Editor’s Note: The Nature Conservancy actually has two Babble.com “mominees” in the “Green” category — Sarene Marshall and Stephanie Wear. Below is a brief commentary by Marshall on why the “mominee” means something to her in the context of her work and her kids. Also check out the Conservancy’s Cool Green Science blog for a “green mom throwdown.” Remember to vote for your favorite mominee by tomorrow, September 20th.
A colleague once told me that I “can go from the corporate boardroom to kids’ homeroom” better than anyone she knew. My fellow work-away-from-home moms know what a huge work/life balance compliment that is. One thing that makes this juggling act easier is that my life and work are so interconnected. I work at The Nature Conservancy to develop climate change solutions with companies, governments, scientists and communities. I am always thinking about my two young girls (and, one day, their kids) and the planet we will be leaving for them. My desire to protect their futures and leave behind a more sustainable and resilient planet motivates my work.
Young people share my concerns about and interest in their futures. A new Nature Conservancy survey of American teenagers found that kids believe we can solve climate change if we take action now. But, the poll also found that kids believe that they will be left to fix the damage to our planet done by previous generations. I am working everyday to keep that from happening.
I recently wrote in this space – from both a personal and professional perspective – about the impacts climate change can have on family routines and the health and safety of kids. But, there are solutions, too. In that blog post, I laid out a few basic things parents can do in their daily lives to help combat our changing planet and keep their kids safe and healthy – like limiting your kids’ exposure to extreme heat, teaching your kids the benefits of locally grown foods, and helping your kids learn about conservation through activities like planting trees. On the home front, I am proud to be working hard to raise environmentally-aware children who – by eating seasonally, and picking a lot of our own foods – know how their actions connect to the planet at large, and to be sharing much of my professional knowledge with people in my community, especially other parents.
At the Conservancy, we are focused on big steps that people can take through conservation to protect themselves and their communities in the face of change. We are reducing carbon pollution caused by forest destruction so carbon stays stored in the trees and out of the atmosphere. And we are helping communities prepare for and respond to changes they are already seeing – by restoring wetlands to absorb floodwaters or rebuilding coastal mangroves to protect people from storms and sea level rise.
To me, this work feels completely natural. It’s all a part of being the best mom I possibly can.
Sarene Marshall is director of The Nature Conservancy’s global climate change program.
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