There aren’t enough hours in the day to (insert here)! I can’t afford to (insert here)! Some other parent will have to (insert here)! We all make excuses, despite our best intentions to live life to its fullest and care for our families. Spend a few minutes with Lori Alper of popular blog Groovy Green Livin and you can’t help but be inspired to find the time and resources for greener living.
I met Lori at the first national Stroller Brigade for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, and I saw her again at this year’s Stroller Brigade in Washington, DC. She introduced me to the great things Moms Clean Air Force is doing for families. When I’ve questioned my own ability to balance blogging with family life, she’s encouraged me. She was even gracious enough to answer several questions for FlourSackMama.com readers. Here’s our recent conversation, where I ask how in the world Lori does it all!
Q: You are the proud mother of three growing boys, and you made a conscious decision to give up practicing law in order to spend more time raising them. Any regrets?
A: Initially it was a very challenging decision. After devoting a lot of time and money towards law school I was concerned that it would all go to waste. Fortunately that was not the case. I’ve been able to combine my legal background and the passions I’ve developed over the years as a parent. My children are my inspiration and motivate me to continue fighting to keep toxic chemicals from making their way onto our shelves. I want the world to be a safe and healthy place for my children and all children. Groovy Green Livin has turned into a vehicle for sharing and promoting that message. I’m very grateful for the privilege and feel no regrets at all.
Q: What was the moment that you knew exploring a greener lifestyle was right for you and your family? Did that turn into a consulting and blogging business overnight or was it a gradual progression?
A: I’m not sure there was one defining moment and it certainly didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a very gradual process that continues to evolve. My journey really started with my own health and taking care of myself. I was practicing law and stress was taking a toll on my body. My commitment to a green and non-toxic lifestyle was strengthened when I became a mother. I think many parents can relate-once we have children our maternal instinct kicks into overdrive and we’ll do anything to protect our children. Two of my children were diagnosed with life threatening food allergies at a very young age so I began educating myself about everything we were putting in and on our bodies. My law practice was placed on hold and I traded in my suits to follow my passion. I founded Groovy Green Livin with a very open mind, not really sure where it would take me. I then decided to step it up a notch and take a stance against some of the largest consumer product companies to let them know that we won’t stand for toxic chemicals in our products. Once I opened that door it was next to impossible to close.
Q: You were recently honored by the Massachusetts House of Representatives for your exceptional work in consumer advocacy and environmental education. You were also a finalist for Healthy Child Healthy World‘s Mom on Mission award. You’ve volunteered countless hours toward causes that focus on a healthier future for everyone’s children. Why do these causes keep motivating you?
A: I think seeing first-hand that our collective voices can and will make a difference is incredibly empowering. After starting a petition asking Tide to remove a cancer causing chemical from their laundry detergent, over 78,000 people stepped forward to sign the petition and many organizations offered their support. The intense consumer pressure caused Procter & Gamble to agree to reformulate their laundry detergents and drastically reduce the levels of this toxic chemical. There’s still so much work to be done, but I know that together we can make a difference.
Q: You represented moms from your home state at the recent Stroller Brigade in Washington, DC for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. What does that landmark moment mean for families?
A: Hundreds of moms and dads along with some of their adorable children flew in to Washington DC from all over the country to let Congress know that we need toxic chemical reform. This year I had the privilege of meeting some pretty spectacular people with some pretty unbelievable stories. One thing that struck me about the journey to DC was that each of us arrived with our own story and reason for being there, but we were brought together for one common goal – to let Congress know that we mean business and the time for toxic chemical reform is NOW. Thanks to Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families I think we did our job while we were in DC, and we did it well.
Q: Most moms feel overwhelmed with the pressures of life and just caring for their own children; they don’t think they have the time or resources to advocate for everyone’s kids. How would you encourage parents, especially moms, to get started as a parent advocate?
A: As mothers and parents we lobby on behalf of our children on a daily basis for issues large and small. We have a voice – it’s a collective voice that can be used in a very powerful way to effectuate change. Take the time to discover your passion and your cause. It could be as simple as speaking to a small group about your cause or as large as starting a petition and seeking support. Whatever it is, make it your own and use your voice to drive change.
To find out what Lori’s advocating for next, follow Groovy Green Livin.