Each month, we highlight a new Supermom of the Month, a volunteer who has gone above and beyond to advocate for clean air and children’s health.
This month, we are celebrating Maribeth Diggle. Maribeth was nominated by DC Field Events Coordinator Sam Schmitz. As an opera singer and breath specialist pursuing her PhD, Maribeth has a unique perspective on the importance of clean air.
Maribeth became a pro at sharing her story in EPA testimony this year. She participated in the EPA hearings for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, the Clean Power Plant Rule, the Clean Cars Rule, and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for soot pollution. Maribeth lives in Washington, DC, and always takes the opportunity to support our team at press conferences, visibility events, and congressional hearings on Capitol Hill.
We asked Maribeth a few questions about her motivation and activism:
What role do you think moms and caregivers can play in addressing environmental challenges?
As a vocal performer, I have become very aware that breathing is a language we all speak. Without the breath, we would have no voice, no emotions, no life!
Luckily, current respiratory research and philosophy reflects the value in looking at the lived experience of breathing. When we give language and awareness to the complexities of climate change, we have a chance to embody scientific language that is often presented in a disembodied way. This empowers humans to reflect on and better comprehend the larger topics we often leave to experts.
I believe Moms Clean Air Force provides this valuable perspective on the lived experience of climate change affecting all families—in testimonies before EPA, speeches at events, and stories shared with lawmakers and in the media. Moms gives families a platform on which to speak and then amplifies their voices.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in raising awareness about air quality among the broader public?
I think we unconsciously conclude that if the air quality in our neighborhood is good, that bad air quality somewhere else is someone else’s problem. We forget that air is a borderless medium and that the issues will touch us all if we don’t work together. Air quality quickly dissolves differences because a clean breath is an essential part of sustaining all human, plant, and planetary life.
What is your favorite eco-friendly activity to do with your family?
I really enjoy the thrill of finding a wonderful secondhand or vintage item! Whether it’s clothing, dishes, or furniture, I love finding recycled pre-loved items. If you are in Washington, DC, I highly recommend The Current Boutique, a small chain found in different parts of the city.