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About The Green Mama

Manda Aufochs Gillespie is The Green Mama.

She wrote a book (& it’s good)

Green Mama: Giving your child a healthy start and a greener future, published by Dundurn press. It’s the first green parenting guide to include information specific to both the U.S. and Canada (guess what: it’s not just the 51st state) and real-world advice for low-income families wanting to go green.

She’s got lots of experience.

In her 20 years in the field she has helped to green one of North America’s only urban ecovillages, one of Chicago’s largest daycares, a multi-million dollar residential project, a Guatemalan orphanage, and has been dubbed the “green guru” by the press, appearing on HBO, ABC, and CBC.

People like her, because she’s “definite, but not absolute” (a.k.a. she laughs a lot, mostly at herself)

She likes to research and write and she likes to work with people. When she isn’t working on her next book, or giving out free advice on her website, she works as a consultant, educator, and speaker. She also publishes this award-winning website, and can be found on social media as /thegreenmama, but prefers to be found riding her bicycle with her two kids and lots of kale piled in the back.

Mandabikejumpinglarge-cropped


Contributors

Who is The Green Mama? She is me. She is you. She is the woman on the block letting her kids walk alone to school and the teenager who decides to make her own reusable menstrual products and the grandma who learns to read labels. She might be a He. She/he may have kids or she/he may not. She may work outside the home or she may not. She may be a super savvy politico or she may not. She may speak English or she may not. She may be religious, she may not. She may identify as an environmentalist or she may not. But wherever she is and whoever she is: she’s starting to ask questions, because she (or he) realizes that there is no one else more qualified to become the expert on the care of her family (whomever makes up that family). Here are some of the amazing women that are sharing their journeys on thegreenmama.com.

  • Amy

    Amy is a Midwestern girl who now lives on the east coast in Charleston, South Carolina. She attended the University of Kansas where she received a BA in Environmental Studies, then later received her Masters in Sustainability at the University of Texas at Arlington while spearheading the sustainability program at one of the largest aerospace companies in the country. Amy’s passion is making sustainability fun, easy, and meaningful to the people around her. She believes that if everyone can make one small sustainable change in their lives, then together we can make a BIG impact on the world around us.

    Currently, Amy is a board member of the Carolina Green Fair while being the proud green mama of Maggie Leigh.

  • Cecelia

    Cecelia Ungari-Hoskins has been teaching sustainable lifestyle choices for more than 10 years in the Chicago region. Two projects that she is particularly proud of are the Right Bite sustainable seafood awareness program and the Green Initiative, which she spearheaded while working at the John G Shedd Aquarium. Besides her work with The Green Mama, Cecelia can be found living locally and supporting community projects in Evanston, IL, USA. Cecelia is also a trained doula focusing on the complete spectrum of maternity support: preconception, pregnancy, labor, and post-partum stages.

    Cecelia brings her interest in conservation, human biology, and the history of chemicals to all of her jobs. Known to friends as the queen of concoctions, Cecelia is constantly mixing, blending, or brewing local, organic foods to eat, drink, or put on her skin. Cecelia had her first baby in 2012 and is due with baby #2 in late 2014.

  • Claire Douglass

    Claire Douglass is an ad girl, writer, and Cuban mother of two boys. After writing her own green parenting blog for several years, Claire returned to advertising where she learned that biting her tongue was the only way that she could afford private school. Being Cuban, Claire has learned that trying to explain to abuela why your children aren’t doused in “Violetas”, is futile and bordering on the sacrilegious. Claire further learned that making your own cleaning products is deemed so “loca”, that it becomes family “chisme”. (It took 3 minutes for that story to reach Boston from Miami.)

    When not confusing her family with her verdant ways, Claire is cooking healthier versions of her beloved Cuban food, reading about design, the arts, and film, and using her homemade cleaning products to clean up after her two messy boys.

    Claire is also a supporter of clean water in Haiti, and writes for the fashion brand Simbi Haiti, that has purified more than 20 million gallons of water for Haitian children via it’s charity: Aqua Haiti.

    Please don’t tell Claire’s family that she is writing for a green blog. Gracias.

  • Donna

    Donna DeForbes is a Philadelphia native currently living by the bay in Rhode Island. A graphic designer and writer by profession, she spent eight years educating others about marine pollution while working for Save The Bay.

    Becoming a mother motivated her to delve deeper into natural health and green living. In 2008, she began her Eco-Mothering blog with the intention of documenting her daughter’s life while sharing eco-friendly information with the larger parenting community. Today, Eco-Mothering explores ways to make going green fun and easy for the whole family.

    Donna is the author of The Guilt-Free Guide to Greening Your Holidays. She has also written for earth911.com, Bamboo Family Magazine and several children’s magazines. Her penchant for childlike silliness can be seen in her blog alter ego, Eek the Monkey.

    When not working, Donna enjoys hiking, reading, zumba, wine, good humor and long walks with her husband and daughter on a pollution-free beach.

  • Linda McGurk

    Linda McGurk is a journalist and blogger, and is currently working on her book There Is No Such Thing As Bad Weather, Only Bad Clothes, to be published by Simon and Schuster in the summer of 2017. She believes that the best childhood memories are created outside, while jumping in puddles, digging in dirt, catching frogs and climbing trees. She blogs about restoring the connection between children and nature at Rain or Shine Mamma, and hopes to inspire other parents to get outside with their children every day, regardless of the weather.

  • Vanessa Zises Filley

    Vanessa Filley is a maker of many things. She can often be found wandering the streets with camera in hand, stitching handmade objects in her studio, pulling weeds in her garden and preserving food in a myriad of ways. She is a lover of perpetual motion and deep human connection. In life she aims to make, create and share beauty and light. She recently finished an installation project entitled Flight Plan which is a constructed environment intended to invoke a sense of chance encounter, the potential of love and attraction, the magic of winter exploration and the possibilities of flight. She is currently working on a project entitled In the Time of Flowers, which explores the possibility of salvaging the things we have destroyed. She is a mother of two girls and thrilled to be a part of the GreenMama team. She is honored to collaborate with Manda Aufochs Gillespie in all her various schemes and took many of the pictures in The GreenMama: Giving Your Child a Healthy Start and a Greener Future. She also contributes images to the blog and content to the Home Ec page.


Services

I specialize in challenges—not just the ideal “green” but what is practical and possible given your real-world constraints. Whether working with families, family businesses, large daycares, or in service to some of the world’s poorest women and children, I like figuring out what will work for you and the future.

The media has called me “the green guru” and “serious, but not absolute.” Over and over, my clients say things like “it’s fun” and “she changed my life.” My clients have called me in the wee hours of the morning to discuss their daycare switching to cloth diapers, to ask about greener menstrual options, or to figure out how to deal with lice in an institution, because they know that I love it!

Here’s a peek into some of my projects: past and current.

De-Toxify YOUR Pregnancy, Nursery, Diet, Home

The bad news: There are over  74 billion pounds of industrial chemicals manufactured or imported everyday in North America. And we know that these chemicals are find their way into our bodies: our children are born pre-polluted with over 200 known toxins. The good news: Parents can have an immediate impact in reducing their children’s exposures in the places of greatest impact–the bedroom, home, and what goes in and on our bodies. The other good news, going green in this area doesn’t have to cost more money… it can even save you a bundle! Learn more.

love your belly

 


 

Childcare, School, Orphanage, and Institutional Consulting

The bad news: We spend most of our time indoors and yet our indoor environments are 7 to 10 times more polluted than our outdoor air. Air pollution can effect a child’s development and learning and our school buildings, childcare centers, and institutions are among the most polluted. The good news: Manda Aufochs Gillespie has worked with institutions in the U.S., Canada, and Guatemala to create vibrant, green, healthy spaces that meet local health regulations, support the health and development of the child, stay within budget, and are fun places to live and work!

Daycare consulting

 


Business Consulting

The good news: The eco-aware mom market represents the vast majority of mothers in North America–worth over a trillion dollars–and green is one of the fastest growing sectors of the food industry, the building industry, and the beauty industry. The bad news: is that greenwashing (pretending to be healthy and green) is also prevalent. Consumers are catching on. How can you really go green, speak the language of the eco-aware mom, and bring your whole team with you? The Green Mama has worked with one-woman mompreneurs and large corporations (food retailers, sports equipment, and marketing firms) to do everything from train employees, find truly green products, and help everyone learn how to speak (and think) green.

biz consulting


Writing/PR Services

Are you ready to get that blog turned into a book? Or do you just need help figuring out the “story” that will sell you or your product? The Green Mama can help you tell your story and get it published (or marketed.)

writing services


Classes/Education & Speaker for hire

The Green Mama classes are fun, upbeat, and educational and people leave saying things like “I learned more in two hours than I did the entire time I was pregnant!” “If only I had The Green Mama when I was pregnant with my first child” and “Manda Aufochs Gillespie, The Green Mama, spoke at the very first WeCapella event in May 2014. She was a compelling public speaker, voted among a top 3 favourite by the audience.”

greenmama2

 


Press

Manda likes to talk about her passion for empowering parents and growing greener communities. She has been the go-to expert for green living for a long time and you can read and hear (and even watch) her talk about this passion. Check out the press.