Learning to care for the planet starts at home
Strong women have been inspiring us to take care of the planet for generations. They are often some of our first influences and can shape our lives in a very meaningful way.
For me, my journey started very young. Thanks to two strong women, that helped influence me to be an environmental activist.
My mom has always encouraged me to be kind to others and the planet. She also taught me green habits like recycling at a very young age. As just a toddler, I stopped my dad from throwing away my baby food jar saying, “no daddy, we cycle.” That was just a sign of what was to come.
My first time of really standing up for the planet was when I was in 1st grade. My school was releasing balloons, I’m not sure why, but I was terribly upset. I knew, because my mom had told me, that releasing balloons was littering and could cause harm to animals. As an animal lover and knowing littering was wrong, I refused to participate.
I still remember when my mom picked me up from school, I told her what I did and she was very proud of me. This helped teach me that standing up for what’s right is important. Her encouragement that day left a lasting impression.
My mom wasn’t the only influential woman in my young life. My grandmother was also a great influence on my life. She was an activists against our local cement plant when I was young. She isn’t your stereotypical environmental activist. She wouldn’t even consider herself one and she is quite conservative.
However, she was concerned about the cement plant burning hazardous materials. The hazardous waste was going to be trucked in near schools and she had found out they had no emergency plan for spills. She had also researched the danger of burning these materials. Having young grandchildren, with asthma, this was especially concerning for her.
She isn’t one to let anyone hurt those she loves and is willing to fight for what she believes in. She worked tirelessly on this effort and to this day remains passionate about the cause.
She, and the other activists, were able to stop the burning of hazardous waste. However, the cement plant started burning tires instead. The cement plant is still a high-priority violator of the Clean Air Act, so the work is far from done.
My grandmother’s passion inspired me to continue fighting our cement plant and other cement plants around the country. Through my grandmother’s and mom’s love and support I have been able to follow my passion for the planet, animals, and people.
Never underestimate your influence, as a strong woman, on the next generation!
Contributing writer Lisa Sharp is the face behind Retro Housewife Goes Green. She’s a wife, homemaker, activist, and freelance writer. Lisa lives in a small town in Oklahoma and is working to bring more green to Oklahoma. She serves on the board for the local recycling coalition, and is active within the community. Lisa also run the website Green Oklahoma, a green resource, news and events site.