Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on February 21, 2008
More good news for the whales.Move over, soccer moms. Step off, rocker moms. There’s a new mom in town and she’s as serious about cold water washes as she is about waste-free school lunches. Enter the eco-mom. With a CFC lightbulb in one hand and a reusable shopping bag in the other, this new breed of mom is ready to conquer the world, one household at a time.
It’s somewhat ironic that moms used to get together for Tupperware parties. Nowadays these PVC receptacles are considered to be the anti-Christ. But according to the
New York Times, women are still getting together in suburban lounge rooms around the country to discuss eco-pertinent issues such as curbing guilt through carbon offsets for air travel. “It’s like eating too many brownies one day and then jogging extra the next,” said Kimberly Danek Pinkson, 38, the founder of the EcoMom Alliance.
In Palo Alto, moms embark on a ten step program to detoxify their house by using nontoxic products for cleaning, bathing and make-up as well as cutting back on garbage. “I used to feel anxiety,” said Kathy Miller, 49, an alliance member, recalling life before she started investigating weather-sensitive irrigation controls for her garden with nine growing zones. “Now I feel I’m doing something.” According to the Times piece, “eco-anxiety” is an increasingly prevalent phenomena in our modern culture, which comes with its own solution, eco-therapists.
The truth is, we’re not living very naturally,” said Linda Buzzell, a therapist in Santa Barbara, who publishes the quarterly EcoTherapy News. “Activism can help counteract depression but if we get caught up in trying to save the world single-handedly, we’re just going to burn out.”
That’s sound advice. If you take into consideration all the potential dangers out there — from toxic Chinese toys to SUVs, plastic lunch wrap to off-gassing from carpets — it can be overwhelming. What’s more, research suggests that women take on a bigger portion of this environmental responsibility than men.
The upshot? Don’t get too Stepford about things. There’s nothing worse than an eco-perfectionist.
Now if you’ll excuse I’m off to bake some sugar-free organic chocolate brownies.