This year has been such a ride for many of us in the New York City area and I am now finding myself looking at the new year and what it may hold for this website. Recent events in NYC have shown me that there are certain actions that we can take as a community, a micro-culture, a family all living together, for the greater good of our area. In the up coming year Queens Mamas is going to change the focus of our content away from what you usually see here and begin to focus more on how we grow as a community. Queens has the potential to become New York’s greatest borough and I plan to show you how. Here are a few things that you will learn about on the Queen Mamas site over the next year:
Get Active – in your community that is. Don’t think I was going to suggest working out or anything! I am going to encourage and instruct you in learning how to start block associations, community boards, play groups, preschool coops, and so much more. We can accomplish a great deal as a community of mothers and I hope you will join me.
Grow – I am starting a new project of my own, I am growing an urban farm in my yard complete with ducks! I want to share this experience with you all and encourage you to help me and laugh at my failures! If you can grow only one plant in your tiny apartment then it is a step toward being a more sustainable culture. Grow a container garden out of your window and you could feed your family from it without leaving your home. This costs no money, no gas, and teaches your children that they can take charge of their own health and wellness through growing their own food.
Buy Locally – There really a big difference between buying local and buying online. Studies show that when you buy from a locally owned business, rather than a national one, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses in your area. Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and less strain on the environment. Where we shop, eat and have fun is what makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an important part of the character of our neighborhoods. If you are looking for something specific, order it at your local retail store instead of online. This way you will be contributing to your community and economy. We will be highlighting local businesses all year long and encouraging you to shop there! If you own a local business, please reach out and I will make sure to include you in our lists.
Eat Seasonally – We as an urban culture are so used to buying food that has been brought in from other areas of the country and the world. If we want spinach in January we eat it. Lemons in December? we eat that too. We give very little thought to where these things are coming from and how many resources we are using to get it here. We are raising our children to think the same and I am trying to teach my children how to eat with the seasons. Please feel free to share your seasonal recipes with me! I love to eat.
Live Green (er) – I am not suggesting that you start a borough wide compost initiative (although you could!) but start making choices that go beyond the tip of your fingers. In the process teach your children how to do the same. Recycle water bottles into toys, donate clothing instead of throwing them away, host book swaps on your block, etc. If you have something green and unique that you practive in your home, please share it with me.
Help Those in Need – Our neighbors are in need and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. What Hurricane Sandy has also taught me is that there are many families who struggled well before this storm, some of them right on your block or local public housing facility. I will give you the opportunity to reach out to these families, help them as a community, and show your children in the process that we are all family, no matter where we come from, or how much money we have.
Rally - If you believe in something then say it loud! We are a large community of local mothers who are willing to hear each others thoughts and rally together for a cause. Please share your thoughts with me, your causes, and your rallies. Organize your events on the Queens Mamas Meetup Page, join the conversations on Facebook and Twitter and we will talk back.
I look forward to a great year with all of you wonderful Mamas! I love you all and thanks for reading.
Owner – Queens Mamas & The Mamas Network