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It’s easy being green. Just ask Chloe Mills, president of Green Youth Movement (aka GYM). Initially the VP, she took over the everyday reins for the LA-based environmental initiative when its founder, Ally Maize, went to study at Emory University. Since then, Chloe has played an instrumental role in getting the state of California to approve a more eco-friendly school curriculum via the Education and Environment Initiative—and the aspiring model has also helped make being green more glamorous by staging a humanitarian fashion show during LA Fashion Week! (Green is the new black, indeed.)
Find out more about Chloe and GYM below:
What initially drew you to environmental causes? Which are you personally most passionate about?
Ever since I can remember, my mom has taken me with her to environmental brunches, lunches, fundraisers and events. One day when I was probably about 12 years old, I realized that what they were talking about actually had something to do with me. Personally, I think that educating our youth is the most important thing we can do. Allowing today’s youth to grow up with an environmental lens on life will enable them to live environmentally sound lives as adults.
How did you first get involved with GYM?
I initially got involved with GYM because the founder of the organization Ally Maize knew of my interest and love for the environment and thought GYM would be a perfect fit.
What is a typical week or day like for you? You must be balancing a lot between school, GYM, and your personal life.
I am currently a junior in high school, which by all means is a very stressful year. The great thing about GYM is that though it does consume a lot of time, I love it—so I don’t mind! A lot of GYM work done during the week will be through emailing, and the weekends allow time for sit-down meetings or phone conferences.
Global warming seems to be GYM’s main focus. What’s the most impactful or surprising thing you’ve learned so far?
I think the most surprising thing I’ve learned is not the detrimental effects we have on the environment or the simple things we can do to try and reverse this catastrophe, but how against change some people are. Most schools and individuals hear about this curriculum and are enthusiastic and supportive, but then there are those who refuse to acknowledge the changes that need to be made to the current curriculum.
What are some everyday things teens can do to combat global warming?
I think definitely educating themselves, their families, and friends about the facts of global warming. The more people that are informed correctly about what is going on in the environment and what simple ways we can help, will make the biggest differences.
One of your GYM missions is to establish environmental studies as part of the curriculum in elementary schools. Is there a way our readers can make a difference to get their schools on board?
Yes, definitely. The best way would be to contact me directly via email with their school’s information and the information of their principal. From there I will contact the principal and make an appointment to come in with the GYM team and present the information. My email is [email protected]. (Editor’s note: You can also become a GYM member!)
What is the GYM accomplishment that you’re most proud of?
I’d have to say I’m most proud of the connection we have made with EEI. EEI is the Environmental Education Initiative, which is basically the curriculum I keep referring to. Once we connected with EEI, we realized what a challenge it is to create and legalize a curriculum. The partnership between GYM and EEI has allowed both organizations to basically merge and fulfill their goals.
Watch the ladies of GYM strut their stuff:
What environmental issues do you think should be studied in schools? Share your thoughts in the comment section!