summit collageI was invited by the UN Foundation to report on the September 23rd, UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit, from inside the United Nations…I was honored, excited, but also more then a little apprehensive…

Coming off a “high” from marching 2 days before through the streets of New York, defiantly and with purpose surrounded by my children, husband, old friends and many new friends – over 400000 give or take a few – I was filled with a sense of hope and renewed possibilities. We were demanded climate action now. We demonstrated that we are more then ready, and expected our leaders in industry, business, and all levels of elected office, to begin decisively using their powers to take action as well. Filling and overflowing the wide avenues of New York City, it felt like we could no longer be ignored. However, because of my past experience as a delegate at the United Nations, I knew that I shouldn’t “get my hopes up too high.” This Summit, with more then 100 heads of state and government, was certainly the most prominent UN meeting I had attended in many, many years, and the first gathering of world leaders to discuss climate change in 5 years. The timing and the urgency of the crisis we faced seemed to present crystal clear opportunities for real change to be announced and put in motion. Continue reading

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Photo Credit: Peoples Climate March

Photo Credit: Peoples Climate March

For many of us who took part in the Peoples Climate March, either in person or by cheering on friends and family who could be in New York on our behalf, the euphoria may have passed, but the urgency to do “something more” remains.

And this is a good thing.

We know that not every day can be so “huge, emotional and powerful.” But at the same time we know that everyday must include something; visible, concrete steps, and actions that move us forward in this fight to protect our future and now. We need some really heavy lifting from our world leaders and local leaders. We need to remind our elected officials if they want us to vote for them, they must have climate solutions as part of their plans.

logoSo while we push and demand these big steps and heavy lifting, we can also take smaller steps in our own homes that added with other small steps can add up to big, big moves. While changing a light bulb won’t change the world, if every household replaced just one light bulb with one that has earned the ENERGY STAR certification, we would save enough energy to light three million homes for a whole year, and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that of 800,000 vehicles.

In order for energy efficient technologies to truly take hold, people will need to trust products that are reliable and high quality, which is why distinguishing ENERGY STAR certified LEDs from the rest of the market is so important.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 3.25.18 PMOur friends at Energy Star have launched some funny videos, that remind us to stay away from “dim bulbs” and offer some great suggestions on why we should be switching to LED bulbs. Share these videos with the kids in your life; they will smile, and learn a think or tow at the same time!

Many thanks to our good friend Diane, at Big Green Purse, for always reminding us about great, practical ways we can all make a difference…

Yours,

Climate Mama

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pcmcollage2So many emotions, depth of feeling, resolve and hope: The Peoples Climate March, 9/21 was a day of celebration that echoed around the world. Regular people from all walks and corners of life, coming together to say, “enough.” Enough talk, we want and must have climate action as our future and now depends on it.

Pictures speak a thousand words, so here are a few of our favorites, you can find thousands of pictures, videos and stories from friends new and old, major media networks, blogs and social media sources of all sizes and shapes from across the country and the planet.

crcmNow, after the euphoria and the celebrations, the work continues. The struggles to make sure that “the truth is told, that actions do speak louder then words, and that we remain unafraid in light of the daunting crisis that we face” continue today, tomorrow and the day after that…

Our opportunity is here, and if feels and seems strongly like we will and are seizing it.

With much gratitude, hope and resolve,

Yours,

Climate Mama

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10712976_1480597352191243_8802143898163990624_nThe path ahead is “messy,” with no single solution or one clear answer to the climate crisis that is confronting us. The path is also big and beautiful, with so many opportunities, twists and turns, that we each can find our own ways forward. Our paths do and will converge at various points along this journey, so that we can travel on the same path, at some points along the way, together.

One of these points where we will all be traveling together, is the Peoples Climate March. This is a day and a call for action on climate solutions, that is unfolding on Sunday, September 21st 2014 in cities and towns around the world. People will march, sing and celebrate the endless possibilities, as well as demand that our leaders, LEAD on climate solutions. Not everyone will march, but everyone can help amplify the voices and footsteps of our marchers around the world. Check in here, for march information happening around the world.

PrintIf are in New York City on September 21st, we would love for you to join our Climate Mama and Papa families. We well be “lining up” between 9-11:30am ET – try to arrive as early as you can – on 66th and Central Park West, closest to the “park” side of the street. The march doesn’t begin until 11:30am so bring some food, water, wear comfortable shoes…bring things to make signs, chalk to draw on the streets, your voices to learn new songs, or just come and hang out with us and meet some new friends. We are marching in the “WE CAN BUILD THE FUTURE” bloc, with other kids – young and old – and families of all shapes and sizes!

pcm-route-mapHere’s a map of the March route.

A few other key points:

Moment of Silence to Moment of Alarm @12:58pm

The march is being led by frontline communities and indigenous groups from around the continent and the world, who are many of the first victims of climate change, and at 12:58, we’re having a moment of silence to honor those on the front lines. When you see people start linking hands above their heads, that’s the sign the moment of silence is beginning.

Also, please text ALARM to the number 97779. By doing this, you will receive a reminder about the moment of silence.

At 1:00pm we are going to end that moment of silence with a great, big noise—sounding the climate alarm that has gone ignored for too long. You’ll know it’s time to ring that alarm and make as much noise as you can when you hear 32 marching bands blowing their horns and church bells ring from around the city (so bring your own noisemakers).

End of March: Peoples Block Party

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 5.02.50 PMThe end of the march will be a Peoples Climate block party! This is a chance for everyone to walk, visit with and cross paths with folks you might not normally meet, or with long, lost friends. You are welcome to join the block party even if you can’t make it to the march itself!

Please share your photos with us @climatemama or on our Facebook Page, so we can share them too..

Look forward to “seeing” you at the March, wherever you will be marching..

Yours,

Climate Mama

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Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 5.02.50 PM“Respect your Elders,” a life lesson we all teach our children. Yet, do WE actually live by this lesson? Many of our elders, with vast experience and knowledge on climate change facts, science and solutions are speaking out and telling us to wake up and take action. Yet, we seem to be stuck in a “dream state” paralyzed and unable to take and demand the actions needed to slow down and change direction from the crash course we are currently on.

We are honored and thrill to share A Grandfather’s Lament, a guest post by Larry Schweiger, Climate Papa extraordinaire, immediate past president of the National Wildlife Federation, Climate Reality Leader and Mentor, father to 3 grown daughters and grandfather to 5 wonderful grandchildren. Larry offers clear guidance, rational and reasoning as to why we must move forward on climate solutions, now. Our mantra at ClimateMama, “Tell the truth, Actions Speak Louder then Words, Don’t be Afraid.” Larry’s call to action this “Grandfather’s Lament” is framed around similar guidelines: “Seek the truth, have the courage to act upon truth, leave a legacy, ethics in action and a recommitment.” Larry will be marching at the Peoples Climate March in New York City on September 21st, 2014. Join him..or join a soldiery action wherever you are….

A Grandfather’s Lament
Larry J. Schweiger
This post was first published on September 7, 2014 on EcoNotes.

The Tragedy of the Commons revisited

A man holds a glass filled with water from Lake Erie on August 3, 2014. Toledo’s water supply intake sits in the background. Photo copyright Dave Zapotosky.

A man holds a glass filled with water from Lake Erie on August 3, 2014. Toledo’s water supply intake sits in the background. Photo copyright Dave Zapotosky.

Standing on a heavily polluted Lake Erie Beach watching what was to be the end of the famed blue pike, I made a childhood promise to God that if given the opportunities, I would spend my life fighting pollution and the destruction of creation. This vow has led me to a series of life choices with progressive responsibility in the environmental field. My early decision also opened opportunities to work with, and be mentored by some of America’s greatest contemporary conservation leaders. Together we fought hard and long to make a difference. Continue reading

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nurturingfamilyA while back we did a book review of “Nurturing the Soul of Your Family” by Renée Trudeau. Over the past few years, many of us at ClimateMama have been reading non-stop, climate related books, and to take the “time” to read something about “nurturing our souls,” seemed way off track, and not a priority. Boy was I wrong. I loved Renée’s book and it touched me deeply, in a myriad of important ways.

In particular, for me, as the urgency of the climate crisis becomes crystal clear, and as we work to help others grasp what we are up against, “chaos” in every way, shape and form seems often to take hold. Renée has helped us step back, and realize we can’t do it all, and that we must take time to find time for joy in the moment; through our friends, our family and through nature. To do this, we must take the time, to nurture ourselves.

We are pleased to share this guest post by Renée with you. If you, like us are sending your children back to school this month, Renée thoughtful strategies will come in handy.

Six Back-to-School Strategies to Help You Stress Less & Simplify Your Life

by, Renée Peterson Trudeau

In the Native American tradition, September signifies the start of a new year. It certainly feels this way to me. Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, the start of the school year signifies opportunity, a time for a fresh start and a chance to do things differently. If you’re feeling some anxiety around the all the transitions, scheduling and driving that usually accompany a new school year, take a deep breath, pause, and consider the following ideas for a simpler, less stressful school year. Adopting even one of these ideas could make a huge difference in how you experience this potentially hectic time. Begin with compassion and baby steps as you consider the following: Continue reading

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Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 2.06.02 PM“Tell the truth, actions speak louder then words, and don’t be afraid.” Our mantra and words we live by. Over this past year, we have been thrilled to be part of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) Snack Food 20 Campaign; a campaign targeted at the world’s largest snack food companies that demands the truth, uses strong actions and shows us that we needn’t be afraid!

Our ask, in fact our demand, is that these companies stop using Conflict Palm Oil; and many of these companies have listened, and are doing just that. One company that hasn’t seemed to be listening closely though, is PepsiCo.

So together with two of our favorite Climate Mamas, Debra and Susan we are calling on another very powerful Mama, Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico, to use her influence “to tell the truth, to use her actions to make positive change, and to show others that we needn’t be afraid to make the changes we have to, to ensure a sustainable and livable future for us all.”

Open letter to Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo

Dear Ms. Nooyi,

pepsico1Our names are Harriet, Susan and Debra. We are three mothers who live in your community, in the tri-state area of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. We are witnesses, first hand and in our own communities, to the impacts of climate change. Our thoughts, concerns, fears and hopes – are for our children, for their future and their now. We are reaching out to you in regards to the historic leadership opportunity you face right now on the issue of climate change and palm oil. We are writing as fellow mothers, daughters, and working women. We are representatives of and speak for thousands of mothers around the country – neighbors, friends, relatives, as well as Rainforest Action Network members, who share our concerns that climate change is a direct threat to our children’s future.

As part of the launch of Showtime’s groundbreaking series Years of Living Dangerously in April, we and tens of thousands of concerned people signed onto a public petition asking you a question that remains unanswered: “Given that palm oil is known to be a major cause of carbon pollution causing climate change, and that you have spoken out that this is an issue that is important to you and that PepsiCo is a major global user of palm oil, how can you guarantee to your customers that the products PepsiCo produces are not contributing to climate change?”

PepsiCo is the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world. PepsiCo uses enough palm oil every single year to fill Pepsi cans full of palm oil that would stretch around the earth at the equator 4 times. Palm oil may seem to many like a minor issue, but in fact it is among the world’s leading causes of deforestation, which in turn is responsible for nearly 20% of all carbon emissions. And, its found in the homes of nearly every American family, giving us the power to push for the changes that are so desperately needed.

As the leader of this incredibly influential company which has yet to take the necessary steps to address its Conflict Palm Oil problem, we urge you to answer this question publicly and take immediate action to ensure that PepsiCo adopts a truly responsible palm oil policy.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 5.02.50 PMOn September 21 the whole world will be watching leaders as the largest ever People’s Climate March descends on New York City. We will march with thousands of families to shine a light on the companies, policies and practices that are slowing progress, and in fact accelerating climate change.

We are appealing to you to ask that PepsiCo announce the revisions to its currently inadequate policy in advance of the Climate March so that PepsiCo can be a company used to highlight leadership in implementing climate solutions, instead of an example of the problem. Specifically PepsiCo needs to adopt a time bound action plan to remove Conflict Palm Oil from its supply chain, make a commitment to trace its palm oil back to the plantation where it was grown and verify that its suppliers operations are free of the clearance of rainforest and peatlands and the violation of human rights including the use of forced and child labor.

As the head of a large corporation your voice is extremely powerful. We know that ensuring a secure supply line is critical for PepsiCo and that addressing climate change is part of your corporate social responsibility agenda. On a personal level, as a mother who wants every opportunity open to her children, we are sure that like us, climate change also weighs on your conscience; we urge you to answer this question and take action for your children’s hopes and future.

Sincerely,

Debra Mahony
Susan Rubin
Harriet Shugarman

P.S. Three things you can do to help Ms. Nooyi and PepsiCo hear us.

1. Please share our open letter and sign this petition from our friends at the Sum Of Us, which asks PepsiCo to fix it’s Conflict Palm Oil Policy now.

2. If you live in the New York tri-state area, join us on Tuesday, September 9th, at 9:30am eastern time in Greenwich, Connecticut. Debra, Susan and I will be at Bruce Park Playground (across the street from the Bruce Museum) for a Palm Oil teach-in, a great big playdate and a Stroller Brigade! Check out the Facebook event for more details or send us a note, we are happy to answer any questions you have..

3. Reach out to your Connecticut friends, tell them to join us and ask them to tell two friends and so on and so on…!

It’s going to be fun…and also a great opportunity to show your kids how OUR actions can speak very loudly!

Yours,

Climate Mama

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As the last real weekend of summer is upon us, enjoy the time outdoors if you can with the kids in your life. Play…BE…Enjoy..

And to keep the “fires burning” on the Peoples Climate March recruitment, join me and my dear friends Green Diva Meg and Green Diva Lynn..as we talk Climate March on Green Divas Radio, with a sprinkling of ideas for Lynn and Meg’s upcoming trip to the Big Island of Hawaii thrown in just for fun; and an added “hint” from Green Diva Lynn that she may “streak her way” through the Chicago Climate March on September 6th..We want pictures (of both!!)

Happy weekend to all…Enjoy! And don’t forget to remind your friends and family to sign up of for the Peoples Climate March! At the same time, introduce them to Green Divas Radio..there are always fun and interesting guests, if we do say so ourselves, and wonderful ideas on how to live more “lightly” on our planet, in creative and unique ways you may never have imagined…

Yours,

Climate Mama

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pcmlogoA moment in time, a life memory created, a call to witness. The Peoples Climate March on September 21st will be this and so much more. We are honored to share Wendie’s beautiful invitation to the Peoples Climate March – her heartfelt and stirring call to action. It touched us deeply, and we think it will touch you too. Mother, poet, and friend, Wendie Goetz is truly a Climate Mama extraordinaire!

Wendie’s Call: The People Climate March – Join Me

I thought to reach out and ask you personally to call me, yes YOU, New Jersey and the world.

I’d ask you to recall the worry, the perplexing anxiety of where our worlds stand, and the innovative solutions you expressed inwardly and in sharing.

IMG_2340I would share with you my enlightening experience in Washington at THE CLIMATE MARCH in 2013. And pour forth the emotions shared by frontline activists…all their warrior names….and HUGE stands, rallies, protests, bird dogging, town halls, movies, words, festivals, trips back to DC and Trenton, and all the learning – no, relearning – that has occurred this decade around the world. IT IS A WILD TIDE RISING truly.

I would explain how there was not a choice for me yet a calling. Stand or die…inside and out.

I think it is an honor yet a burden in some aspects because this weight is heavy like crocodile tears on the cheek of your child. I have watched many folks step up and excel for no purpose but to build a better world and seek justice for the future. This is freedom, I feel so thankful…. I AM FREE. We respond to the need for a better future, a reliable, non-polluting, sustainable future. We are free.

I heard in the tremble of your voice, I read in between the lines of your words, that YOU are concerned too. I know that you, incredible you, would be an asset to the solutions we need to implement NOW.

ALL of the world leaders are meeting for a special session on the climate in September. We would like to welcome them to NYC and send our messages personally to them.

Together we CAN make a difference. Will you please march with me?

Wendi Goetz: wife, mother, poet, and community member. “Gardening for a better future seven generations forward in any and every way I can think will make a drop of a difference.”

Thanks Wendie..you are making a difference each and every day..

Join Wendie on September 21st, 2014 in New York City, or find a solidarity event close to where you live. Sign up today, and be counted!

Posted in Climate Mamas & Papas, Do Something Wednesdays, Lifestyle & Fun, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

bulbtreephotoHow to change a light bulb..? It seems like a pretty simple question, but for many of us, it isn’t as straightforward or as simple as it used to be, so this can create confusion and wrong choices!

Our friends at Energy Star have some great tips on how to truly make changing a light bulb simple. It’s Do Something Wednesday, here at ClimateMama, so join us as us as we hear from the experts at Energy Star about how to make “changing your light bulb” easy..

The four easy to remember and follow Energy Star steps are as follows: Continue reading

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