womansmarch_flyer_v2_BTNAlongside my mother-in-law, daughter, niece, sister-in-laws, cousins, climate movement family and an expected 500,000 new friends, I will march in Washington, DC on January 21, 2017 at the Women’s March on Washington. I, like many who are coming to Washington, or who will be marching in solidarity in their home cities, will be marching for many varied reasons.

First and foremost I am marching for my son and my daughter. I march for their future and now – a place and space where all human beings are treated equally, where hope can be incubated and can breath and where the urgency of the climate crisis is given the weight and gravity it demands.

Through out the election process, I, like so many, watched in disbelief as women were denigrated, objectified and treated with disdain – all by the incoming President Elect. How was this allowed to transpire – how and why were so many people seemingly frozen in place? I am marching to say I won’t allow this to go any further without push back and action. I am marching with my sisters and for my sisters.

MEPUSSY HAT1I plan to wear my Pink Pussy Hat, and to wear it proudly; I will carry in my heart the many millions of women and men who cannot be in Washington, and I will think of them as I surround myself in a sea of pink – women transcending our nation’s capital. I will think fondly and with thanks, of my conversations with a US women’s rights icon, Bella Abzug. In 1995 I had the honor of spending time with her, as we waited together in a small classroom in a suburb of Beijing, China for an event of the Fourth World Conference on Women to begin. Ms. Abzug shared her thoughts and gave advice freely to me, on the conference we were attending, on her life’s journey, on the importance of work life balance, on how far women have come, and how far we still had to go. As a “soon to be married” young woman, thinking deeply about my life, my work, and the possibility of children to come, this conversation struck home with me, and has stayed fresh and strong in my mind and my heart all these years later. Honest, direct and forthright, Congresswoman Abzug helped me begin to define my path and find and harness my passions. I know that in Washington at the Women’s March there will be many women – myself included – taking time to share our thoughts and our experiences with others who are just beginning their journeys along the road of activism.

According to the Women’s March on Washington website: The March is a women-led movement bringing together people of all genders, ages, races, cultures, political affiliations and backgrounds in our nation’s capital on January 21, 2017, to affirm our shared humanity and pronounce our bold message of resistance and self determination. Continue reading

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Over the years, we have found that recycling is a common theme that everyone we talk to – young, old and in between – can relate to and support. From an early age, we teach our children to clean up after they make a mess. Unfortunately, this seems to be a lesson that as adults, we tend to forgot, at least as it relates to the big picture. Not only is it important to look at how we manage our waste in our own homes, we need be conscious of the fact that many critical resources we use are finite and getting scarcer.

Our friends at Rutgers University’s Online Master of Public Administration, have developed a powerful and easily understandable infographic, that helps us see the critical role of a “circular economy” and how we can put these sustainable practices into place. Rutgers compares some of the reuse and recycling practices we employ in the United States along side those that the European Union uses, and we certainly have room for improvement.

So, as you talk to your children about New Year family resolutions, make recycling and reusing in your home, part of the plan. As well, show your children that you will be encouraging your municipality and state update and share their plan too. Find out who manages recycling at your municipality, county or state – call them and write to them. Ask them to look more closely at how to the close the loop and help move us all towards a truly circular economy.

Card

Four Steps to a Circular Economy (at home, work, and world):

1. Decide what you want to achieve and create a roadmap as to how you will get there.
2. Educate and Activate
3. Assess what can be recycled, reused or taken back, and what should be phased out.
4. Engage with others, share experiences and build partnerships.

Thanks Mike and all our friends at Rutgers University’s Online Master of Public Administration for sharing this informative infographic!

Yours,

Climate Mama

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IMG_9508Today, we have many energy choices for our homes and businesses. In fact, we have so many options that sometimes these choices can be confusing. In 2017, ClimateMama will be sharing information on different forms of renewable energy, their benefits and opportunities. We are starting out our series with a guest post on Solar Energy from Arthur Smith and LEDwatcher.com

Why is solar energy so important to sustainability?

While most existing energy systems are based on fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) most new investment in energy sources being built around the world, is investment in renewable energy. According to Bloomberg, as wind and solar costs continue to drop these two technologies will become the cheapest ways of producing electricity in many countries during the 2020s and in most of the world by the 2030s. Fossil fuels are finite resources, even as humans use a wider and wider range of conventional and unconventional methods to crack, frack and pull the last dregs of these fuels from the ground. The pollution caused by these kinds of energy sources produce significant greenhouse gases, accelerating and exacerbating climate change. This not only destabilizes our planet, it also threatens our species and our existence. There is a huge need for renewable and sustainable energy sources such as solar power to slow down these threats to our planet and to us. These are only a few of the many reasons why solar energy is so important to sustainability. Continue reading

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okchandsAs Climate Mamas and Papas our mantra for our children is: “Tell the truth, actions speak louder then words, and don’t be afraid.” When it comes to fighting against climate inaction and for climate hope and our future, these are words we live by everyday.

As well, we strive to build up and support friends, family and sometimes total strangers, who are working with, alongside, in front and behind us creating a livable, safe, healthy and sustainable world. How each of us goes about creating climate hope varies greatly and is different for each of us. Our Climate Mamas and Papas work to stop pipelines, compressor stations and fossil fuel infrastructure, we put our bodies and souls on the line regularly, we work to educate others about the realities of the crisis we face, and we build up industries, companies and organizations that lead us to a fossil free world. We fight for chemical and toxin reform. We make art and join in song and we dance to wake people up to the beauty of our planet and why we must work so hard to save ourselves and along the way help heal our world!

At ClimateMama, we will be adding to our mantra in 2017: act on your passions. We need everyone to dive in head first and fight for their passions. Connecting the dots on how our passions will help alleviate climate chaos will be different and possibly unique for each one of us, but it will become clear and is how we keep going.

Our friends and partners at Stonyfield have encouraged us to think about one small way that we each can “pay it forward” this holiday season. I am a Stonyfield Yo-getter, and ideas and challenges like this remind me how proud I am to be working with this special company. I am part of a team of mom bloggers from around the country, who together “shout out” our support in a variety of different ways and for a range of different reasons, and for a company that goes the extra mile. Stonyfield helps us: to help our families eat healthy food, to be more healthy ourselves and also – and to me this is soooo very important – to help our planet stay healthy too!

imagesSo, particularly this year, at the end of 2016, a year that has been filled with animosity, anxiety and divisions, we at ClimateMama were thrilled to take some time to think about ways we can PAY IT forward and suggest some ideas for you to do the same.

Here is what we have done this holiday season to directly help others who are passionate about climate solutions and who could use some extra love and support this holiday season. We have supported Frontline Holiday and encourage you to do the same. Even if it may be too late to participate for Christmas this year, the community groups identified by the Bold Alliance deserve our thanks and recognition all year around.

More broadly, and on a very local basis my family participates with a local program called “All Wrapped up”. Through our local county Volunteer Action Center we adopt a family over the holidays. We never meet this family in person, but we know we get to bring smiles to their faces. We are provided with their first names, their ages and wishes and we purchase presents for each of them, helping to make their holiday a little brighter and filled with magic. This has become a ritual for my daughter and I. We take time and give great thought – spending time paying it forward, together.

Please join us and “Pay it Forward” in whatever way you and your family can. We all need one another – these days more then ever. We must find more and more ways to take down barriers and get outside our comfort zones. Meeting others who may seem different at first is a first step to realizing that there are many ways we are all similar. Finding common ground, common passions, common hopes and dreams – often begins with our children and our hopes and dreams for them. As we live climate change, and as we face an incoming administration in the United States who so far has given every indication that the reality of the climate crisis isn’t a priority tells us that we need each other more then every.

With Warm Wishes for the Holidays and with Thanks to all,

Yours,

Climate Mama

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Parallel_Universe_Self-Oscillating_FuzzEach day, as 2016 counts down and more and more cabinet posts are announced from President-Elect Trump’s transition team, and as more and more revelations about foreign government involvement in our elections are revealed, at ClimateMama we are feeling more and more like we are living in a parallel universe. If we were to write the script and cast the parts to fill the roles of the exact opposite of who and what we imagine would protect our children’s civil liberties, their air, water, security and future, many of the nominees so far would be this “parallel universe” cast of characters.

Like a “bull in a china shop” it seems clear that Mr. Trump is bringing in more “bulls” to break our current system. As Climate Mamas and Papas we certainly believe in shaking things up, and we do feel our present system is broken and needs to be fixed. But without a well-defined plan for what will replace all the broken pieces, what is currently happening is something we all must speak up against and we must demand a process be put in place that will ensure safety and security for our children’s future and now.

We have refrained from using our ClimateMama platform to express raw political views, as we strongly feel that co-opting climate change solutions and policies and painting them into political corners is a large part of what we feel is destroying our future and now. Yet, climate change and climate solutions have been cast as decidedly political issues. We must not allow this. Separation of church and state was established for well thought through reasons, just as separation of regulatory agencies from the industries they regulate was put in place for critical reasons. We must continue to demand that the air we breath, the water we drink, our food, our products and our future are not guarded by wolves at the hen house doors. Continue reading

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Join us December 5 & 6th, grab the kids in your life, and watch 24 Hours of Reality.

Find the broadcast live #24HoursofReality live on Facebook and Twitter.

Yours,

Climate Mama

24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward

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Used with permission © Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Used with permission © Erik McGregor – erikrivas@hotmail.com – 917-225-8963

At ClimateMama, we work hard to shine a spotlight on Climate Mamas and Papas on the front lines of fossil fuel infrastructure expansion – those who are fighting to stop pipelines, wells, compressor stations and more, in order to protect our bodies, our water, air, land, future and now. The world needs not only to witness what is happening but to open all eyes, so that we can all plan and put actions in place, so that we, and our Mother Earth, can begin to heal. Now more then ever, we all must stand up, be on guard and be counted on, to protect our children, our future and our now. By highlighting those who are already doing this hard work, we hope to inspire others to join us.

Along these lines, we are therefore honored to share with you a special holiday program, A Front Line Holiday, shared with us by one of our favorite Climate Mamas, Cherri Foytlin.

Cherri is a true heroine, who inspires us everyday. She is unafraid to speak out, to put her body on the line and to stand firm for her children and ours. At this time of giving, of holiday cheer and of togetherness, Cherri reminds us and gives us all a way to ensure that we all celebrate and are celebrated. Taking time to breath, to be with loved ones, and to remind ourselves what we are fighting to protect, is critical to renewing our strength and our resolve. Please read and share Cherri’s note. Join us in helping to make the holidays shine a little brighter this year for everyone.

A Front Line Holiday Program
Shared by Cherri Foytlin

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.10.20 AMToday I am writing you about an opportunity that I have been proud to be a part of in recent years – A FRONT LINE HOLIDAY (AFLH). This is a grassroots initiative, now also supported by Bold Alliance. AFLH is meant to help provide holiday relief to families living in communities that continue to deal with the effects of extreme extraction and climate chaos.

Additionally, and aside from the focus, a major difference in this program and other holiday toy drives is that we hope to spotlight issues at every location and heroes at every level from within our grassroots movement. Continue reading

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ALOHAThis Thanksgiving, we at ClimateMama are seeking to channel the true meaning of Aloha, and we hope you will join us. Most of us understand Aloha to be a Hawaiian greeting, a simple expression of hello or goodbye. The deeper Hawaiian meaning is actually much more complex; it expresses the combined notions of compassion, love and peace.

At our Thanksgiving dinner tables this year, now more then ever, love, compassion and peace are feelings, hopes and ideals that we need to embrace so that we can all move forward in a positive and constructive direction. It seems that so many people remain stuck “post election.” While we all need to come to grips with our own emotions, to validate them and to take needed time to do so; we also must remain active, observant and involved. Deciding not to “talk about” the differing opinions and views we may have with family and friends is NOT the way to move ourselves, our families, or our nation forward. Not only do we need to talk about our hopes and our concerns, we need to try our best to let others share their hopes and concerns with us as well. Listening to family and friends and HEARING the views of those we may have alienated or who may have alienated us is critical to finding common ground and creating hope.

As such, we wanted to offer 3 broad tips and conversation ideas that have resonated deeply with us. We feel that the advice below is useful – not only for Thanksgiving discussions – but also for sharing, thinking and acting on well beyond Thanksgiving and the holiday season. We have abbreviated the quotes below and pulled them out of longer discussions and we are adding links to the posts in their entirety so you can dig deeper as well. Continue reading

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photo credit: A. Jennis

photo credit: A. Jennis

Looking back five years, 2011 seemed to be a time of new understanding as the role, place and impact of human beings on our planet earth was re-examined. In the United States a sense of optimism was ignited, building hope and growing the climate movement with the successful and impactful No Keystone XL protests. National Geographic ran a feature story entitled: “Anthropocene: Enter the Age of Man” and a few months later the world surpassed an incredible milestone, 7 billion people.

Five years ago ClimateMama published one of our most widely read posts: “Top 10 Climate Change Quotes from Inspiring Women.” As world leaders gather in Marrakech, Morocco with the intent of showing us how they will “walk the walk” on climate change policy and actions, we thought it would be illuminating to reach out to some of these same inspiring women, and see if and how their thoughts on the climate crisis have changed and evolved.

We are thrilled to share with you the optimism, hope and urgency of 8 incredible women, ClimateMama superstars, who are taking action and moving forward on climate solutions – leading, not following. Be sure to read our 2011 post so you can compare their thoughts and statements.

We begin with the same quote we started with 5 years ago, with a quote by one of our heroes and one of the founders of the modern day environmental movement, Rachel Carson. This Climate Mama’s words remain hauntingly relevant and urgently poignant, 54 years after they were first uttered:

“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy; a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lays disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”

Rachel Carson, Writer, Scientist, Ecologist, Environmentalist, Marine biologist, “Silent Spring” 1962 Continue reading

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tomsWe love to share the successes of our partners and the commitments they make – as we do – to not only “talking the talk” but walking the walk too. Our partners at Stonyfield regularly introduce us to products and programs that place planet and people on the same footing as profit. Tom’s of Maine is one of those special companies that clearly and proudly let you know, from the information on their product packaging, to the details found easily on their website, that they care deeply about protecting our planet and us at the same time that they produce quality and affordable products.

As we work to expand understanding about the urgency of the climate crisis, we love sharing companies and their products that also care about our health and the health of our planet. We must work together on many fronts and all at the same time, including what we buy and how we actively care for our family and our planet. Many companies out there will tell you their products are “natural” “green” “safe” “good for the planet” all words that can mean anything and are not regulated. These words are often used purely for advertising, with no facts to back them up. Our Climate Mama community teaches our children to read labels, ask questions and dig deep. Continue reading

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