Mothers for Earth
Saving the planet one lightbulb at a time
From left to right: Chrise Birkhahn, Kimberly Pinkson, Robyn Shore, Michelle Battelle, Nicole MacNaughton
Photo by Tim Porter
It’s not easy being green—especially for parents bombarded over the airwaves by directives to consume but conserve; consume, conserve; reduce, reuse, recycle. Kimberly Pinkson of Kentfield, founder of the 11,000-member national web community EcoMom Alliance, wants to help. Born and raised in Marin, she recently came back here to live, saw the discrepancy between our well-meaning citizenry’s eco-intentions and enormous environmental footprint, and resolved to do something about it.
“My father worked with indigenous elders around the world,” she says. “Through him, my sister and I learned about the connection many native peoples have to the environment.” Her sister, Nicole, has been an active member of the alliance since its inception last year.
Their objective is to spread the good news of eco-awareness—affirming that small changes in personal behavior can make an environmental difference. Reminiscent of Tupperware ladies who met in living rooms to bring the revolution of household convenience to American moms, EcoMoms meet in homes full of hope. But Pinkson and her crew are also trying to instigate broader moves on a community-supported level, including composting and a “one night off” event when local families would turn off all electric lights and appliances on an evening of their choice.
Pinkson doesn’t stand on a green pedestal: “none of us is close to being perfect,” she admits. Yet critics who take potshots at her ilk for serving Pellegrino in plastic bottles or driving to meetings in SUVs “are missing the point,” she says. “You have to start somewhere. We just give moms the tools to make sustainable changes in their lives.” Their call to action, dubbed the “EcoMom Challenge,” suggests taking steps such as replacing conventional lightbulbs with CFLs; buying local, fair trade and organic products; planting a tree; rethinking the laundry plan to conserve energy; and even “reusing” those old Blondie CDs to replenish personal well-being. “Play more,” Pinkson says. “Do things that make you feel healthy, good and thriving. It’s all connected. Sustain your home, sustain your planet and sustain yourself.” Check out ecomomalliance.org for more information.