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Social media is no longer just a place for sharing selfies or pictures of puppies. Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook have become important sources of information; nearly half of American adults report getting at least some of their news from social media.
These platforms have become especially important for social movements, including environmentalism. We spend hours on our phones every day, and following a few reliable, informative accounts can give us some new perspectives on environmental issues while we’re scrolling.
Check out and follow these Instagram accounts to get some information about the environment on your feed.
Don’t be fooled by the beautiful, colorful graphics: this account shares serious and alarming information about climate change that we should all be paying close attention to.
Like the name implies, Chicks for Climate focuses on the intersection of environmentalism and feminism, and discusses how climate change and gender issues are intertwined. They urge followers to consider how 80% of people displaced by the climate crisis are women, and that climate change might worsen access to reproductive health care and abortion.
The account posts information about politics and current issues in shareable infographics, including environmental topics like soil biodiversity, light pollution, and rewilding. Their posts put politics and science into perspective, like COP26 and the recent IPCC report, what increments of warming would mean for drought and habitat loss, and the contribution of food waste to global emissions. Chicks for Climate takes strong, science- and evidence-based stances on these issues and many others, and is a crucial source of environmental news for your feed.
For sustainable fashion tips and reviews of sustainable brands, check out Imperfect Idealist. Lily – the voice behind the account – shares advice with her followers on balancing an interest in fashion with a commitment to sustainability. She reminds us that, while buying nothing is the least expensive and best choice for the environment, there are reasonable alternatives.
Her posts discuss fast fashion, overconsumption of clothing, exploitation of garment workers, and waste in the fashion industry. She also acknowledges the many nuances of shopping ethically – including the cost of responsibly-produced clothing – and offers solutions, like how to make clothing last, repurposing clothes you already have/hand-me-downs from family members, and finding your own unique style without resorting to buying all the latest trends. Watch her videos for tips on how to adjust your mindset and think about what you buy and the value you’ll get from it.
3. Max La Manna
Chef Max La Manna is committed to plant-based, waste-free cooking; instead of composting parsley stems, he’ll blend them right into a pasta sauce. He inspires viewers to get creative and cook with whatever they have around.
La Manna shares his own recipes that rescue soon-to-be tossed food or vegetable scraps, like dinner rolls made from leftover potatoes, carrot-top pesto, croutons and French toast from stale bread, and fried rice with broccoli stems. He also develops vegan versions of traditional meat dishes like Bolognese, paella, holiday roast, butter chicken, meatballs, and beef stir fry. The highlights on his page feature breakfast, appetizers, main dishes, and dessert, so you can easily scroll through for meal ideas.
“Small day-to-day changes may seem insignificant but they each have an impact,” said La Manna in an interview with lifestyle magazine Square Mile earlier this year. “It’s often not what we say, but what we do, that can make the greatest environmental change.” Along with his book, More Plants Less Waste, which was named Most Sustainable Cookbook in 2020 by Gourmand, La Manna also has a series with BBC Earth called Regeneration: Food.
Isaias Hernandez breaks down environmental topics in short informational videos, like, “Why can’t we just throw trash in volcanos?” or “Is stick or spray deodorant more sustainable?” (the answers are always much more complicated than you’d think).
He also talks about current events – like the recent deadly tornados in Kentucky – and highlights how social issues like migration, income disparity, and race are all intertwined with the climate crisis. He discusses his own experience as a queer person of color in the climate/sustainability world, and draws attention to the disparities in outdoor culture and environmental NGOs for POC and LGBTQ+ individuals. His swipe-through posts contain digestible information on complex issues – like why younger generations have climate anxiety, the impact of climate change on property values, traditional ecological knowledge, why honey isn’t vegan, and how to navigate climate doomism.
Hernandez is also a seasoned forager and shares tips for finding and preparing beautiful, photo-worthy mushrooms.
We all need some easy tips for reducing waste in our daily life. The simple graphics on Reduce Waste Now show “things you can rent rather than buy,” “how to properly discard a pizza box,” “using the end of your peanut butter jar,” “home appliances that use energy when turned off,” and “how long these items take to break down in a landfill.”
Many of the posts include tips for preventing food waste – like how to restore wilted greens, how to properly store fruits and vegetables to extend their life, and reusable alternatives to disposable products – or how to reuse items, like turning a tank top into a tote bag or old tights into hair ties. They also share lots of “old me vs. new me” posts to teach viewers how to change their daily habits, like repurposing lemon peels for a homemade cleaner instead of throwing them in the compost, or opting for laundry soap powder instead of detergent in plastic jugs.
Learn from the posts, or visit the Reduce Waste Now online shop of reusable items for daily living.
6. George Lee
George Lee – also known as Chez Jorge – shares videos featuring his own vegan Asian and Asian-inspired recipes, especially Taiwanese dishes. Lee created his page during the coronavirus lockdown in the spring of 2020 to share his daily meals, but soon began experimenting with making familiar Taiwanese dishes with plant-based ingredients, and has since dedicated himself to vegan cooking.
His mouthwatering videos featuring vegan takes on classic Asian dishes – like his Korean-inspired spicy chicken sandwich made with oyster mushrooms, vegan milk buns using the Yudane method, dan dan noodles, vegan sukiyaki, cauliflower katsu curry (katsukare), and Taiwainese three-cup tofu – will inspire you to try them for yourself.
Lee shares these recipes and more by category on his website, and is currently writing a vegan Taiwanese cookbook to be published by Ten Speed Press in 2023.
Intersectional Environmentalist centers around BIPOC and other historically excluded voices in the environmental community. Their posts connect climate issues to historical oppression, and feature environmental activists of diverse backgrounds to share their perspectives.
The group recently launched “IE School” – a series of IG Live lectures by environmental experts, including sessions on-campus organizing, infrastructure, and the basics of environmental justice, among others – to help followers “deepen [their] understanding of intersectional environmentalism.” IE School focuses on making this education accessible and sharing different understandings of environmentalism from communities that have been historically excluded.
Embarking on a plant-based diet can be daunting; you might have a hard time imagining giving up the delicious dishes you’re used to making, spending lots of money on specific ingredients, or dedicating hours to making meals taste flavorful as you’re still learning the tricks of vegan and vegetarian cooking.
If so, check out Minimalist Baker, which shows how plant-based eating can be simple, and shares recipes that use only 10 ingredients, 1 bowl, or take less than 30 minutes to prepare, making vegan and vegetarian food much more accessible and realistic.
Even more recipes are available on their website, which allows users to filter by season, dietary restrictions (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, refined-sugar free, etc.), cuisine, recipe type, and “simple factor” (time and ingredients required). Try their plant-based winter dishes like red lentil chili, candied nuts, wild rice salad, or vegan mushroom stroganoff.
Linnea graduated from Skidmore College in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Environmental Studies, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Most recently, Linnea worked at Hunger Free America, and has interned with WHYY in Philadelphia, Saratoga Living Magazine, and the Sierra Club in Washington, DC.