Miss Earth USA uses pageant and her role to advocate for environment
When Coast Monthly first spoke to Libby Hill in June, she was preparing to compete in the Miss Earth USA competition as Miss Gulf Coast. Hill in July won first runner-up in that competition, and when the winner placed at the Miss Earth international pageant, Hill assumed the role of Miss Earth USA.
The pageant focuses on environmental advocacy and promoting sustainable living. Hill will spend her year in her role cleaning beaches, organizing clean-ups, speaking in classrooms and educating people about her platform on coastal restoration.
Hill grew up in Galveston, but now lives in Austin, where she’s pursuing a degree in dietetics to accompany her human biology degree. Hill might be interested in future pageants, but for now, she wants to focus on her year advocating for environmental sustainability, she said.
Why did you decide to participate in the Miss Earth pageant?
It’s my home pageant for sure. There’s a pageant for every woman. This one spoke to me. You can look out on our deck and see the wildlife that’s in our backyard. You’re also really aware of when that wildlife changes, when the marshland erodes, when you don’t see as many birds. Making sure that ecosystem stayed in balance was something that was very close to my heart and my home.
Why are you so passionate about the environment?
I grew up in a household where we always recycled. We always did community service. We never wasted. That’s always just been a theme in my life.
What’s it like to get ready for a pageant?
It’s months of work. You do everything from walking coaching to interview coaching. You have to show a commitment to your platform. You have to organize environmental events. You have to be active on social media and really just be an advocate. The actual pageant lasts for a week.
What was it like to participate in the pageant?
You’re always busy. Every day is a different competition. You do bonding activities, clean-up activities. You go out and do community service. You do media interviews. It’s a very, very packed week. It’s very, very fun. You’re waking up at 3:30 a.m. some days to make sure your hair and makeup is done before 6 a.m. call times.
Why is it important for people to care about the environment?
When one part of our ecosystem goes out of balance, it has a catastrophic effect and a ripple effect on different parts of the world. So maybe you don’t care about the coast because you don’t live in Galveston, Texas, but you should care about the health of the world and it’s all connected.
Are you optimistic about the future and sustainability?
You have to be optimistic, otherwise you won’t keep up with the work. You look at little changes. If you do one small thing and that becomes habit, eventually, you’re ready for the next step.