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environmental health

Choosing Nontoxic Holiday Gifts for Children

Last-minute holiday shopping for the kids in our lives can be stressful. We want to make sure we give them gifts that they’ll love and that are also good for them.

Unfortunately, outdated toxics regulations don’t make it any easier on parents trying to find safe, nontoxic gifts that we can feel good about giving. According to Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, there are more than 80,000 chemicals on the marketplace, very few of which have ever been tested for safety.

A Special Match for #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday

You gave thanks. You ate delicious food. You got deals. Now, it’s time to give back!

Today is Giving Tuesday, a national day of celebrating and supporting the causes that matter most to us – like making the world a better, safer, more just place for women, moms and families.

To mark this day, another generous donor has offered to give $25 for every contribution today – in any amount! Make a gift, unlock this special match for Giving Tuesday!

Our goal today is to recruit 100 new and returning MomsRising donors today for Giving Tuesday. I hope you will become one of them!

Your support today will help MomsRising dial up the fight for pay equity, push harder for gun safety, and turn up the pressure for paid family / maternity / paternity medical leave.

Are you at a threshold, too?

Yesterday we attended a moving "Ceremony of 13" at our church for my teenage son. Cultures around the world share a tradition of marking the transition from childhood to adulthood beginning at age 13 (in the Jewish tradition this is called a Bar or Bat Mitzvah). Our ministers shared why it's key to pause and honor this threshold or "crossing over" with ritual--just like we honor other thresholds such as baptisms, births, weddings, deaths, turning 18 and more.

After each youngadult received a blessing and anointing, parents took turns sharing what they loved and honored in their young teens. It was powerful and moving.

Tears streamed down my face for most of the short ceremony and it dawned on me that my 13 year-old and I are at a very similar place. I'll be 50 in January and I too, am at a threshold. My midlife transition has amped up in the last 18 months--physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually-- and just like my son, I too am at an axial time. A time that calls for more self-compassion, self-acceptance and time/space to digest and integrate all these internal--and external--changes so I can prepare for my second course.

Working in the Regenerative Economy

“If we want stronger communities and more fulfilling, connected lives, we’re going to have to build them – together.” – Sara Horowitz, Freelancers Union

 

Federal officials say the “Great Recession” ended in June 2009, 18 months after it started. But for many Americans, the recession’s ripple effects still linger: job insecurity and the housing bubble have rattled our faith in the leaders and institutions we came to rely on.

Despite the economic devastation it caused, the recession has given us a great opportunity too: the chance to redefine work culture and the “good life.”

In some American cities where economic hardship has lasted decades longer than the recent recession, the seeds of this new economy are sprouting.

Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio is a collection of worker-owned businesses that do three great things: they provide workers with good wages and a voice in the future of the business; they inject money into the local economy; and they provide sustainable products and services. Win-win-win.

Get Involved: Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil

 

When problems seem overwhelming for our children, we remind them to take things “one day at time.” Amazingly, their problems often don’t seem so big or so overwhelming anymore.

On May 20, 2014, you and your family can join me and my family and thousands of other folks around the world as we take one day and create thousands and thousands of actions around ONE ask: PepsiCo The Power to Cut Conflict Palm Oil is #InYourPalm.

For most of us, making a difference and creating change around huge global problems like the destruction of the world’s rainforests and climate change seems way too big and too hard to imagine taking on. As parents, between work in and outside our homes, getting to and from lacrosse games, music and dance classes, putting nutritional meals on the table, arranging play dates for our kids, and finding time for the occasional play date of our own, our lives are full, busy, and regularly frenetic and hectic.

Mom Taught Me To Be An Activist

I recently visited my mom for her birthday last week. She always possessed a practical, no-nonsense attitude. Mom is the personification of a hip 80 year-old, but she reminds me often that growing up during the Depression gives her the edge of realism. Her mind is as sharp as a tack, so even at her advanced age, she’s truly light years ahead of her pack. She’s still a voice of reason.

Since Mom’s body is not as sprite as her intellect, she walks and walks to keep fit. As she prepared for a trip to visit relatives in Spain, Mom tells me, “I’m walking longer everyday to get ready for the trip. When I want something bad enough, I become an advocate for it. I’m fighting to keep my mobility. As long as I can still breathe, there’s always something worth fighting for.”

What comes to mind when you hear the word advocacy?

I asked Mom to define it: “Advocacy is the efforts and struggles of one person, or a group, take action.”

What I Learned From My Mother: The Power to Change the World

My mother taught me to “reach for the stars.” My mother taught me to believe in myself and to believe deeply and passionately for all that I strive for. She told if I am true to myself, that I can accomplish anything. Today, I am a national spokesperson on climate change action and advocacy. I am successful at this because it is my passion. I am driven by my hope for and the fierce love that I have for my children.

As a mother, I believe strongly that it is my "job" to help change the world and make it a safe, secure and sustainable one for my children.  Because of my mother, I believe that “moms have the power to change the world.” One of the greatest challenges we will face in our lifetimes, is climate change.  Our children’s future and their now is at stake. My hope is renewed every day though, because I see people coming together on climate change; I see mothers uniting as they demand solutions, so that our children will have a livable future. 

Why We Will Keep Rising After Defeat

It’s a sad day for those of us in Connecticut who feel strongly that more needs to be done to protect children from toxic chemicals. A bill that would have tasked the Department of Public Health (DPH) with developing a list of chemicals of high concern to children was never called for a vote on the floor before the end of legislative session. Advocates, led by the CT Campaign for Toxic-Free Kids, have been working to get this bill passed for several years. This year the bill had the support of over 40 legislative co-sponsors, DPH and thousands of concerned citizens who called and emailed their elected officials. But the chemical and toy industries are so afraid of being potentially regulated that they spent a lot of time & money to kill this simple, common sense legislation.

The sting of defeat is fresh. It’s hard on the psyche to continue to be on the losing side. The folks that have been working on this issue feel passionately about protecting children’s health and so defeat feels deeply personal.

#WhatMothersNeed: For Our Children to be Protected from Toxic Chemicals

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and I’ve been seeing more and more ads in my Facebook feed for Mother’s Day gifts. I’m not interested in a new necklace or a massage (OK a massage does sound nice…). The best gift I could possibly receive is the knowledge that the products I buy in the store for my family are safe and toxic-free.

There’s a lot going on nationally around the issue of toxic chemicals in consumer products and right here in my home state we have an opportunity to really take a stand in support of creating a better Connecticut for our children. There’s a bill waiting for action in the CT Legislature that would direct the Department of Public Health to begin a process of determining which chemicals are of greatest concern to children. The Department would then report back to the Legislature with their findings and elected officials could use that information to determine policy solutions.

California schoolkids in harm's way

This is very powerful data. A new, first-of-its-kind report from California's Department of Health (DPH) shows that health-harming agricultural pesticides are being sprayed close to schools across the state.

Not just a few pesticides, either — or a few schools. More than 500,000 California children in hundreds of schools spend their days within 1/4 mile of pesticide applications. Of these, more than 100,000 (mostly Latino) children in 226 schools attend classrooms near fields with the heaviest use of dangerous chemicals. We have a problem.

We know these pesticides can drift from where they're applied, and often much more than 1/4 mile. PAN and our partners have been pressing EPA to do a better job protecting children from drift at the national level; the agency is now taking another look at whether its "spray drift" guidelines could be stronger.

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