Magazine article Working Mother

Eco-Mom with a Mission

Magazine article Working Mother

Eco-Mom with a Mission

Article excerpt

I grew up in Lawrence, KS, blessed with two loving parents who taught me I was worth something. They also taught me the power of being persistent and determined. My mother always said to me, "You've gotta have stick-to-it-iveness." My father taught me to respect our water, land and air. My dad used to tell me all the time that water would someday be a commodity. As a kid, I'd roll my eyes whenever he said that, but it turns out he was right.

I may have stumbled upon the Hinkley case-the one the movie Erin Brockovich is about-but it quickly became a personal mission. I was determined to prove that the California power company, Pacific Gas and Electric, was polluting the water supply of Hinkley, a small town in the Mojave Desert, and harming hundreds of families who had suffered decades of poisoning from water contaminated by chromium-6 leaks. The impact on their health was devastating. My parents' lessons helped me fight the good fight, not only for myself and these families but also for my three kids: Matthew, 24, Katie, 22, and Elizabeth, 16. Sure, IVe had to sacrifice time with them over the years to do my work, but my hope is that I've taught my children by example that no matter who you are, you can make a difference-and that helping others is always worth the effort.

Eyes Wide Open

I consider myself an environmental activist, but, more important, I'm aware. Awareness is key. If people don't have information, they can't protect themselves, their family and their health.

When I was working on the Hinkley case, I noticed that the trees in the area were dying. Why? There seemed to be an absence of wildlife. Why? I didn't know the answers, but I asked questions. I think we all need to seek information about the threats to our environment that we see around us every day. We need to think about the small ways we can help make things better. What happens if we don't recycle or conserve energy? Just think of the difference we could make if each of us did one little thing.

I believe mothers in particular have a heightened sense of awareness because of our instincts-we naturally want to protect our children and our world. I'm proud to say that my kids have developed a good sense of awareness. Although they haven't followed in my footsteps exactly, they have a terrific love of the outdoors and a compassion for animals. My two oldest are also very political. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.