As every child knows, moms are all-knowing, all-seeing, all-fixing super heroes with super-human strength, and so, in honor of Mother's Day this month, we're celebrating the power of the mom (and the even greater power of a group of moms!) to protect our environment.
Meet Lauren Sullivan. In 2004, Lauren and her husband Adam Gardner (of Guster) founded Reverb, a non-profit organization that promotes environmental sustainability in the music industry. Reverb works with musicians to minimize waste, reduce carbon footprints and educate fans. Yet, when Lauren gave birth to her daughter, she was suddenly overwhelmed with baby gifts and baby gear.
"As a mom," she says, "I was incredibly grateful for the generosity of family and friends, but also realized that having a child immediately increased my family's level of consumption significantly, and this flew in the face of everything we were working towards with our non-profit and in our lives as a couple prior to our daughter's arrival."
Instead of becoming discouraged by her family's sudden increase in consumption, Lauren committed to being as environmentally-minded as possible. Here are her tips for other moms and moms-to-be:
- Have a "recycled gifts only" baby shower.
- Breastfeed if you're able. Environmentally-speaking, it's the best option because there's no packaging or waste involved.
- Use cloth diapers or the most eco-friendly diapers possible.
- Make your own organic baby food or supplement baby food purchases with some homemade items (and make it easier for yourself by making a ton at once and popping the excess in the freezer).
- Borrow or trade hand-me-downs for gear and clothing.
- Join a CSA. As a new parent you'll probably be eating in a lot more, so join a local CSA and cook delicious, fresh, local organic meals with your family.
- GreenMoms can help you find a local green group or start your own.
- EcoMom Alliance is a non-profit organization that trains mothers to be environmental leaders and supports a community of eco-moms. The Alliance also offers an online shop full of EcoMom-approved products and plenty of resources for sustainable living.
- EnviroMom is another online resource for green moms. This site is chock-a-block full of advice for folks who are "new to green". For more advanced enviro-moms, there's the "One Can A Month Challenge" — a challenge to encourage you to reduce, reuse, and recycle enough to shrink your family's monthly garbage load to the size of one 32-gallon can. The EnviroMom site also lists a few local green groups (though mostly in Oregon), along with guidelines for creating your own group in your own neighborhood.
Are you a green mom? Do you know a mother who truly deserves her eco-mom status? Share your stories of green super-moms and tell us how you are making a difference too.