I’m sure that you are no stranger to the climate crisis which has been gaining a lot of attention on social media over recent years. But, this is not just a new problem. Climate change is a global emergency that is both caused by, and can be saved by changes in everyday human behaviour. Whether big or small, these changes can help to fight this environmental threat that has devastating consequences for our planet.
From the United Nations themselves, there’s no better way to describe these consequences:
“No corner of the globe is immune from the devastating consequences of climate change. Rising temperatures are fueling environmental degradation, natural disasters, weather extremes, food and water insecurity, economic disruption, conflict, and terrorism. Sea levels are rising, the Arctic is melting, coral reefs are dying, oceans are acidifying, and forests are burning.”
How can influencers help?
When we talk about making changes to our everyday behaviour, these apply not just to us as the general population, but to businesses and their corporate actions too. In terms of influencers, although they are ordinary people like you or me, they have a platform that can be used to raise awareness about important issues like these. We need to educate ourselves in order to do better for our planet, and influencers can help with this.
Across the globe, influencers have been involved in inspiring their followers, giving out educational messages, sharing petitions, and encouraging their audiences to make real-life changes. With a platform, whether big or small, influencers have the responsibility to use this to help others. Not only with the climate crisis, but with every political, societal, and environmental issue that faces each and every one of us today. I would encourage you to read our blog post on influencers who can teach you about black history month. It takes a look at another way in which influencers can help to raise awareness about the long-standing racial problems that occur within our society.
Influencers that have made a difference
Across social media platforms, we have seen a rise in environmental and climate activists. However, influencers from all categories have been posting content around the issue too.
Let’s have a look at some climate change activists across all corners of the world, that you must follow in 2021:
At just 15 years old, @gretathunberg became one of the world’s youngest influential environmental activists. She gained public attention around 2018, most notably for her strong actions and her attempts to address world leaders for failing to deal with the climate crisis.
By strong actions, we’re talking about school strikes, high-profile public speeches, and a sabbatical year from school to take a carbon-neutral crossing of the Atlantic ocean to attend the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. We’re talking about the ‘Greta effect’.
Known as @treesnpeace on Instagram, Josephine is a Graduate in Behaviour Change and Environmental Justice, living in Edinburgh. She likes to live a minimalist lifestyle, inspiring her followers to make small changes in their lives, that will contribute towards a big change for the planet. She promotes sustainable living practices across her page, and last year began ‘The Yikes Podcast’ with @mikaelaloach (that you may remember from our article about Black History Month), discussing climate activism and social justice.
Environmental activist, author, and motivational speaker, Bea Johnson can be found on Instagram by @zerowastehome. Bea’s family began living a low-waste lifestyle after downsizing their home. She started writing a blog where she shared her experiences and tips for others to reduce their home waste. With this blog becoming increasingly popular, Bea published her book Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide To Simplifying Your Life By Reducing Your Waste.
Here, you can find Bea’s product recommendations and tips for living waste-free, as well as talk dates and where to buy her book.
We could talk forever about every climate activist that we love however, it’s better if you check them out yourself! Here are some Instagram influencers that are definitely worth the follow:
Climate activism isn’t just for Instagram
Although these above accounts are some great Instagram influencers for educational and inspirational content, we have seen similar content gaining attention on TikTok. The popular video-sharing platform isn’t just for learning the next dance craze, but has eco-friendly TikTok influencers worth checking out too.
Offering sustainability tips to her followers, @shelbizleee creates fun and entertaining short videos with tips on topics like food waste, sustainable fashion, and DIY or reusable home decor. Creating this account less than a year ago, she has already gained as many as 153k followers and 2.6M likes across her videos.
Living in Los Angeles, Taylor Bright has grown her following on her TikTok account @sustainablecherub to 142k, with an incredible 3.4M likes across her videos. Her account primarily focuses on sustainable fashion, looking at behaviour from some of the biggest brands and sharing her favourite recommendations on where and how to shop in a way that is better for our planet.
Recent studies have suggested that Gen Z consumers view climate change as one of the most important issues that we face today. Understanding how businesses are being environmentally friendly is therefore one of their biggest concerns.
The Gen Z population now account for 40% of global consumers with a huge spending power. This is a generation of young people who are strong-minded and will fight for what they believe is right. Although businesses should be considering the top concerns of these consumers, what’s really important, is asking the question – why?
We need to take a step back to be able to fully understand the issue of climate change and how we can help to make a difference. Businesses should not be doing this in order to win over these consumers, but instead because they really believe in making a change.
Sometimes, thinking about living a more sustainable life can seem difficult in knowing where to begin. Often people believe that their small changes ‘won’t make a difference’, when really – they will. You don’t need to go fully vegan to help. You don’t need to go 100% waste-free to help. Or, to never buy a new shirt again. It’s a step-by-step learning process for us all, and education and awareness is the first step.
The carbon footprint of (nearly) everything is an article that I would recommend taking a look at. The infographic in this article really puts into perspective the carbon footprint coming from not only everyday tasks, but big events too.
Another one that I particularly like is a post from Lund University, about a study on the four lifestyle choices that most reduce your carbon footprint. The infographic provides a simple way of showing some of the most important changes that we can make.
It can all seem overwhelming at times, taking in so much information across the news and not knowing how to help. But, climate change really is the biggest crisis that faces our planet today.
Not only is it important to educate ourselves first, but it is equally important to understand that small changes are not meaningless. We all have to start somewhere. You don’t need to go vegan tomorrow. Maybe, just eat one more meat-free meal a week.
Influencers play a huge role in helping to spread awareness about the issue and materials for us to look at. Be sure to check out some of the influencers that we have recommended in this article, and I can guarantee that you will be inspired!