This is part two of our interview with Erin Schrode. She is an inspiring young woman. She co-founded the national organization Teens Turning Green with her mom and her peers, when she was just 13. In the first part of this interview, she talked about how the non-profit started as a way to raise awareness of the cancer-causing toxins commonly found in cosmetics. This time, we asked Erin to tell us about one of her group’s new initiatives for kids — Kids Turning Green.
AC: We’d love to know more about Kids Turning Green. How did it come about? How can parents and kids get involved and, perhaps, start a chapter?
ES: Kids are so idealistic; they believe that everything should just be right. They don’t get the media bias, the corporate sway. And they’re so powerful with their voices. It’s great to see them empowered and have a voice. Kids turning green just started this past month with two chapters here in Marin County, but we want everyone to start a Kids Turning Green chapter! Our campaign has always been about youth getting involved; we want people to take action. Moms get so excited about it, and it gives us a way to support and collaborate with a younger demographic than our usual 13-19 age range. The best way to get started is to download a toolkit from our website, then call if you have questions or need support.
AC: How does TTG get kids and teens to care about environmental issues? In your observation, is there any one issue that gets them on board quickly?
ES: Food is one issue that really resonates with and is relevant to that young demographic. Healthy eating habits are so important, and kids get so excited about something like seeing that they can eat organic cheddar bunnies, that taste good, instead of the regular stuff. You present a few facts about how unhealthy something is, and they are shocked and outraged. They just want to know what they can do to make a difference. For girls, body care is a huge issue. I always try to leave kids with the message, ‘Be the Change.’ It’s really that simple.
AC: Are there other ways for people — especially kids — to get involved?
ES: Whatever your interest, whatever your entry point, we want to support you. We have downloadable toolkits that people around the world use to get started. Toolkits specifically for Kids Turning Green are coming by the end of the summer. So the best way to get involved is to go on our website and get started by downloading a toolkit. Then, if you’re having trouble, call 415-289-1001. That’s our office. We’ve got amazing girls as interns this summer, as well as moms helping out through PTA, who can mentor the kids. Find an issue you care about, get educated, and whatever it is, I’m there to support you. It’s all about taking individual action.
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