Amid the recent surge in activism are moms who’ve found new or additional motivation to work for change because of their families. Maria Luci lives in South Jersey with her husband and their 5-month-old daughter, Hana. Luci first grew interested in healthy products and foods when her husband’s father died of cancer. That interest flourished when she worked for Rodale, publishers of Organic Life and Al Gore’s 2006 book on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth. As Luci edited and wrote pieces on topics like organic farming and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, she learned about each issue’s impact on people and the planet. After the presidential election, she wrote to her senator for the first time ever.
“These days,” says Luci, “I’d consider myself a vocal activist. I’m not really one to go out and march — with a baby I’m lucky to find time to shower — but I share what I know by commenting with facts and articles on Facebook and sharing information at family gatherings.”
At home Luci puts her words into action by avoiding cleaning and personal-care products that use chemicals and trying to get her father to stop using weed killers in his garden. Whenever she can, she purchases organic and environmentally friendly products for her family.
How has parenting affected her views? Luci says, “I feel I was more active and environmentally friendly before my baby was born, which is contradictory to the fact that I care more about it now. It’s just so darn hard when you’re running on two hours of sleep and you can either stop and grab a fast food item or head to the grocery store to purchase healthy, whole and organic foods to cook a meal.” But she’s determined to take whatever steps she can because she’s worried about issues like how changes to the Environmental Protection Agency could affect water and air quality.
“I don’t want my daughter to deal with climate-related problems I see coming,” Luci says. “I want to try harder to do my part, I want others to know about the consequences of choices made today and I want everyone to care a little bit more about tomorrow, today.”
Luci’s advice for other moms who want to get involved in an issue that’s meaningful to them: “Know the facts, have reputable sources to share information from and acknowledge when you’re wrong or when the other person has a good point.”
Go to MetroKids.com/communityaction for ways to get involved in issues you care about.
Sara Murphy is Managing Editor at MetroKids.