Consider yourselves reminded: this Sunday, May 11, is Mother’s Day, a fitting occasion for us to give props to some of our favorite environmental advocates: moms. Their collective power is helping to shape conversations about renewable energy, Big Food’s big ads targeting kids, clean air and water and a host of other issues. Here are a few active, influential groups you can join online no matter where you live – or how much time there is until naptime is over!
Moms Rising includes more than one million members across the US who organize around several core issues, including food and environmental health (against the use of toxins). Forbes has named their site one of the best for women three years running, but for a real treat, check out their regular Twitter chats. From #EcoTipTue (we’ll see you next week at 9pm ET!) to #FoodFri (an upcoming hour will focus on the overuse of antibiotics in meat production) and #WellnessWed, the grassroots movement offers an impressive array of outlets and conversations to join in on from Facebook to Twitter to their popular blog, which hosts more than 1,000 writers from around the country. There are also plenty of options to take action, from letter-writing to events.
Anna Lappé founded Food Mythbusters as an initiative of the Real Food Media Project (GRACE is proud to be one of their coalition partners), sharing videos, infographics and group discussion guides that take on some of our commonly held myths about food – like the idea that we have to rely upon industrial agriculture to feed the world. (The Real Food Media’s short film contest is taking submissions now – find out more. Lappé started the project after a decade touring the US talking about food issues during which the same questions kept coming up over and over and over again. (She co-founded the Small Planet Institute with her mom, Frances Moore Lappé, in 2001 and is the author of the book “Diet for a Hot Planet”.) Food Mythbusters’ online campaign using the tag #MomsNotLovinIt is an effort to stop predatory advertising of sodas and junk food to kids; there's been a lot of action on this during the past couple of weeks as moms take on Ronald McDonald's fast food giant. “Real Food Fridays” celebrate sustainable food - and you can sign up to receive recipes and tips on prepping the good stuff, too.
A nonpartisan group with more than 200,000 members (including some dads!), the Moms Clean Air Force is a project of the Environmental Defense Fund. Organizing locally via Twitter (in Spanish at @MamasAireLimpio), their state chapters talk about clean air issues in communities while their national team takes on Washington. Their Mama Summit 2014 (kicking off this week) will convene moms, grandmothers, dads and kids in state capitals to show support for children’s health and to fight indoor and outdoor air pollution. To learn more about weather and climate change, check out their eBook with an informative interview with climate scientist Heidi Cullen. From coloring books, cartoons, sample tweets and videos, Moms Clean Air Force has a deep well of resources for moms everywhere.
For the past couple of years, Raina Russo (of @Women4Solar) has held tremendously successful weekly Twitter chats talking up women and solar. On April 9, she hosted an extremely popular chat discussing the results of a groundbreaking industry survey of women – especially mothers – about solar power and marketing (see the Storify and recap). “What Women Want from Solar” recognizes the buying power of women in the solar energy market, and in turn, how marketers can better answer questions. The #SolarChat didn’t just pigeonhole broadly, however; many voices contributed to a dialogue discussing women in solar industry jobs, the importance of STEM education and why they wanted to go solar in the first place. #Women4Solar is another tag to check out on Twitter to find Russo and other solar fans – and investigators – asserting their power. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)
Mother’s Day is another great occasion to celebrate sustainably. If you’re planning to enjoy a delicious brunch at a restaurant or are taking to the kitchen yourself, find the best local, seasonal food using Eat Well Guide. Our Real Food Right Now series features many spring favorites, from rhubarb to ramps to nettles. We also have 12 reasons to avoid conventional flowers – and five great alternative gifts!