By Lori Popkewitz Alper, MCAF
The old saying goes: “Grandma knows best.” She knows that an environment free of air pollution benefits us all. She has seen things change in her lifetime. She’s noticed that the constant mass of smog has somewhat dissipated thanks to stricter clean air regulations. She recognizes that more needs to be done to make and keep the earth safe for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Ask a grandmother her hopes and dreams for her children and her wisdom shines through.
My mother, Marilyn Joyce is a grandmother to twelve grandchildren ranging in age from 2 to 12 years old:
“Growing up in a high rise apartment building in New York City I remember my mother hanging out the laundry on an outside clothes line. The lines went from our window to the neighbor’s window across the way. I recall looking up while playing outside and seeing multiple clothes lines with hanging laundry blowing in the wind.
Today, we are reluctant to hang our laundry outside. We worry that the clothes would come in covered in soot. It is my wish that my grandchildren will someday have the option to return to the “old” way and hang their clothing out to dry in the fresh, clean air.”
Lynn Colwell from Celebrate Green and has five grandchildren, ranging in age from 5 months old to 11:
“When I was a small child, my mom’s best friend lived in LA. Almost every year we’d take the train from New York City out to visit her. Back then the sky was so starkly blue it almost hurt my eyes to look at it. By the time I was a young adult, “smog” and LA had become synonymous. And so it continues, not just in LA but in cities across the country and around the world. It deeply troubles me that my grandchildren and children of future generations are and will be dealing with the health effects of the pollution that we don’t seem to have the will to curb. At the same time, I have read that the Clean Air Act is working so that’s a very good thing. Hopefully we can find more ways to ensure that future generations will not have to deal with this problem.”
Sheila Glazov has three grandchildren, ages 3, 5 and 7:
“I believe that every child deserves to feel loved, safe, encouraged, and confident in a trustworthy home, school and community environment. I feel it is my responsibility as a mother, grandmother and concerned woman to make a conscious effort to ensure that the trustworthy environment also is a healthy environment. It is critical for adults to give our children the precious gifts of breathing clean air, which will enable them to enjoy healthier and happier lives, and fulfill their dreams.”
Linda Anderson from Citizen Green is a grandmother to two granddaughters, ages 14 months and 5.
“Of course I want clean air for my children and grandchildren. Clean air is one of those things that is understood; it’s the default situation. I remember when the Clean Air was passed in 1970, and as a young wife I wondered why we needed it. Now I’m much more cynical about the consciousness of corporations and I realize that the bottom line drives them. Therefore, all of us average citizens need to expect the government to regulate the quality of our air.
Clean air is our right. One of my granddaughters has asthma and is vulnerable to pollution. She should be able to play outside without any negative effects from the air.
I raised my kids to be concerned about the environment and to love nature. I do my best to nurture a love for their earth. They can make a difference long after I am gone.”
Grandchildren are one of the greatest pleasures of getting old. I adore them – maybe I’m obsessed by them. I cannot stand the idea that their future atmosphere might be worse than it is now. My grandmotherly duty is to do what I can to make sure it is clean and healthy for them.”
Our children and grandchildren can’t fight for themselves. Please listen to our grandmother’s and join the thousands of mothers and grandmothers who know what’s best for their children.