April we celebrated Earth Day. In May we celebrate Mother’s Day. And today I write about my personal perspectives on mothers being human races’s natural eco-warriors. I strongly believe that mothers are innate eco-moms and are great allies in the fight for healthier lives and a more sustainable earth.
A mother’s life journey is made up of a daily set of choices to be made for herself and her family. Her focus is on nurturing the family and can be summed as follows:
* What goes in our mouths
* What affects our skin
* Quality of air we breathe
* State of our mental health
The simple actions of Moms, which at times we find to be an obsessive-compulsive behavior or she’s just being a “momzilla", are in retrospect smart, logical and yes, gentle to our Mother Earth! Working on set budgets most of the time, Moms go on in-depth and intense research mode, knowing their purchases are powerful, make a difference and impact changes in their homes, immediate communities and the wider world.
Let me illustrate how moms are champions of living eco-consciously and sustainably:
• Moms advocate breastfeeding as breast milk keeps babies healthy naturally. Aside from it being the perfect food for babies, it is always
readily available and good for the environment - always at the right temperature, clean, free and there will be no bottles to clean, and no
wasteful packaging (no transportation and manufacturing waste too).
• Moms’ diaper decisions. Grandmamas used cloth diapers and it is having a good comeback, along with options for eco-friendly disposable diapers (without chlorine bleach, fragrance or latex). Imagine how much non-biodegradable diapers are off the landfills because moms choose to use at least 1 cloth diaper a day!
• Moms do have the best intentions. They make sure that their children bring their own lunch boxes and water bottles to school the whole year round, instead of packed juices and individually wrapped snacks. Guaranteed healthy snacks and juices for the kids, and less packaging waste in the bins which will ultimately spill over the environment.
• Remember when Mom asks if we really do need the newly released iPhone model? Or that new celebrity-endorsed sports shoes? That is her having mastered the art of waste reduction.
• They have also mastered the art of recycling! Composting excess or leftover food into biodegradable garden waste is a perfect example. Note that recycling also conserves landfill space.
* Moms love upcycling! Empty wine bottles get filled up with growing indoor plants and vines. Literally bringing the greens in!
* See all those plastic bags in the kitchen drawer? That is also mom on upcycling mode. These plastic bags from store packaging are to be reused for garbage cans and pet litter too.
* Kitchen scraps such as vegetable cuttings? They regrow them in water! Free vegetables and herbs in a few months!
* Eat your fruits and vegetables! There probably was not a day without this gentle reminder from moms, every meal time, throughout the years. It might not be totally meat - free meals, but definitely less meats meant reduction in carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions responsible for a warmer earth.
* Moms help the small businesses in the local economy by going to thrift shops! Oh how happy they are when they see great items for bargain prices. Saving money while making sure the items get a “second life”, and most importantly, do not go to the landfills.
* You got hand-me-downs from your older sibling? This is now considered Circular Fashion “defined as clothes, shoes or accessories that are designed, sourced, produced and provided with the intention to be used and circulate responsibly and effectively in society for as long as possible in their most valuable form, and hereafter return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use. (Anna Brismar, Green Strategy, 2017)
* Line - dry laundry or hanging clothes outside and under the sun (when circumstances allow it), as practiced by grandmamas decades ago, harnesses the power of the sun. Household saves on electricity consumption, while also benefiting from longer-lasting fabrics due to fewer tumble cycles.
* Turn-off the lights! Unplug appliances and electronics that aren’t being used. Mom is conscious about energy conservation while knowing that it is also a fire prevention act.
* Turn-off the tap! Take shorter showers! That’s moms’ constant dialogues to make sure everyone in their household conserve water, reduce wastewater pollutant run-offs into the oceans, while also saving money and time.
* Husbands and children always wonder what takes moms so long at the grocery store. Aside from checking her list, she also reads product labels, making sure that our homes are safe by buying on-toxic, biodegradable cleaning, laundry and dishwashing products. She makes sure too that our bodies are safe and healthy by buying organic, non-GMO, biodegradable, fair trade, locally-produced, cruelty- free products.
* Yes moms love shopping (and she brings her eco bags). But she will tell you though to buy only what is needed in the quantity that we require for our food, cleaning supplies, among other things in the house.
This is just a brief look into a mother’s daily life choices and influences in caring and healing Mother Earth. What a remarkable journey how mothers live and grow through the phases of motherhood, with active participation in finding solutions for a healthier and more sustainable earth!
Power hugs to MOMs!