It’s easy to fall into the trap of climate doom when scrolling social media and seeing the devastating impact we are having on the planet. However, a growing number of creators are cutting through the noise, with accounts inspiring action and educating users on environmental topics ranging from green fashion to zero-waste cooking, and intersectional environmentalism to climate migration.
These accounts are inspiring us to forage for our dinner, rethink our approach to fast fashion, and even take political action. With today marking Earth Day 2023, a movement to teach people how to respect the planet and mobilize against the forces which affect it, we’ve spotlighted some content creators building awareness and bringing environmental conversations to the masses.
If you’re looking to add more eco-friendly content to your feeds, we’ve curated a list of foraging experts, environmental educators, and slow fashion advocates who you can follow to inspire a more sustainable lifestyle.
Eco Tok (@eco_tok)
EcoTok isn’t your everyday TikTok creator house. The environmentalists of TikTok, EcoTok is a collective of 17 educators and activists who use TikTok to educate and empower the younger generations. Founders Abbie Richards, Alaina Wood, Alex Silva, and Sabrina Pare joined forces in the summer of 2020 to start the TikTok collective. Since then, they have nearly doubled from 9 creators to 17, amassing 119,000 followers along the way.
On a given day, the group could post content on any number of environmentally-related topics, whether that’s eco-anxiety, recycling, “energy positive” homes, climate migration, or promoting diversity in the sustainability world.
Their ability to engage their followers on serious environmental and social issues has even led to a partnership with TED Countdown and more recently a content series for the UN Environment Programme. We’re looking forward to seeing what they do next.
Pattiegonia is an environmentalist drag queen who uses her platform to challenge conventional representations of what a climate activist and outdoorsperson looks like. With over 500,000 followers on Instagram and 150,000 followers on TikTok, Pattie shares photos and videos of herself hiking and camping, both in and out of drag, even scaling mountains in six-inch heels.
Pattie can be spotted online posing next to oil rigs, advocating for fossil fuel divestment, and sporting gowns made from actual trash to highlight the issue of plastic pollution. As Pattie reminds us, “If you can hold onto your trash boyfriend for two whole years, then you can hold onto this piece of trash for 5 more minutes.”
In addition to her online activism, Pattie brings together LGBTQ+ individuals and allies for in-person hikes and outdoor gatherings, fostering safe and inclusive communities of nature lovers who are passionate about environmental conservation.
Alexis Nikole (@alexisnikole)
Ever wondered what culinary delights you could whip up courtesy of your own backyard? Known on social media as “Black Forager,” Nelson has amassed more than 4 million followers since she launched her TikTok and YouTube channel in 2020 collecting and cooking everything from dandelion fritters to seaweed panna cotta.
Drawing from her extensive knowledge of Black and Indigenous food foraging traditions, Alexis creates content that empowers people of all skill levels to harvest and utilize edible foodstuffs we often overlook in our local environments. She also shares information about the history and science behind these incredible plants, from the misconceptions surrounding the Kentucky coffeetree to ways to tell Poison Hemlock from Queen Anne’s Lace.
As a result of Alexis’ videos, social media users have gained newfound skills in utilizing the natural resources available in their surroundings, leading to a reduction in food waste and a deeper, more meaningful bond with the environment. Nelson does this all with sustainability in mind, encouraging her followers to eat invasive and pervasive plants where possible.
Isaias Hernandez (@queerbrownvegan)
Growing up in Los Angeles, Isaias Hernandez faced numerous challenges, including living on food stamps and grappling with the city’s poor air quality. These firsthand experiences instilled in him a deep awareness of how poverty, migration, and environmental degradation are interconnected and exacerbate each other.
In response, Hernandez has dedicated his career to educating others on the intersectional nature of the climate crisis. In November 2019, Hernandez made his Instagram debut as @QueerBrownVegan, an account aiming to educate folks about environmental justice, veganism, and a zero-waste lifestyle.
Now with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram and 30,000 on TikTok, Hernandez is mobilizing his platforms for change, taking him all the way to the White House to question vice president Kamala Harris about the issue of implementing environmental justice in the K-12 educational curriculum.