Archer School Business Leader Discovers It’s Easy Being GreenBy Abbey Hood
When she first clicked on the Prius Web site, Ally Maize realized she cared more about going green, than what color car she would look good driving into Archer School for Girls parking lot.
Researching hybrid cars turned into a fascination with “going green,” that eventually would lead the 16-year-old to start an organization dedicated to promoting youth awareness about global warming.
“I became intrigued, so I started researching everything about going green,” said the tall blonde, a high achiever at the all girls’ private school in Los Angeles. “My interest shifted to applying ‘green’ to everything in my life.”
She started replacing light bulbs in her parents home, encouraged family members to use reusable grocery bags and water bottles, and even convinced them to install solar panels in their Beverly Hills home.
Her mother, Rochelle, a local Realtor, helped her daughter take going green one step further by starting “Green Youth Movement,” or as Maize likes to say, “GYM.”
“It’s important to educate the youth, because we are the next generation,” she said. “There are so many problems in the world; but this is one I am dedicated to change.”
GYM launched eight months ago with the Web site, greenyouthmovement.org, where visitors can track their global footprint. Maize offers tips to reduce that footprint, and showcases eco-friendly stores, organic products, information for kids and adults and helpful “go green” travel ideas.
Utilizing the information posted on her Web site, Maize started speaking at local schools and Girl Scout meetings, offering students tips on how to reduce their impact on the environment. At her home school she organized a walk to kick-off the movement.
“I ask kids to pledge to do one thing to help the environment, taking shorter showers, anything,” Maize said. “When they make this pledge on a piece of paper, I give them a ‘go green’ bracelet.”
Maize is not alone in her efforts to promote change. She is partnering with local boutiques like Intuition to host eco-friendly clothing parties. The events give her an opportunity to sell “go green” kits that include two light bulbs, a reusable water bottle, sponge, grocery bags and the green bracelet that is a ringer for the “Live Strong” Lance Armstrong rubber accessory.
“It's the perfect gift for the holidays,” she jokes.
The teen recently was appointed as an ambassador on the City’s “green team.” Mayor Barry Brucker and Maize are working together to incorporate GYM into his green initiatives for the city.
“She is an incredible young lady with an abundance of energy and talent,” said Brucker. “Her (GYM) program was professional and well developed.
“In fact I along with our City Staff was so impressed with Ally’s marketing savvy that we are utilizing her expertise to help our own “Green Team” initiative. Through her perseverance and creativity, Ally has found a way to inspire our young people into being more environmentally conscience. She is an impressive young lady who makes our city proud.”
Published: The Beverly Hills Courier, Volume XXXXI11 Number 79, December 03, 2008