How to Seize Back Democracy with Chloe Moki




Chloe Moki is an activist, a citizen lobbyist for green EU policy, the founder of The Green Seed Project, an Environmental education NGO, she hosts her own podcast, The Burning Case Podcast and so much more! In this episode, Chloe and Carly dive into the importance of focusing on systematic change. They also chat about how making change as an individual is a process and to not get caught up in the guilt of not doing enough. Chloe gives concrete ideas on how to make an environmental change at a systematic level.


Please note, this episode has been transcribed by a computer, expect some typos!


Carly Puch

Welcome back to another episode of Consciously Clueless. I'm your host, Carly, and I'll be your guide on this journey from consciousness to cluelessness and back around again. Today on the podcast, I talked to Chloe Mikko, all the way from Belgium. Chloe is a citizen lobbyist for green EU policy. She is the founder of an environmental education NGO. She hosts her own podcast called the burning case podcast, talking about politics and democracy. It was so amazing to talk to Chloe and be reminded how much change is needed on a systematic level, and how we can do that. Enjoy the episode. So again, thank you so much for making this work and figuring out the timezone change. That's my major challenge in life.


Chloe Moki

Yeah, I can imagine. No worries. I'm really happy. And thank you for inviting me.


Carly Puch

Yeah, absolutely. So the first question I like asking, is just kind of about how you're doing. So the podcast is called consciously clueless. And there's that idea of being conscious and being with it and feeling like we've got it figured out. And then there's those moments of, I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm so clueless what's going on, and everything in between. So I'm just curious where you feel like you are today or in this moment, or whatever it is.


Chloe Moki

I'd say I'm okay. I really struggle every year with fire seasons. Because I don't know I just the thought of something so ancient and so beautiful as forest and everything that lives in the forest. So the animals and all the plants just being completely destroyed, because of our decisions is something that really impacts me. So it's been happening every year last year with mainly the Amazon and this year. I mean, it's of course, the Amazon. It's also the fires in California, just it really hits a button for me. And it makes me really anxious and really sad. So like this is not the best period of the year, but and also with everything that's going on with Coronavirus. It's a really uncertain future. So, yeah, it really depends on the day to day, it's been a good day because I I met a colleague and we work together. So that was nice. But yeah, depends.


Carly Puch

Yeah, that's interesting to think of the time of year like we often talk about the time of year being hard in northern Minnesota being you know, winter and kind of that time, but thinking about the destruction as the different seasons is really interesting. The way you put that.


Chloe Moki

Yeah, yeah, no, it's a it's a struggle every year, but get to keep moving on and believing that a better future is possible. Otherwise, we wouldn't be, you know, doing what we're doing.


Carly Puch

Yeah, exactly. We wouldn't be here talking. Right.


Chloe Moki

Exactly.


Carly Puch

So I really, really appreciate following you on social media. Because your ability to make these like really big topics, approachable, and digestible and understandable, is really, really important. And I think that, so thank you for that. Because I've learned a lot. But tell me a little bit more about being a lobbyist for the green EU policy. And like, what is that? What does that mean for us here in the states?


Chloe Moki

Yeah. So essentially, the EU is currently developing a green strategy, which is one of the most ambitious in the world. And it's called the EU Green Deal. So a bit similar to what you have in the US with the green New Deal. And when you look at the numbers, it it is the most ambitious in the world. When it comes to tackling climate breakdown when it comes to biodiversity when it comes to foods. It's it's really interesting, and it's really good to see that the finally taking this into account. It's not where we should be in terms of science and in terms of actually reaching the objectives that were set at the Paris Agreement. But it's, it's good. And the thing is the EU is so important for the entire world, just like the US is in terms of influence. But the thing is the EU is one of the largest markets in the world. So that means that Europeans consume a lot of stuff that comes from around the world. So the EU has a huge influence because whatever it decides is going to have consequences for the rest of the world. So just to give you an example, if the EU decides to stop making trade agreements with I don't know, South America, which is the The countries under the term macro saw. So that gathers, I think, 11 countries from South America, but I'm not sure. If the EU decides to put criteria in those trade agreements, environmental sustainability, social justice criteria, then this has a huge influence because losing a market, like the EU, is just an economic disaster for a lot of countries. So you really have this leadership. The problem is, as I was saying, it's not ambitious enough, and the EU sometimes kind of does two steps forward one step back, because the influence of lobbyists here in Brussels, and especially corporate lobbyists is huge. We actually second only to Washington, in terms of the amount of corporate lobbyists, we have 25,000 people here in Brussels that identify as lobbyists. Wow. And the amount in 2016, the amount that was poured into lobbying was 1.6 billion euros. So that's a lot of money for one year. And so the thing is, there's this presence on one side, the corporate lobbyists. And on the other side, there's the thing that the EU is not really accessible for a lot of people in Europe, it's being blamed for a lot of things that are going wrong in Europe, you know, every time there's a problem with the price of agricultural commodities, all the farmers will say, well, it's the fault of the EU. Every time there's a ban on a no certain product, Oh, it's so full of the EU, because it wasn't designed to be accessible, really, or it was but it's just really poorly communicated. Okay, so citizens are really distant. And so it's really important to bring back these opportunities to feedback and influence back to citizens. Because we can't just rely on the ambition of you policymakers. And certainly, we can't just rely on the influence of corporate lobbying that is dragging us down. So part of my job, I'm actually working for a campaign, specifically on the issue of Planned obsolescence. But I also follow everything that relates to sustainability at the EU level. And so part of my what was this thing you were specifically working on? And it's a campaign that targets planned obsolescence. So the fact that products and especially electronic products fail after a certain time, because then, you know, designed to fail or they're not repairable. Okay. And, of course, from a sustainability point of view, we want to extend the life of these products, right. And so I'm working on that, but I don't know where it is. But I also Yeah, tell me, because there's a lot of jargon, especially in the EU and working there, you tend to use a lot of jargon. So don't hesitate to interrupt. And, and yes, on the side, I'm really interested in everything that relates to sustainability and sustainability policies. And so what I'm trying to do is really to try to make those concepts accessible and understandable by as many people as possible. And also through the burning case podcast that I recently launched is to give means of actions to people that distance and delusion, diluted. delusion is another wonder disillusion from policymaking, and a lot of people feel that way, especially in Europe. So that's kind of the goal is break down these concepts, but also provide means of action so that we don't, we don't just have informed citizens, we have informed citizens that are ready to act and get involved in the policymaking process.


Carly Puch

I think that's so important, because there's so many important conversations happening in the United States right now, whether it's racial justice or sustainability. I think conversations are happening, because they just like couldn't not happen anymore. Right? Yeah. And there's a lot of, Okay, great. I know about this problem, but then it's really overwhelming to say, okay, shit, I know about the problem. But yeah, like, What do I do? What do I do with all this information?


Chloe Moki

Exactly, exactly. And whether it's sustainability, whether it's racism, whether it's gender equality, the problem is, for a very long time, and that's especially the case when it comes to sustainability. We've put the responsibility and the blame on individuals. There's like, it's your fault. If there's climate breakdown, because you fly too much, because you eat too much meat, because you consume too much. And partially, it's true, you know, it's our responsibility as individuals as well. The problem is, if you make your zero waste to space, or if you reduce your meat consumption, it's great. It's going to make you feel better. And it's a great first step towards get being informed, right. But even if everyone stops being super conscious, eco conscious on the planet, we're not going to get to where we need in order to preserve human life and just life on Earth. Because we need a radical change. We need a policy, policy changing need an economic change. And this can only happen if we mobilize to change the system. So not just ourselves, which is super important. Don't get me wrong, but we also need to get to that next step. Have mobilizing at policy level and policy makers aren't too keen on, you know, letting us do that. Because that would literally mean changing the status quo. So they're not really open. So this is why it's so important to really understand policy processes, where the opportunities to lobby for change, all these kind of things where we can push and pressure, you know, to really achieve the system change, which needs to come as well as individual change.


Carly Puch

I think that is so important to talk about, because especially at first when I started learning about sustainability, I felt like one I needed to change the world. Like it was like my responsibility. And if I messed up any of my individual actions, I was a terrible person. Yeah. And not that you shouldn't, like you said, strive for that and do all those things, not only for your own health and well being, but they contribute. But the system change is really, really important. And I think that conversation is happening more and more here, at least in the States. And just overall, because it's much easier for systems to stay in place if they like distract us and da, buy this, like reusable water bottle and actually do this and do that. But that's really hard, I think, specifically in not only United States, but in my town. There's a lot of talk about racism, specifically, indigenous people were right next to a reservation. So there's a lot of really important conversations happening right now. And I think what's really hard for people to wrap their head around is like that. It's systematic. Yeah. Like to talk about racism. For someone who doesn't want to have that conversation. Do not think you're calling them a racist. Yeah. And to say like, No, no, I'm just saying that the system we're in, is built on these foundations is really hard to wrap your head around.


Chloe Moki

It is I think it's really hard to just acknowledge privilege, and especially what privilege I I've been following a lot what's been happening in the US, but I have to say, I'm not an expert in what's happening in the US either, right? And I am more familiar with say, what's happening, what's happening in the EU, though, of course, the US influences a lot the EU. But um, yeah, I felt like this, this systematic issues. And we've been putting a lot of the blame on individuals, as I was saying, and there's also this notion of privilege, even in the environmental movement, there's that goes with this, you know, blaming the individuals, not everybody is able to, you know, just live a zero waste lifestyle. I mean, you have to admit, it's convenient to buy prepackaged product, because that means you don't need the time to do your products, you don't need to sometimes it's more expensive. Let's face it, I know what what it's like in the US, sometimes you don't leave near as your waist shot, because let's be honest, at least here in Europe, it's it's mostly in privileged, white wealthy neighborhoods where, you know, young people are getting more and more interested. And we have a lot of disadvantaged neighborhood in Brussels. And I'm actually currently studying the amount of zero waste slash organic shops and where they are located here in Brussels. And it's really interesting, because you see that most of them are located in wealthy neighborhoods and not in disadvantaged neighborhoods. And I created an NGO a few years ago that did sustainability education in high schools, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods. And it was really interesting conversation, because for them, they didn't really see why they were supposed to care about the environment, because they just had so much to focus on on a day to day basis, you know, that the school was really shitty, they didn't really have that many perspective for the future. The parents were struggling to get by the end of the month. And so they're like, why should I care about climate change? You know, it's like, it's a rich problem. And they weren't wrong. It's, it's a privilege, people really have to acknowledge privilege first and realize that it's mainly their responsibility to act on that. And it's through relevant public policies, it's relevant investments, it's, you can't expect everyone to leave a zero waste lifestyle or eco friendly lifestyle if it's not accessible to them, right. And for years, and years and years, what we've been doing, and for me, that's a big part of the problem is that instead of removing the bad stuff from the shelves from the supermarket, from the shops, like the back products, we've been putting an eco premium on the good ones, which makes them even less accessible. Yeah, so buying organic is going to cost you more. So instead of just banning some certain products, or just banning food that comes from the other side of the world at certain seasons, or just maybe not banning, but making them more ethical ffensive actually, so that the price of organic products of local products reduces, we've been doing it the other way around. And this just doesn't make sense at the end of the day, because we, you know, putting even more blame on these privileged people, you know, are they're not eating organic, they're not eating that way or consuming that way. But it's because he's actually cheaper. And that doesn't make sense at all. And we really need a proper policy change on that


Carly Puch

So for it sounds like and correct me if I'm wrong, a lot of the work you're doing and that you talk about is really about like, systematic change. And so like, that's where a lot of your focus comes in. So when people are, let's say, like listening to this podcast episode, and they're like, okay, we need systematic change. What do you tell people that are kind of first starting out in that journey? Like, where? Where do we start?


Chloe Moki

Yeah, that's a really interesting question. And I just want to say that, for me, it was a process. Like, if I, if I take you back 10 years, I was living in Paris, I was consuming, like, my life was around consumption. And so, you know, Paris is a very fashionable city and have some friends that work in the fashion sector, or, you know, like the communication sector. So it was really about always consuming like fashion, always looking looking different, always looking cool for the parties and the clubs and everything. And so I used to consume a lot. And then my parents, one of them's a journalist, and the other one traveled a lot. So I spent a lot of my childhood and my teenage years, flying around the world, I am probably one of the most privileged people when it comes to traveling, I've been to a lot of countries. And I had no idea like, like, I was just completely clueless, and then went to university. And one thing I always loved was animals. I love animals my whole life. And when I got to university, I, there was a scandal in France, about palm oil, and how palmo was partly responsible for the deforestation in Indonesia. And so you know, you could see, like pictures of orangutans dying. And that was really shocking to me. And that was like the starting point of it all, I guess, not it from being probably one of the worst offender when it comes to the environment, to kind of starting to learn about the environment. And I studied something completely different. And then after my bachelor's degree, I was like, I'm really interested in those issues, I want to learn more. So I ended up doing a master's in environmental science and management, okay. And even during my master's, and for a few years after, I thought that I could buy my way into sustainability, like a lot of people, I was really putting the focus on individual change. So I went vegan, I flew much less, and I have to say, I still flying. So, but I flew much less, I started to consume super zero waste, I was very strict. And as you were saying, it was exactly like you blaming myself when I was ordering outs or, you know, doing something that wasn't super eager. And so yeah, I was literally like, on that path. And then I started learning, I started listening to podcasts, or listening to people or reading books, and kind of really understanding that. As I was saying, even if I convinced everyone around me to live that same lifestyle, it wouldn't, it would have an impact for sure. But it wouldn't have the necessary impacts to actually tackle climate breakdown. So I think that's really what I want to say is that it's a process, and maybe you're not there yet, maybe you're not to the level of influencing policy making, and that's fine. If you're already taking the steps in your everyday life. Right? It's, it's a really is amazing, because you're already, maybe even in your community, you may be the first one. So it's really great. So don't beat yourself up. And it's just that if you've been doing this little individual change for a while, and you think maybe it's time to take it to the next level, then you should, you know, you shouldn't be put off. But it's hard to influence policymaking. It's impossible. I can't do it as an individual, we can all do it. I know it's in the US, it can be a bit different, the processes and how to meet because there's like the Senate and it's like the Chamber of representatives. So it's a bit different. But we can all influence a policeman even to shoot a local one. It's completely doable. We are doing a little bit of self promotion here. But as my burning case, we're actually going to release at the end of the year a series of episodes that is exactly about what are the steps that we can take that anyone can take to become a citizen lobbyists that so that's what we call it. So to really pick up Pick your issue, identify who you're supposed to influence, how to form a coalition and how to live and this works at every level from the super basic level if you're in a little village and didn't wants to cut some trees in the park. And you're super against that. So what? Why should we cut some trees instead of planting it or right now Mary doesn't want to allow one vegetarian meal, in the school, all these little things, that's fine. That's your level, if you want to go higher, it also works if you even want to go European influence European policymaking it also works. And we're going to make it super concrete and hands on so that everybody can learn these steps these tools and influence people themselves. So that is, it really depends on where you are in this journey.


Carly Puch

I love that you'll have to have to stay in touch and share that so I can share it out. That sounds amazing. Because I think that's the problem for a lot of people. It's like I care about this, I'm interested. But I just I'm like so unfamiliar. And it's really overwhelming. The internet is scary when you Google like how to solve this problem. But I want to circle back and say I so appreciate you talking about your own journey. And it being a process because I think that's another thing that makes this conversation really inaccessible. And I know, like I mentioned, when I first started diving in, I was like, all in, I have to be zero waste. I have to fit my trash in a jar for the year. And I have to you know, like I'll be I'll be vegan forever. That's for a whole nother host of reasons. But I was like this, this, this, this, this, this, this this. And it was also not fun anymore. It was also it felt like a burden. It felt like I was judging myself. I was judging all the people around me. Yeah. Because I was like, why don't you understand I'm saving the world? Why aren't you saving the world with me? And you knowing it's a process, I think is important because there are some quote unquote influencers on social media that I think whether it's intentional or not give the impression that it's like they came out of the womb as this like, friendly, like, perfect human. Yeah. And like, don't acknowledge that it's a process. So then you feel shitty when you look at how great they're doing. And you're like, God, they're like, they know how to be environmentally friendly, and how to do all these things without acknowledging like, yeah, I lived in Paris, and I was a part of this, this this is like I think of, you know, even a few years ago, how my knowledge and practices around sustainability, they're wildly different.


Chloe Moki

Yeah no, absolutely.


Carly Puch

Wildly different. And to not acknowledge that, and I had to, like, get out of that phase, like people talk about the angry vegan phase. And yeah, like, there's that it's so real. It is so real. I feel like there's an angry vegan angry sustainability activists like, yeah, there's that phase where you get all the information and you're like, Oh, this shit is exactly really messed up. Yeah.


Chloe Moki

I think you need to process things. Yes. Like, it's it's not easy, like learning about all the terrible things that are happening in the world. It's scary. It's sad. And you have all the rights to be angry. But as you said, I think it's, it's a phase. And if it's not, it's okay, as well, you know, everybody does their own thing. But I think it's about choosing your battles as well. And what I realized is that I was just like, you like, I was really angry at a lot of people around me. And that ended up making me really sad, because I just, I was judging my friends All the time, I was judging my family. I couldn't go on a vacation with people without just being like, you're ordering a plastic straw. Like, seriously, do you not care about turtles at all? Yeah, I'm, like, meat, oh, my god you're discussing and, and I was, as you said, I was just like, not enjoying, and I was angry all the time. And it kind of wore off. And I wouldn't be able to say like, what changed, but it, it did change. And I'm so grateful, and I'm so happy that it did. Because Yeah, I wasn't enjoying myself anymore. And now I I tried to judge people less. I what I realize is also like, I have friends and a lot of them don't care about sustainability. And that makes me sad. But I love them for other reasons. I like them because they're loyal, because they're funny because they're smart, because they're good friends, because we've been through a lot together. And that's fine. You know, and I can I love my parents, they still eat me they're not eco friendly, they fly a lot, but still have them. So you kind of need to focus on what you love. And also treat your battle and save your energy. And I've also realized that it's like being angry and blaming people, it takes a lot of energy. And at the end of the day, if you really want to make a change, you've got a limited amount of energy to dedicate to a cause. And that cause can be anything can be veganism can be your waste. It can be just put your energy in this try to at least rather than focus on the little things because once again, the little things aren't going to change the world no matter how good they are, right? They're not going to change the world. And your energy. And also this thing that I really like is like, I can't remember what it says exactly. But it's like resting or, you know, focusing on mental health. It's actually an act of rebellion in a capitalist system that encourages constant productivity constant, yes. Having a brain, you know, buzzing. So just taking a step back and focusing on your mental health and your energy and where you want to focus it, that's already an active resistance. You don't need to be everywhere at once. You may take a while to figure it out.


Carly Puch

Yes, and that I think that's so important. I'm, I'm a health and wellness coach. And one of the things that really motivated me to do that was realizing when I feel my best when I feel healthy, when I'm eating right, when I'm nourishing my body, all the things, yeah, then I am way, I am way more capable of showing up for the world and all the things I care about. So if I can help people individually feel better, like selfishly, I feel like I'm setting them up to then be better citizens. Yeah, and take care of the world because we can't tackle those things. When our tank is empty. Yeah. And I tried, I've tried many times to tackle the world's problems on empty and it just doesn't work. It doesn't work. And I think the thing you said about anger and energy is really important, too. Because I've been thinking a lot lately about how it's okay to be angry. It's like what you do with it?


Chloe Moki

Yeah, yeah.


Carly Puch

So like I'm angry at all these things. But being angry at my friends isn't changing anything, but being angry at the system could maybe change some things.


Chloe Moki

Exactly. It's who you direct your anger towards? Yes. Yeah, no, I completely agree with that.


Carly Puch

So would you say that veganism was kind of your, like, insert point into this movement?


Chloe Moki

Um, not really, because I have set when I studied environmental science and management, it was actually good. I mean, not it wasn't funny. But it's interesting to see that even in your muscles about sustainability. And that was seven years ago. So maybe that has changed since and I know with other degrees that we address the problem of animal farming. Mm hmm. For us, it was never addressed as an issue. I mean, it was addressing an issue but from a like, like the solutions to make cows glass. Yeah. And we can reuse cow poo for other reasons. But it was never the actual concept of animal farming that was. And I learned that from later. So I wouldn't say that was my entry point. My entry point. I think in the for sustainability ecofriendly was really palm oil and differentiation. Because I just said to you in the beginning, like forests are really my weak points. Yeah. So that was my entry points, and then learning about different things. And, and actually, I became vegetarian for a while. Mm hmm. And I think about two years and then I went vegan, I think classic journey, watch conspiracy about a lot of other studies. And just at the end of the day, I took a dog as well, and she's my baby. She's the love of my life. And I just couldn't make the difference between my dog that I was literally cherishing like to she is the most precious thing for me. And reveal or not reveal. But I don't know how he called an influencer to evolve. So I don't know. Is it like the baby cow? Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Careful, whatever. Yeah. And I just like I couldn't make difference anymore. And also like to it was both from for animal rights reasons, of course, but also for sustainability reason that I went vegan.


Carly Puch

Yeah, it's been interesting to talk to people on the podcast, it's been, this just happened organically through conversations I've had with people that food. And veganism specifically has been an entry point for a lot of people into sustainability, myself included, because I just went vegan for health reasons. And then it was like the domino effect of all the other things that come along with the agriculture systems and everything else. So I was just curious if that was your journey as well, but it sounds like be Ranga Tangs and the palm oil, which is something I don't know enough about like that is I've talked to one other guests about palm oil. But I think I'm surprised that that doesn't get talked about more.


Chloe Moki

It was a big, big, big outrage about palm oil in Europe a few years ago. And actually, it's funny because my first job think I can talk about that now, because I've left it a few years ago, but essentially, my first job was as a sustainability consultant in a sustainability consultancy firm, working for big companies trying to make their supply chain deforestation free. And what commodity did I end up working on as my first job Palm oil universe, of course, and what I learned, and that kind of applies to all of my views and sustainability, I used to really think that it was like black and white the whole time, and are done anymore. And it's especially true with all types of commodities like commodities or products, essentially. And for buying oil, I learned that there's no such thing as black and white, because 45% of palm oil is actually produced by what we call small holders. And small holders are farmers that work on land that I think is less, I have to double check, but I think it's less than five Hector's. So it's it's actually quite small, okay when actor, but I need to double check. So it's essentially peasants, like, really small, like farmers that own really small pieces of land, that produce 45% of the world family, or like, saying, we don't want to use palm oil anymore, is not a good idea, because you're potentially putting millions of people in Indonesia and Malaysia, at risk of extreme poverty, and just not having a job and not having money to feed their kids anymore. So it's really complicated, because we've created a globalized system, where we promised some people on the other side of the world that we would, you know, pay them for certain activities, whether it's fashion, whether it's food, but the thing is, our demand for these products has increased so much, that we are responsible for the deforestation of these forests and the pollution, the environmental consequences. And at the same time, we still being this evil, really sheer amount of money. So right. It's really about rethinking the system from also not only sustainable point of view of like, let's stop the first deforestation, but also from a fair and economic point of view, because we made them dependence on our consumption of by mobile. So how can we make this different system so that, yes, there's no deforestation anymore. But at the same time, we're not completely dropping these millions of people that depend on per month to have a living?


Carly Puch

Is there talks in the EU about how to kind of transition when we talk about some of those systems changing? So I know, in the US when people have been talking about dairy farming and be farming for cattle, there's been some money been like, kind of trying to be thrown around and other conversations about Okay, well, we don't want you to not farm, we just want you to farm different things. So like soy or whatever it is. And there's been talks about how to help those farmers transition. You know, they're not doing dairy anymore. They're doing another crop. Is there talks like that in the EU?


Chloe Moki

So the problem? Yes, they are. But that mainly applies to EU farmers, because we like it's this concept that is very strong in international law of national sovereignty. So as the EU, we wouldn't be able to say, to Indonesia, right, stop deforestation. However, what we can say, and this goes back to the discussion we had at the beginning of these trade agreements that are so powerful, we can say, we will buy your palm oil, but we need to implement a system to ensure that this palm oil is deforestation free. So this isn't going and it has been the case for woods. That's a word right woods like like. Yeah, well, I guess that comes from other parts. Yeah. And there's a certification program that is in place to ensure that this would enter the EU is not related to deforestation. The problem as always, it's the implementation and the tracking and making sure that there's money that is being put in the implemented implementation of this, so that there's no you know, fake certificates, or that is that there's no transparency in the supply chain. But on paper, these would be great because they're, it's a partnership. It's not us Europeans. You know, what people saying to Indonesia? Yeah, you difference your own forest for our consumption. Now you need to stop. It's about you know, implementing a partnership and saying, we will probably still buy your your farmer maybe at a higher price, because we'll consume less of it. And in exchange, we need this product to follow certain set of rules to ensure that not only does it not lead to differentiation, but it also leads to farmers being paid a fair price.


Carly Puch

Yeah, so that's a lot. It sounds like that's a lot of the lobbying you've been working on, or at least you're really knowledgeable about is those trade agreements. And that like Partnership, which is so interesting, because I don't think that I at least I have heard that conversation. as much about the value of that, those agreements to like trade agreements or commodities and products can have between whether it's farmers or production, that's really interesting.


Chloe Moki

The superpower field is trade agreements. The problem is, there's a lot of lobbying going on, because of course, some industries in Europe want Europe to sign a trade agreement with the Microsoft, because for them, it's not necessarily about receiving meat and soy and a bunch of things from South America, it's about having less taxes for them to ship their products to South America. So notably cars and pharmaceutical products. And of course, you ask any car manufacturers, they would love to enter the South American market, it would love to send the car, just sell the cars, the trucks, whatever. But the problem is like, this is like the basis of having trade agreements that promote consumption and shipping of goods is unsustainable. So we need to transform them to make them weapons and tools of sustainability rather than just money and profits, essentially. And if they use that way, they can be really powerful tools. But we need to ensure that there's no loopholes, because currently, there's a lot of loopholes.


Carly Puch

Right.


Chloe Moki

That allow for not not necessarily good stuff.


Carly Puch

So is the, your podcast that I haven't gotten to listen to yet. But I'm really excited. Because I just saw that as I was looking again, at your page, I was like, Oh, she has a podcast. And that's good. Right?


Chloe Moki

Like this only two episodes out. Okay and one coming.


Carly Puch

Yeah, I was like, I swear this. This didn't exist a while ago. But I'm really excited about that. I would love for you to talk a little bit about the green seed project. So that's the NGO you mentioned. Yeah. In the beginning, but if you could talk a little bit more about that. I think it's so fascinating. Yeah.


Chloe Moki

So it's, it's currently unfortunately, on hold because of the coronavirus. But essentially, the idea was to talk about sustainability in schools, high schools and universities, but without necessarily going through the angle of climate breakdown. Because for a lot of us that we meet, especially in the disadvantaged neighborhoods where we've been working, if you've been living in an urban area, your whole life, including with financial struggle, you don't necessarily care about the fact that there's less worms in the earth in the soil, or you don't really care about, you know, ya know it's not your priority.


Carly Puch

So removed from their experience.


Chloe Moki

Yeah so it was kind of thinking of how we could talk about sustainability and these issues, but through a different angle that makes more sense to them. So this is how we kind of came up with three different topics that we propose to teachers, and they choose based on what they're doing in class. And these three topics are related to consumption, and their fashion, plastic and food because you dress up every morning, you eat three times a day, and you encounter a lot of plastic in your everyday life. And based on this, we developed the three steps methodology, which is essentially raising Warner's having a debate, and then empowering them to implement their own projects to tackle this issue. Free thing with that methodology is that we can talk about climate breakdown, we can talk about overconsumption, we can talk about workers exploitation, but through something that makes a lot of sense to them. And because fashion, they were these brands that are problematic, they eat the foods that sometimes causes climate breakdown. And they use plastic because we all do. And I have to say it's not about pointing the finger or blaming, it's really about making rim see that the part of the biggest system and that they can actually act on that system. And the last part is, of course, my favorite because they're they know about the issue. We've had a debate around that where they can ask all the questions, and then we usually tend to end up the discussions in like, why is the capitalist system exploiting workers, that really great. And the third part is really about you. So we have methodology, and that's going to get into that. But we asked them to come up with a solution that they could implement in the community or in the school or in the class to tackle one of the issue. And just to give examples of projects that were presented is lobbying the head of the school to have because here in Belgium, you need to wear sports clothes that have the name of the school, most of the time, so you know, he called do blah, blah, blah. Yeah, and like lobbying the head of the school so that the T shirts and the shorts would be bought from organic would be made from organic cotton and Fairtrade. It's about making sure that maybe the soda machine gets removed and is replaced by water fountain. It's about organism Agha organizing, sorry, a second hand cell in school with like parents and the local communities. It's about going to the local policymaker to ask them