This Mother’s Day, the fight for the climate is personal
Somehow, we’ve come to another Mother’s Day. The second mother’s day pandemic. And we are not only still standing, we are moving forward.
As Alicia Keys sings, Moms have been “the engine that keeps everything running” during this pandemic – despite our exhaustion, worries and extraordinary efforts to keep our families safe and healthy. Combat the monotony and anxiety caused by social isolation. Strengthen the mental health of our children. To motivate them day after day at Zoom school.
We’re moving forward because that’s what moms do.
The story of my own family and yours
I had it easier than many. My eight-year-old daughter, Teagan, had COVID-19 just before Christmas, but she was successful. I was so tense I felt like I wasn’t doing anything right, but my husband and I have good, stable jobs that we can do at home. We’ve all gone crazy, but we have a backyard where Teagan and her little brother, Simon, can play in the great outdoors.
Mothers have always been fierce protectors of their families. We sincerely wish for a better world for our children. And that means we must be fierce in protecting the planet from the existential threat of climate change for the sake of our children.
Simon, 4, breathes the outdoors. He’s a budding scientist – he loves to get muddy and play with bugs. Teagan, who has special needs and is in a wheelchair, also loves being outdoors. I want her to be healthy and have access to good health care and everything she needs to thrive. I want them both to live in a safe, secure and conflict-free world, which will only get worse as the world warms and people have to compete for precious resources like food and water. water.
But on this Mother’s Day, I am more convinced than ever that we can make the bold changes needed to prevent the most drastic climate impacts.
Reasons to hope but to act still today
President Biden’s decision to join the Paris Climate Treaty and his recent pledge to reduce America’s climate pollution to at least half of its 2005 level by 2030 give me hope. It’s not just ambitious. It is absolutely necessary.
The same goes for the Biden-Harris infrastructure package currently under consideration by Congress. As the political wrangles unfold, we must pressure our representatives to do the right thing: rebuild our pandemic-damaged economy in a way that protects our children and their children from the most serious consequences of the world. climate change while addressing historic racial inequalities in access. to purify air and water.
We moms need to act – before it’s too late.
You might think I can’t add a single thing to my overflowing plate. But taking small steps for the climate can give children hope and ease their anxiety about global warming. To borrow from Eleanor Roosevelt, the change begins “in small places, near our homes – so close and so small that they can’t be seen on any map of the world.”
So here are some simple activities you can do with your kids to enrich their day and educate them about climate change and what is needed to overcome it.
How to enjoy Mother’s Day with the family
We have been locked up for too long. For this Mother’s Day, let’s go out with our children and enjoy nature. Take a photo of your beautiful family outside and tag it with @environmental_defense_fund or @cleanairmoms on Instagram so we can share widely and celebrate together.
Plant flowers with your family if you have a yard, or better yet, plant a sapling and explain that trees help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air. If you don’t have a garden, take them for a walk in your favorite park. Or walk down a city street together and point out the trees, grasses, and weeds – all the places where nature makes its way through the harsh landscape.
When you get home, grab the kids and watch this inspiring four-and-a-half-minute video of American poet and activist – and first National Youth Laureate – Amanda Gorman reciting her beautiful poem, “Earthrise.”
At bedtime, read them The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, suitable for ages 3 to 8, or A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel, which is listed for ages 3 to 5, but is also a great platform to discuss the impacts of climate change with school age. children.
When the kids are sleeping or busy, join the EDF community of 2.5 million supporters taking bold climate action with the click of a mouse, and learn about the good work of our friends at Moms Clean Air Force.
And proudly tell your children what you have done. It really is that simple. Happy Mother’s Day.