Archives for January 2020

Mommy Greenest TED Talk, Too

When I put Mommy Greenest on pause in 2017 to focus on consulting with companies and non-profits, I had no idea I would miss blogging so much. Now I’m entering the next chapter of motherhood — the one where my kids go off to college and I wonder what the hell happened. I need a place to write about this new phase of life, and Facebook doesn’t count. So hi, I’m back — if sporadically.

In the last few years, my work promoting sustainability — and rallying against plastic pollution — has become more prominent, especially after two TEDx talks. I remember the first time I spoke publicly, when I addressed a group of supporters as Executive Director of Healthy Child Healthy World, and my legs were shaking so badly that I worried the audience would see the podium trembling. It wasn’t that I was afraid of speaking, but the subject matter was too important to screw up: I used the analogy of the canary in a coal mine to describe how the increase in children’s illnesses should alert us to the fact that toxic chemicals in the environment threaten us all.

I felt the same way about my 2017 TEDx talk. By that point, I had done many speaking engagements — one in front of 1,200 people! — but this was the first time that I had to memorize an 18-minute talk. And just like that first time at the podium, my overwhelming fear was that I would misspeak a statistic or inadvertently encourage viewers to misinterpret the theme.

Unfortunately, that was exactly what happened. As I shared in this TEDx talk, which I did in 2019, my theme of “Can one straw change the world?” resulted in some strange takeaways from viewers.

[Read more…]