BlogHERs, Green Moms, and Film

October 14th, 2008

People who know me “in the real world” know I’m not shy. You can still tell that I was the girl voted “most talkative” in my high school class! Yet when it comes to the blogosphere, I haven’t always been my normal gregarious self. I’ve been ribbed about not having a picture up on Twitter, and for trying to pass myself off as Catherine Zeta Jones here on OrganicMania.

There’s something special about connecting with other like-minded souls though the power of our words. When I read blogs, I think about the blogger’s sentiments. I don’t look at someone who may or may not share my race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or age.

Yet as I prepared for BlogHER DC and my first face-to-face meeting with some of my Green Mom’s Carnival friends, I reverted to the old stereotype that I poked fun of in this post, BlogHERs Worrying About What to Wear. Of course, I had more to worry about than just meeting a bunch of cybersisters for the first time – I was also self-conscious about appearing on camera for noted documentary film maker Min Sook Lee’s upcoming film.

I couldn’t avoid the camera this time. This was something different – something worth doing. Min Sook is trying to raise awareness of the toxic products marketed to the most innocent among us – our babies.

She first spoke to Sommer Poquette aka Green & Clean Mom about her film project, and Sommer suggested that Min fly to DC’s BlogHER conference to meet several of the other “Green Moms Carnival” Moms. Although we email each other on a near-daily basis, it was the first time we had all met each other – Jenn Savedge of The Green Parent, Jennifer Taggert, aka SmartMama, Diane MacEachern of Big Green Purse fame, Jess, formerly of SurelyYouNest and late of Green Phone Booth, and Sommer.

So I put aside my fears and put on my lead-free lipstick and marched out to the conference. We enjoyed BlogHER and met up for dinner afterwards, joined by C. Levine of FoodieTots.

It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my journey as a mother. These women are so bright, and so committed to making a difference and to empowering other women to make the right decisions for the health of their children.

And as I looked around the BlogHER conference room at all the women I didn’t know, I smiled at a few of the BlogHERs. As I looked at their faces, I wondered about what was going on inside their heads. What words of wisdom would pour out of their blogs the next day as they reflected on BlogHER?

In some sense, I wish I hadn’t been so preoccupied with Min and the cameras – I missed much of the conference as Min filmed The Smart Mama testing Big Boy’s toys for lead. (Be sure to read Jess’s great post about what turned up in the lead testing). But next year, there will be another BlogHER. The opportunity to be a part of Min’s film and to connect with these very special “Green Moms” was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Just one more example of how blogging truly has changed my life.

— Lynn

Copyright 2008 OrganicMania

From Vision to Reality: Family Fights over Global Warming

August 11th, 2008

Last Monday, we celebrated a fantastic gathering of green voices here at OrganicMania. The Green Moms Carnival on Global Warming brought bloggers together to talk about steps we can take to slow, reduce or eliminate global warming.

I don’t know about you, but I was fired up to see so much passion and commitment. So not being one for a lot of blather, I set out to implement some of the ideas proposed by my fellow Green Moms, “Mothers of the Earth,” and “sons of Mothers.

Then reality intervened.

Changing patterns is hard. Doing things differently from other people is difficult. Living sustainably is a challenge.

Fighting with your kids over global warming? It’s the secret reality. I learned long ago I’m not all that unique – so if I experienced some recalcitrant behavior from my six-year-old, I could not have been the only “Green Mom” going through this.

It all started with a change in behavior – my DH normally drops our son off at camp on his way to work. This particular day, he was walking to metro, about 15 minutes away. Big Boy was running late, but he told me “not to worry,” that he could just be driven over to camp after Dad left and still make it on time.


“What? Why not? I don’t need to walk. I get plenty of exercise at camp.”

“No,” I responded. “It’s not good for the environment. Driving cars too much is what’s causing global warming. You either walk now with Dad or you walk later, but no one’s driving you over there.”

Well, just imagine six-year-old rebellion.

“But all the other kids’ parents drive them there!”

“Maybe those parents are dropping their kids off on their way to work. But your Dad’s not driving today. So we’re not driving you today. We have to take care of the Earth. And sometimes that means not driving.”

It’s amazing how “mean” I’ve become since he turned six. Why do mothers change so when their sons hit six? Suddenly, I’m a real “meanie.”

Well, he did end up walking with Dad, but the ensuing drama caused DH to be late to metro. So all of a sudden, I wasn’t just arguing with my son, but now my DH was annoyed too. Even though DH agreed with me (but of course).

You need to be organized to be green.

You need to change your patterns. You need to plan. You need to think ahead.

It’s not easy. And if at first you don’t succeed, don’t beat up on yourself either. After all, I’m not one for beating ourselves up with “eco-sins.” I much prefer the term Eco-Mistakes.

So how’s the battle against global warming going on your end? What changes have you made to your daily routines? Enquiring minds want to know.

— Lynn

Green Moms Carnival Launches; Tackling Global Warming

August 4th, 2008

Today OrganicMania is featuring some great contributions from around the green blogosphere. We’re blogging about how we can make a difference in the fight against global warming. Most of us are Green Moms (aka Eco Moms), but we’ve got a few “Mothers of the Earth” and “sons of Moms” joining us too.

And yes, I know that this is supposed to be a web log – and not a diary – but these posts were so fantastic, I got carried away! So sit back, relax, grab something to drink, and enjoy!

Why a Green Moms Carnival? Well, as La Marguerite so aptly puts it, “Moms need to have a bigger role in the climate discourse. We are talking about Mother Earth after all. The qualities that come to us as mothers, as in giving, protecting, nurturing, and sustaining life, are the same ones that are needed to remedy climate change.” Read more here.

It was that post from La Marguerite which inspired this carnival, along with some encouragement from Alana at Gray Matters. While there are many, many “Green Moms” or “EcoMoms” blogging about everything from recycling to gardening, very few of us have been blogging about global warming.

Jennifer – aka “The Smart Mama” came to the same realization I did. As she put it, “Okay, here I am trying to protect my children from toxic chemicals so as to reduce their risk of adverse health effects, but it won’t matter much if they don’t get cancer if they can’t live here on Earth. If you read the reports on what will happen if we don’t do something right now, it is frightening and depressing… being non-toxic isn’t always the same as being green, so I decided to pay more attention to being both green and non-toxic.” Jennifer shares 10 simple steps any one can take to fight global warming.

Beth at Fake Plastic Fish is known for her campaigns to reduce personal plastic consumption and to lobby Clorox to recycle Brita water filters in North America, as they do in Europe. In this post, Beth presents a well – researched explanation of how plastic use contributes to global warming.

MamaBird at SurelyYouNest muses about her grandmother’s Depression-era sensibilities and how a respect for the mundane may be the simple solution to shrinking our carbon footprints. Enter a comment to win a copy of The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Your Carbon Footprint.

Over at Green Bean Dreams, the Mommys are Roaring. Discover how you can find the strength to combat global warming and deliver a healthy planet to our children. Helicopter parent? Hover over something truly worth worrying about: global warming.

Wondering how to talk to your kids about global warming? Mindful Momma has some solid tips for you, as does MC Milker of Not Quite Crunchy Parent. And eco ‘burban mom shares how her kids responded to watching “An Inconvenient Truth.”

But get your act together first. Here are OrganicMania’s 10 Things You Can Do to Help Fight Global Warming. And Matthew, who is as he puts it, “the son of a mom” shares three things you can do to fight global warming over at Conservatives and Normals. Our other “token male,” Lane of, blogs about ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Anna at Green Talk questions whether or not we as a society have changed our behavior in response to the threat of global warming. She is tired of waiting for change. She offers simple suggestions, and challenges you to do the same.

And while we’re all trying to reduce our fuel consumption, many of us are wondering how. Read these tips from “Big Green Purse” author Diane MacEachern and you may just save $20 to $50 per month on gasoline.

Leave it to Jenn of Tiny Choices, one of our Mothers of the Earth, to use humor to ask two very serious questions: Do you think global warming is generally accepted as truth by this point? Have you run into skeptics, and if so, what’s the conversation been like? While you’re thinking about it, check out the video Jenn posted of humorist Jill Sobule singing “Manhattan in January.”

Tiffany of Nature Moms brought up the “climate crisis hoax” issue in a poignant post that received more than 19 reader comments! Seems she catches a lot of flack from her neighbors for fighting global warming, but as she points out, she values her environmental actions on many levels. Its simply the right thing to do.

Mary Hunt of In Women We Trust points out that while making sense of green claims can be tough, as more and more products with Product Life Cycle Assessments like the SMaRT Sustainable Product Standard are brought to market, it will be far easier to measure and quantify the pollution and carbon footprint of a product across an entire supply chain.

And if all this talk of global warming stresses you out, remember gardening is a great stress reliever. Did you know that you can reduce your community’s carbon footprint through gardening? Ivory of Little House in the Suburbs shows you how.

Because remember, at the end of the day, don’t you want to be remembered for treading lightly on this fragile Earth, our island home? That’s the question Karen of Best of Mother Earth asked herself after reading an article in National Geographic which “took all the plastics found in a typical American home and put it all out on the front lawn. It was a 2 page spread of junk, or things at the time I didn’t even know were plastic or petroleum derived. I was shocked….I personally want to be remembered for the footprint I don’t leave behind.”

Well put, Karen.

Finally, a big THANK YOU to all the bloggers who participated in the launch of this carnival. Special thanks to Green Beam Dreams for making a cool Green Moms Carnival badge which you’ll see posted on many of the Green Moms sites participating in this carnival, and muchas gracias to eco burban mom for sorting through the many submissions that came in to the carnival mailbox. (Not all were on global warming, but we’ll add yours in if they match a future topic). There were even a few who helped along the way, but could not get a post up today – so Gray Matters, EnviroMom, and Crunchy Chicken, we still love ya!

This will be a monthly event, with topics chosen by each month’s carnival host. So on the second  Monday in September, join MamaBird at Surely You Nest to discuss green topics around “Back to School.”

Want to submit a post for next month’s carnival? The theme will be “Back to School,” and it will be hosted by SurelyYouNest. To submit, just go to the carnival submission link here.

Whew! Please leave a comment and let us know what you thought about the Green Moms Carnival.

— Lynn

Green Moms Carnival Launches Monday: Tackling Global Warming

July 30th, 2008

A year ago I didn’t think of myself as a “Green Mom.” Sure, I was environmentally aware, and I tried to do the right things for Mother Earth, but I didn’t associate myself as being part of a larger movement.

Well, take a few months, a heavy dose of the green blogosphere, and media attention focusing on the “Green Mom” or “Eco Mom” phenomenon and just imagine what happened.

Not only did I start to identify as a “Green Mom,” but my interests broadened beyond organic foods, natural products, recycling and pollution control to encompass a whole range of other environmental topics, most of which were brought to my attention by a wonderful sisterhood of Green Women Bloggers.

From Jessica at Surely You Nest I learned about the hazards of lawn pesticides; Beth at Fake Plastic Fish taught me how to reduce my plastic waste, and from Heather and Renee at EnviroMom I learned that those folks in Portland, Oregon have thought about everything green!

But it was La Marguerite who prodded me to think more deeply about global warming. Of course I knew about it already. But it seemed remote. And what’s worse, it seemed scary. As one friend confided, “Being a mother is anxiety-provoking enough. I don’t need to read something that’s going to make me even more anxious.”

And the fact is, most “Green Mom” bloggers have only skirted the issue of global warming. Sure, we refer to it, but by and large our blogs are full of far more references to CSAs, organic cottons, phthalate- free toys and recycling than to the depressing news about global warming.

La Marguerite tried reaching out to the Mommy Bloggers with her Green Drop project. She even profiled some Green Moms like yours truly on her own blog. But it wasn’t until she wrote this poignant post, “Mothers Needed to Protect the Earth,” that I really started thinking harder about harnessing the power of the Green Mom blogosphere to draw attention to climate change and to advocate changes to slow the rate of global warming.

What if, instead of blogging about our usual topics, a group of Green Moms focused on global warming instead? As a marketing consultant, I know any campaign to bring about change starts with raising awareness. One way to do that is through message repetition. What better way than to get a group of Green Moms blogging about global warming?

So this Monday, check back at OrganicMania for the inaugural posts of the Green Moms Carnival. It will be a compilation of posts about global warming from around the Green Mom blogosphere. And what’s more, we’ll have some honorary “Green Mom Earth Mothers” joining us too…

(And yes, the Green Moms Carnival will blog about other topics besides global warming in upcoming months. But I do hope that we continue to use the carnival as a venue to discuss global warming).

— Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2008

McDonalds on Eco-Friendly Happy Meals

April 1st, 2008

Every parent knows that being stuck on the road with a hungry kid is a dilemma. It’s so hard to find healthy fare on the road that even some Green Eco-Moms find themselves in McDonalds. More importantly, most American kids eat at McDonalds. Think of the huge environmental impact McDonalds could make by greening the Happy Meal and replacing the Cheap Plastic Crap Happy Meal toys with an eco-friendly alternative toy!

The Wall Street Journal recently published a report about McDonalds Corporate Sustainability Blog. I wasn’t familiar with McDonalds environmental initiatives, so I checked out their blog, and left a comment suggesting McDonalds could do even more for the environment by introducing organic Happy Meal selections and eco-friendly Happy Meal toys.

Take a look at McDonalds response via this link.   And let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!

And by the way, their response came 13 days after I left the comment! (The date doesn’t  show up on their blog, but I have it via email).  

— Lynn

Copyright 2008 OrganicMania

Save us from the EcoMoms?

February 23rd, 2008

It figures. Just when, for a nano-second, I felt like a trendy, cool green “EcoMom,” a backlash has started. It’s only been a week since The New York Times featured a group of EcoMoms on the front page of the Saturday paper. That was followed by my own 5 minutes of blog fame when one of my favorite bloggers, La Marguerite, profiled yours truly as an example of an EcoMom.

Now, in today’s Financial Times, you can read about concerns that green Moms are setting the cause of feminism back by worrying about when to run the laundry machine at energy-efficient times. “Save us from the eco-mom?”

I think we have bigger things to be saved from….hazardous toys…poor water quality…disappearing animal species…global warming…unhealthy and unsafe food in school cafeterias…terrorism. The list goes on.

As for the EcoMoms, fasten your seatbelts – I think we’re just revving up!

— Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2008