In order to raise our game and reverse the effects of the last eight environmentally neglectful years, President-elect Obama has assigned a well balanced and highly accomplished group of environmentally powerful individuals. Personally, I'm thankful the list doesn't include any eco-radicals because a lot needs to get done in a short amount of time so there's no time to waste! Like never before, the United States will need long lasting change, not the same kind of feel-good change we all chanted about during the election, but get-down-and-dirty change that affects each and every one of us professionally and personally. How-we-conduct-our-daily-lives-on-this-earth kind of change. There is no turning back, no living in denial, no passing the buck, no pushing our air, water, climate change, carbon emissions, mercury emissions, pollution or red tides to the bottom of our agenda.
Obama's picks, Environmental Regulators Nancy Sutley, Lisa P. Jackson and Carol Browner have all been there, seen it all and have been highly successful in their own accomplished careers. To top it off, add in Nobel Prize scientist, Stephen Chu, to boot! This administration finally promises to remove the blinders into the world of science. Now real facts can see the light of day and not be buried under yards of bureaucratic paperwork.
Barak Obama has a formidable task ahead; where change, real change may sound good, achieving it is an entirely different story. My only suggestion is to keep it simple so we all can get on board and do our part in creating a shift. There are bills to pass, regulations to uniformly make, infrastructures to assemble and follow ups to do in order to support our president elect's mission of creating less carbon emission and minimizing our carbon footprint. That in itself is a Herculean task, especially in a country unaccustomed to cutting back and doing with less. If what is presented to us is complicated and chock full of legal jargon, we will not only miss the boat, but it will be caught up in the Washington system and never see the light of day in our homes, communities, or environment.
Getting moms on board will create an army of eco-change in itself! Many moms are trying to figure out their first move environmentally; whether in the home, the office, or the community and often times are disillusioned by the negativity that is often associated with the green movement. "Going green is expensive", "Being environmental means living like Daniel Boone", and "The end is near, nothing we can do will help" comes from the old, more fear based way of talking about where we stand ecologically. We just want to hear the facts so that we can initiate impactful changes.
So does boiling it down have to be so drastic all at once? Information in bite size pieces through national PSA's and a user friendly community style website packed with environmentally friendly information and tips can be more manageable while our babies cry, toddlers squabble and dinner miraculously makes its way to the table. Not that we can't handle complex issues, most certainly we can, we just happen to be juggling a lot and would appreciate some out of the box thinking on our behalf. Go directly to the people, encourage spouses to take on some of the responsibility, expect employers to step up and hold them accountable, engage school administrators in the quest, and expect local municipalities to lead the way. Perhaps a challenge or even a competition between similar size towns to see who can best step up? Help us engage our kids, husbands, neighbors and school systems to create toxic free environments in which to grow and prosper.
Thankfully this holiday season was one that connected Americans together, not one that pulled us apart. Most of us did with less but made it special; we cut back and reused a bit more. Many of us pot lucked, watched movies together at home, and lent a hand to others in need. Something had to give and Mother Nature is seeking to correct herself. So be it: this is our first step toward the creation of balance at home and no matter the issue, it always starts at home. So bring it on Dream Team. Help us do our part and our very best to learn, grow and become more environmentally aware for ourselves and future generations to come!
Happy New Year!