Last week, I was thrilled to be invited to KQED’s San Fransisco studio by Mark Trautwein to record a piece I’d written about my Earth Baby. My daughter was born on Earth Day, and every year it has me thinking more deeply about the significance of that day AND worrying what the future holds, given global warming and all its ramifications around the world. But I also have to work hard to focus on my daughter’s birthday celebrations and not get caught up in my usual guilt trip about not living more greenly.
If you’d like to listen to the Perspective about Earth babies pulling together for change, click here
I had the opportunity to interview Sandra Bergeron last year for the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Her story of giving back to her Georgia State Alma Mater to enable five young women to have a college education is truly remarkable. She’s now balancing board level positions in high tech with motherhood. What an inspiring Silicon Valley mom!
My weekend is never complete without reading Chrystia Freeland’s excellent column in the Financial Times Weekend section www.ft.com/freeland however, a recent one really made my blood boil. Titled, “Save us from the eco-mom” my hackles were up before I’d even scanned the first paragraph. She reports to “feeling the first stirrings of eco-resistance” as she’s forced to hand wash her daughter’s glass milk bottles…and then extrapolates into a whole peeve-fest about “eco-moms’ tendencies to complicate and belabor domestic life.” Oh my!
I agree that we shouldn’t forget the emancipatory power of the dishwasher and washing machine, but I think we should also be prepared for a little inconvenience. Saving the planet is worth a little hassle, is it not?
I aspire to be an eco-mom; I aspire to recycle, buy local, drive a hybrid, reduce my carbon footprint etc., but I certainly don’t aspire to the fundamentalist eco-mom definition she describes…moms who’re completely consumed by the eco movement to the point of turning the clock back, abandoning science and technology. Brings to mind an image of women down by the river, scrubbing their underwear with carbolic soap for hours…Oh, please!
Eco-moms are looking for ways to get their groceries from local producers, not from half way round the world. Eco-moms want green solutions, not ways to chain themselves to the sink all day. It’s opportunity not tragedy; a wee bit of inconvenience for the common good. I reject her branding eco-moms fundamentalist: we’re pragmatic, we’re realists and we’re more than ever aware that we’re all in this together. Al Gore says it best in his surprisingly funny and self-effacing call to action http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/1
Finally: I’m curious to observe that Chrystia is the one who tries to sneak recyclables in the trash and her kids are the ones who catch her red-handed. Why is it the complete opposite in our house and I’m forever fishing plastic yoghurt cartons etc out of the garbage? Are the New York schools so much better at making the eco-message stick than the California schools? Am I pushing too hard? Fodder for another column perhaps?