Environmental Activism with Erin Schrode
I am thrilled to be working with The Hamlin School to activate the next generation of powerful female changemakers – around eco, ethical, fairtrade apparel and more. I will be collaborating with their students, faculty, and staff on a variety of action projects from now through Earth Day in April. It was an honor to present before the lower and middle school students this week. The face of a kindergartener processing climate change and all-important personal action is everything. You are never too young to be an activist!
Dan Polk, the Director of Global Citizenship (what a cool title and position to have at a grade school!), wrote this post on the school's blog…
“Green girl. Rabble rousing optimist.” On January 28th, Hamlin began an environmental stewardship partnership with Turning Green co-founder, Erin Schrode.
“Turning Green is a student-led global movement devoted to education and advocacy around environmentally sustainable and socially responsible choices for individuals, schools, and communities. TG seeks to engage youth in the transition from conventional to conscious living, empowering this generation and mobilizing action to sustain a healthy planet”. (Turning Green Website)
Ms. Schrode brought her powerful presence to both our Middle and Lower school students. She spoke passionately about her journey to becoming an activist. At the age of thirteen, she started the non-profit Turning Green with the desire to create a change in the world. She emphasized that age and gender are not a barrier to being heard, it is “about you and your friends taking action.” She urged Hamlin girls “to think, to question, to create” solutions to the environmental problems that our earth is dealing with. She went on to state,
“I might not be able to do everything, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do something. Every single one of us can do something to contribute to the greater good of the planet.”
Ms. Schrode rattled off areas where students could take action today:
-Upcycling: How can you repurpose an old shirt or shoe?
-Fast Fashion: How can you say no to advertisers who want you to buy more products? (thus, using more energy)
-Over Consumption: How can you moderate your consumption and take only what you need?
-Textile Industry: How can you support clothes that are made ethically?
-Safe Products: How can you be more conscious of the chemicals that are in your products/food?
Our partnership with Ms. Schrode has just begun. In the coming weeks she will be skyping with our students, sending videos, answering questions, and will return to speak at our Earth Day celebration on April 22nd. As part of our environmental work, students, faculty, parents, and community members are signing a pledge to not purchase any new clothes during the month of February as part of a “clothing fast.” This action will be shared via social media using the hashtag #FebClothingFast. Please feel free to participate in the pledge and share the hashtag to raise awareness.
After hearing Schrode speak, a couple of Hamlin students shared this:
“It was inspiring for her to connect with us; it made me want to go through all the products in my house and throw away all the ones with toxic chemicals.”
“It was interesting to see that she could make a difference and change the world as a 13-year old.”