Earth Day is April 22, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about our planet the other 364 days of the year. As climate change and human behavior continue to impact Earth in a multitude of ways, it’s crucial that we honor and preserve our planet for future generations. In fact, Earth Day is the most widely recognized secular observance in the world with over a billion people participating from small gestures like recycling or picking up garbage to grand efforts such as trying to change policies on local, national and global levels. Read about Camille Kostek's work to clean up the oceans here.
Helping may feel overwhelming, and you may not know where to begin. Luckily, there are incredibly passionate people who have used social media to educate and inspire others to do good and be better. Some may be more recognizable than others, but they are all experts when it comes to being more eco-conscious and living their best green lives.
Below are a handful of activists who encourage others to lead by their example and also break down topics such as global warming and sustainability in understandable and digestible ways so it doesn’t feel as intimidating to someone who is, well, green.
The teenager may be one of the most recognizable activists in this space. In 2018, at just 15 years old, Thunberg skipped school to protest outside of Swedish parliament demanding that country officials take more action against climate change. Her protest lasted three weeks, and since that day, Thunberg, has become a household name, having spoken at the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit in 2019. She walks the walk as much as she talks the talk and made headlines by sailing in a zero-emissions boat from Great Britain to the U.S. in 2019. To this day she continues to use her growing platform to educate and mobilize action to combat the effects of climate change.
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Barón is living her best zero-waste life. Through Instagram and YouTube, she encourages and shows her followers how to be eco-friendly whether it's by properly discarding trash or utilizing what is already in your home for some DIY decorations.
The internationally known, bestselling author of Zero Waste Home is responsible for creating the “trash jar,” a pint-sized container she uses to fit her family’s yearly garbage. The Franco-American also documents her life in a 188-square-foot trailer with her husband, chihuahua and her 15-piece wardrobe.
The artist and writer combines her love of both into her blog, The Ethical Unicorn. Willow has a holistic, fact-based approach to sustainable living and social justice. And as much as she points out the obvious and larger problems, she also aims to bring systemic and hidden cycles that need to be broken to light.
The London-based influencer uses her platform to show how the “in” thing to do is be eco-conscious. Poppy does this through information and reviews of sustainable goods and services across fashion, food and travel spaces. She helps shift the focus from fast fashion to all things that will have you looking good while doing good.
Wyn Wiley (aka Pattie Gonia)
If you “wig out” over all things sustainable, then you'll want to follow drag queen, photographer and creative director Wyn Wiley (aka Pattie Gonia). It’s their mission to build community for queer people, allies and Mother Nature. Recently, they launched The Outdoorist Oath, a nonprofit organization focused on spreading education and awareness to build a future where everyone feels welcome to engage in outdoor adventure and environmental activism.
Becker speaks about climate justice, feminism and anti-capitalism. She also co-hosts and co-produces the “Yikes” podcast focusing on these topics as well as refugee rights. In discussions on the podcast and on Instagram, she challenges people to move toward regenerative futures.
Best known as the “Water Warrior,” Peltier is a global water activist for indigenous peoples. Last year the chief water commissioner for the Anishinabek Nation was awarded a planetary health award by Prince Albert 2 Foundation in Monaco.
The Atlanta-based Renne leads by example and showcases how she lives a sustainable, vegan life at home with her family. Originally, her blog “Travel Lushes” documented her glamorous trips, but in 2019, she shifted her focus in order to reduce her carbon footprint. Now, she creates content to inspire people to bridge individual action with systemic change to help end animal exploitation, protect our natural environment and improve the health of our bodies through a sustainable, plant-based lifestyle – especially in communities of color which tend to be disproportionately affected by climate change and health problems.
Hernandez is a Mexican-American environmental educator who uses social platforms to inform inquisitive minds. Through his Instagram and on TikTok, he answers questions with no judgment and hopes to motivate others to be eco-conscious.