Dig deep back into your memory and think about what you were doing when you were 16. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know I was concert hopping and fantasizing about cute boys. I certainly was not thinking about eco-activism, or any activism, for that matter. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I have such admiration for teenager Erin Schrode. At the tender age of 16, she launched the much-talked-about Teens for Safe Cosmetics.
The coalition of passionate young women aims to raise awareness about the potentially harmful ingredients in beauty and daily use products that may be linked to cancer, reproductive interference, and other health risks. On average, teens use between 15 and 25 products each day, in total containing around 200 synthetic chemicals. Through education, these girls believe that they can influence purchase decisions amongst their peers. They also lobby to change legislation, and have played a key role in getting bills such as The California Safe Cosmetics Act passed. To date, the girls have held three annual green summits, produced several eco-fashion shows both in San Francisco and New York, participated in festivals, and much more.
So, what is Erin up to these days now that she’s successfully launched a prominent activist group? She’s currently studying acting in New York and plans to travel to West Africa later this year as an environmental ambassador. All the while, she’s soliciting donations for Alaffia Sustainable Skincare’s educational efforts. Erin is living proof that all it takes is an intelligent idea, personal drive, and a strong voice to initiate change – at any age.
Sara’s shameless plug: Hi, it’s your editor. De-lurk, dear reader, and leave this fabulous writer a comment. (We love chatting.) You can also share this post with friends – just click your favorite social bookmark listed below. New reader? Be sure to sign up for the weekly newsletter to win free eco goodies! You can also subscribe to any RSS feed your heart desires.