s an entirely different world of private parties for those who serve as brand ambassadors.

But you know what? They all get along.

It’s a civilized gathering.

A joyful society. A respectful confab.

And as my train pulled into Washington, and I glanced at that beautiful Capitol dome, now a symbol of so much dysfunction, it occurred to me…Wouldn’t Congress be a better place if we got more of our BlogHers there?

— Lynn

Green Mom Activism: Does It Matter Anymore?

July 22nd, 2011

They  say bad things come in threes. So here are three to ponder.

  1. A non profit leader and fellow “green mom” activist posts on her FaceBook page, “over the past few days I’ve been called a Nazi, told my work is futile, and more…”
  2. Another “green mom” tells me that her grown kids think the battle against climate change is lost. You guessed it: her work focuses on climate change. Is she fighting a losing battle?
  3. My own son sighs in exasperation, “You embarrass me sometimes, Mom. I mean, not everything can be eco-green. You can’t change everything, you know, Mom?”

Let’s start with my newly minted tween’s skeptical words.  I looked at him with a big smile, rushed over to hug him, and said, “Oh, honey, you’re growing up!”

“What do you mean, Mom?”

“It’s the first time you’ve told me that I embarrass you! Honey, get used to it, because I’m going to embarrass you for many, many more years to come.”


While I can poke fun at the “embarrassing Mom” comment, the “green is futile” messages that my friends and I are getting are unnerving.

All around us are signs that people are waking up to the importance of environmental action. Businesses are built around green. Corporations publish sustainability plans, and actively court green consumers.  Kids, the future, are at the vanguard of the movement. And yet….if everyone is so green, why are we still in so much trouble?

When I started the Green Moms Carnival, few people recognized the important role that mothers play in the environmental movement. What a difference three years makes.  Market studies have been written about the phenomenon.  PR firms have cashed in. Environmental NGOs court them.  Everyone wants a piece of  “mom influence.”

And yet, if we’re not influencing our own kids and our own circles, what does it really matter? And where do we go from here?

Give up, or carry on? Pass the baton to a new generation?

— Lynn



Do Dads Get a Bum Deal on Father’s Day?

June 14th, 2011


“Just look at this!” my husband exclaimed, gazing at the selection of grilling guides artfully arranged in the bookstore in anticipation of Father’s Day .

Did I mention – he’s a vegetarian and he doesn’t grill?

“You Moms get spa outings and retreats on Mother’s Day! Us Dads? We’re expected to fire up the grill. And now, we can’t even do that right! You Green Moms are telling us we have to learn how to grill green!”

I laughed, but then I reconsidered. Gee, I realized, school’s even out for Father’s Day. No artfully decorated gifts from the kiddos, carefully project-managed by the kids’ teachers. No, it’s all up to the kiddos and/or Mom to figure out how to commemorate Father’s Day.

What do you think? Do we need to reinvent how we celebrate Father’s Day? What are your traditions? And what are your favorite “green gifts” for a green Dad?

I may also update this old post about what Green Dads want for Father’s Day! If you want to be included, leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter @organicmania!

– Lynn

(Note: This is a reprint of a blog post from 2008. Figured it stood the test of time, so I’d re-spin it! What do you think?)

Kids and Veterans on Memorial Day

May 30th, 2011

I think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer beach season. It wasn’t until my dear brother made a comment about “no one remembering veterans anymore” that I realized Memorial Day could be yet another “teachable moment” with my kids.

When I told my eight-year-old son we were going to watch the Veteran’s Day observance in Rehoboth Beach, he grumbled and groaned. I wasn’t surprised. What kid in his right mind wants to go to something called an “observance” when the sun, sand and boardwalk amusements beckon?

Maybe if he had known a veteran would give him one of the shells fired off in the salute, he would have argued less.

Perhaps if he realized that a World War II veteran would tell him, “Yes, I remember FDR! Of course!” it would make his first big oral book report — due this week —  that much more interesting.

Or had he known that a reporter for the local newspaper would interview him, my idea for the outing might have seemed more exciting.

But in the end, what mattered most to me was not the arguing beforehand, but what he said after the ceremony ended.

“Thank you,” he said to the veterans.

And to me, he said, “Thanks, Mom, I’m glad we came.”

What did you do on Memorial Day? If you didn’t observe the day with veterans, do you plan to next year? Please leave a comment and share!

— Lynn

Getting Back to Nature With Kids: Bit by Bit, Bug by Bug

May 11th, 2011

As I look at that headline, I purse my lips and shake my head. It’s hard to admit that even “green Moms” find it challenging to get enough time connecting with nature – for ourselves or our families.

Who isn’t busy? It often seems easier and faster to run an errand by hopping in the car or walking along a sidewalk rather than to take a hike on a wooded trail.

I knew I was in trouble today, with this post still unwritten yet due for this month’s Green Moms’ Carnival. I thought about searching through my camera for pictures of my kids communing with nature. But heck, there’s no time like the present, is there?

I needed to get to the CSA for our weekly pick-up, and had about an hour to spare between a 5 p.m. conference call and the time my son came home off the diesel spewing school bus (one huge irritant, why must they be driven to school when walking is so much healthier?).  Time slowed as he asked for a friend to come over for a playdate. Phone calls, coordination with the other parent, and then the litany of the divine right of children: ice cream. (By the way, Alden’s, you’d sell more if you started calling it Cotton Candy Organic Ice Cream instead of Strawberry Organic Ice Cream. It’s what all the kids call it!)

With 45 minutes left, I decided to chance it – and headed out, two eight-year-old boys in tow, for a walk to the CSA. Normally we’d take the main roads, but mindful of our carnival topic, I headed for the trail instead. Before we had even hit the trail, I knew I had made the right decision: the boys were rolling down the hill, laughing all the way.

Luck was with us. We made it in plenty of time. I was back with nearly 10 minutes to spare for my conference call – enough time to rustle up yet another snack for the boys (this time, cantaloupe).

And the adventures we had!

Bugs to behold!

Scary steps to climb!

And why are they closing this trail anyway?

“Save the trail!,” “Save the trail!” they screamed all the way home.

It’s amazing what happens when you get outside. Exercise, fresh air…and the birth of eco-activists!

When was your last hike?

Leave a comment and share.

Thursday’s Green Mom’s Carnival will be hosted over at The Green Phone Booth. Head on over and read some thoughts and tips from the wonderful women of the Green Moms Carnival about getting outside with the kids.

PS: And if you like this trail, head on over to Facebook and “like” their page here. Looks like they could use some more visibility! Only 66 likes on that site!

— Lynn



The Royal Wedding Report: Awesome!

May 2nd, 2011

Yes, I was teased about my trip to London. I left my husband and the kids behind, begged forgiveness of my wonderful clients, and flew seven hours just to indulge a teen-age fantasy, as I blogged here.

“You’re crazy!” was the most common reaction I got.

But you only live once. And there’s nothing to measure mortality like the distance between royal weddings – 30 years. It was a joyful, happy, crazy, awesome experience.

Check out the following clip about the nighttime party atmosphere at Westminster Abbey – and let me know if you can spot me in this ABC News New York report.


More to come tomorrow evening…hope to get my pix up then!

— Lynn

He’s Darn Lucky I’m Not the #1 EcoMom, Top 25 Is Sufficiently Annoying!

April 5th, 2011

One of the peculiarities of the Mom blogger world is the near-constant parade of  Top Mom Blogger Lists. Immediately great debate ensues among the bloggers about who’s in, who’s out, if the award is bogus – a mere SEO ploy – or actually, a great honor.

So late this afternoon, as I relented to my kids’ whining for a snack while at CVS, I checked my phone for emails, and burst out laughing.

Here’s what I read: “Your blog OrganicMania has been nominated to the  Top 25 Eco-Friendly Moms list on Circle of Moms! This is a great opportunity to gain new readers through our audience of over 6 million active users.”

I sure didn’t feel like a Top 25 Eco-Friendly Mom as I gazed over my phone at this image:


Can you see what he’s eating? That processed, assuredly non-organic and fully bovine hormone laden bright orange cheese stuff packaged with three crackers, all enshrined in a plastic tomb.  (Probably from the same lot manufactured back in the ’70s, the last time I ate this particular snack).

Why couldn’t I have received the email while I was at the CSA? At least I wouldn’t have felt like I was caught cheating in the act of attaining EcoSuperMomDom.

“Why are you laughing?” my son asked.

After I explained about the email, he got to the heart of the matter: “So are you number one?”

“No,” I responded, noting that (at that time) the honor was reserved for my pal Tiffany of Nature Moms, one of the real-deal original pioneers of Green Mom blogging.   “And you’re lucky I’m not number one.”

“Why?,” he asked, genuinely surprised.

“Because the Number 1 EcoMom would never let her son eat that processed stuff!”

At that time, I was somewhere in the top 25, but as word is spreading, the field of nominees is growing rapidly. (That’s how these ranking contests or honorary lists or whatever you want to call them work).

But if you’d like to help me stay in the top 25 (which I do confess I think would be kind of cool), you’d make me smile again if you went right here and voted.   Thanks! And on a serious note, do check out some of the blogs you may not be already be familiar with…there are a lot of women out there doing some amazing things to green up their lives.


— Lynn

The Fifth R….Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…and When All Else Fails…

April 3rd, 2011

With Earth Day approaching, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the 4Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).

When you look at this brush, what do you see?

Baby Bottle Brush

An old baby bottle brush that should have been thrown out when baby stopped bottles?  Thrown out?!

Didn’t I mean recycled? Well, that would be nice, but unfortunately baby bottle brushes aren’t typically recycled by municipalities…they’re incinerator bound.

So how do you reuse a baby bottle brush when there are no more baby bottles?

Pass it along to someone else in the new baby stage? Sell it at a consignment shop?  Hmm…I don’t know what things are like in your neck of the woods, but here in Bethesda, the odds of a new Mom buying a used baby bottle brush are just about…nil. Although it’s easy to sanitize a baby bottle brush, used baby bottle brushes just don’t pass the ick test…

So here’s where the 5th R comes in to play….Repurposing….

The Fifth R...Repurposing

After all, when the babies are grown, there’s much more time to kick back and enjoy a glass of wine!

What have you repurposed lately?

Leave a comment and share!

— Lynn



It’s True: I’m Off to the Royal Wedding

April 1st, 2011

It may be April Fool’s Day, but this is no joke — I’m keeping a promise I made to myself when I watched Lady Diana Spencer walk down the aisle. “Someday,” I told myself, “she’ll have a son. And when he gets married, I’m going to be there.”

My fascination with Princess Diana was in what my husband calls the “full disclosure statements” when we married. He knew that the moment Prince William’s engagement was announced, I’d be on the phone booking tickets to London.

What I didn’t expect was that I’d be leaving my husband and two kids behind to make the trip solo. Back in November, I couldn’t find anyone willing or able to make the journey.

That was then.

This is now.

Recently, scores of old friends have turned up, asking, “Are you going? Do you have a room in London?” I’m now sharing that room with my friend Alison, who’s from Britain by way of Rehoboth’s GoFish! I  suspect that there may even be a few couch surfers joining us, if they can find a way to London.

Today, this package arrived from my BFF. I glanced at the organic Clif bars and the reusable travel containers, and thought he was showing me how his law firm was “going green” with corporate gifts.

Royal Wedding Travel Package

Then I opened a small package containing this beautiful necklace and card, and realized that he had sent me a Royal Wedding Care Package.

The fact that this #ecomonday twitterer will soon be a #royalwedding twitterer is causing some among my “green tribe” to shake their heads in amazement.

But back in the 1980s, when I fell in love with Lady Di, we didn’t know carbon miles from kilometers. I admit the thought of making a trip to London just for this wedding fills me with green guilt. I surfed over to Party Pieces, Kate Middleton’s family’s online party store, hoping to find it a bastion of ecofabulous party items. But alas, it seems that Cheap Plastic Crap is just as popular in the UK as it is here in the US. Perhaps the influence of Prince Charles, with his deep affinity for all things organic and sustainable, will over time have some effect on the lines carried by Party Pieces.

[UPDATE 5/1, Just back from the royal wedding, I checked the Party Pieces website and noticed that just two weeks after this post, on 4/15, they announced, “We’re Going Green…How to Have an EcoFriendly Party.” Wonderful news…they are in a position now to influence millions to make more sustainable choices when party planning.]

For years, I’ve closely tracked the latest news on the royal family, collected old porcelain teacups commemorating various investitures and weddings, and visited sites as varied as the ancestral Spencer home in London and the infamous tunnel in Paris. 

As technology advanced, my royal tracking did too. I went from hanging outside the Brazilian embassy to catch a glimpse of Princess Di (true story, I was even interviewed by CBS Radio) and travelling to Christie’s New York to see the exhibit of Diana’s dresses to setting a Google alert for “Prince William engagement.” I even “liked” the Queen on FaceBook – and later was outed for it by my friend Julie from MomsToWork. A fiercely independent Australian, she thinks my royal obsession a bit odd. Never mind that my own lineage is Bermudian: the oldest and most loyal of colonies.

Come to think of it, maybe I should pack a Bermudian flag and bring it along!

Bermuda Flag

— Lynn

A Saturday Night Earth Hour Tradition for the Adults: Bermuda’s Black Out Martini

March 26th, 2011

For years now, I’ve been blogging about trying to mark Earth Hour with little kids. You can read about my trials and tribulations in 2008, in 2009 and  in 2010. I thought about going all out this year, focusing on the poignancy of this year’s Earth Hour, given the events in Japan.  But it seemed too…dark. There’s been enough bad news lately.

So this year, with Earth Hour on a Saturday night, it seems appropriate to focus on the adults. And if my husband wasn’t battling something dreadful he dragged in from last night’s Red Eye, here’s what we’d be doing: enjoying the Bermuda Black Out martini.

Take a look:

And yes, I know this video is bleeding over the edges...And no, we haven't started drinking already. With my husband so sick, I don't want to ask for his help fixing this...and soon it will be Earth Hour, so it's time to go dark here.


Lynn  Continue reading »