It has really struck me, during this past month of writing on the subject of maternal health for BlogHer, just how inextricable concerns regarding maternal health are from broader, more global concerns. Like the environment, for one; hence the pairing of maternal health coverage here with coverage of the goings-on at BlogHers Act Canada, which has set for itself, this year, the cause of encouraging social change - especially such change as starts at home - in the direction of living more environmentally friendly lives. No surprise, obviously, that such change is necessarily healthy: human beings are part of the eco-systems that the global environment supports, so the healthier it is, the healthier we are.
But what has struck me even further has been the increasingly obvious relationships between concerns about maternal health, the environment, and justice (as it pertains to family life, especially). Breastfeeding, for example, is a matter of maternal health, and something that is good for the environment (no manufacturing or shipping industries needed to help boobs produce and deliver milk, after all) and something that all-too-often faces unjust social reactions and so needs crusading support. Same goes for issues concerning toxins in household products and toys: a serious health concern, an obvious blight on the environment, and a matter of justice (is there anything more unjust than greedy companies lacing their products with toxins that poison families and children?) that clearly needs the kind of attention that activists work hard to generate. Justice for families isn't just about dealing with discrimination and fighting for mothers' and fathers' and childrens' rights: it's about protecting the spaces - and the environment is a BIG space - in which we live, the better to live safe and healthy lives.
Which is why it made so much sense when, recently, BlogHers Act Canada began a collaboration with the League Of Maternal Justice and Green Mom Finds - online projects that, respectively, endeavor to champion parents in matters of, well, maternal/parental justice and to make life easier for parents who are trying to live in greater harmony with the environment. Both projects see the environment as a lodestone for activism, and so - because the BlogHers Act Canada project was exactly in line with the kind of activism they're pursuing - they proposed an alliance. For the rest of the year, at least, LMJ and GMF are going to rally hard in support of the BlogHersAct Canada eco-challenges, by calling upon their own readers and supporters to participate, and by doing their own stories on topics related to the challenges, and - oooh, lovely - by providing prizes and incentives to get people to participate.
This month's over, but the EcoMomsAct alliance decided to give BlogHersAct Canada's January challenge - Meatless Meals! - a last, good push by holding NoMeatPoWeek: a week during which everyone tries their very, very best to eat veggie every single day. And, of course, post about it, brag about it, moan about it, etc, etc - all for the greater glory of eating healthy, helping the environment, demonstrating to ourselves that it IS possible to tweak our diets, and - huzzah - win prizes. The week is half over, but you can still participate: call it NoMeatPoSomeDays, or something like that. Just give it a whirl, and report back.
And have a potato, on me.