Social Media in Today’s Environmental Activism
In today’s internet age, activists have been taking to social media to share their works and ideas, specifically targeting platforms like TikTok, a video-sharing application developed over three years ago. Now with over a billion monthly active users, TikTok is a platform where activists can spread their message to vast audiences. Many activists can reach a wide array of younger viewers through short, fast-paced TikTok videos.
One activist that has hopped on the trend is @sweet.sustainability. The account is run by Kat, an activist whose account biography emphasizes “imperfect sustainable living & ethical fashion.” Her videos discuss lifestyle changes that can be made to lead a more sustainable life, occasionally focusing on fashion consumerism. One of her more recent videos covers the topic of fast fashion: cheap, trendy clothing produced at an incredible speed to meet consumer demand. In regards to the environmental and ethical struggles of fast fashion, Kat uses her platform to discuss how to make the change to more eco-friendly brands. She also posts numerous other clips about topics like zero-waste living and how to accomplish day-to-day tasks in a more environmentally conscious manner.
Another account that has become one of the leading environmentalist accounts on TikTok is @eco_tok. This account has 17 members consisting of scientists, students, educators, and more who celebrate the planet and collaborate on how it can be saved. Alex Silva founded the account in the summer of 2020 when she had the idea to message climate activists on social media to do a project together. The group grew from nine members to the current 17. Members make videos that keep viewers informed on topics like clean energy, recent climate studies, environmental news, and lifestyle hacks.
Some accounts are more widely known and act like big organizations. These accounts are verified on the platform and have many followers such as @earthtopia, which shares climate-friendly tips with its viewers. With over 193,000 followers, Earthtopia has posted numerous viral videos about the climate. One of its recently published TikToks was “Environmental wins this week,” and it quickly covered the news topics of a bat that avoided extinction, abandoned coal mines being turned into solar farms, Germany pushing the green energy transition, and a company no longer selling disposable barbecues. This video was less than 15 seconds long but managed to educate over 3,000 users on important climate news that week. Earthtopia makes many videos like this daily.
Finally, @wwf_uk is another leading environmental account that promotes taking care of wildlife around the world. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has many employees from the U.K. branch and educates viewers on different animals and species around the world. Videos urge viewers to help in any way they can in saving endangered wildlife. The account also shares many fun facts about different species and systems on the planet. The WWF has grown into one of the world’s largest independent conservation organizations with over five million supporters and branches in over 100 countries.
Social media has grown exponentially in the last decade and continues to do so. It provides easy communication to a diverse population with viewers of every race, age, gender, religion, and more. TikTok has grown to have many communities, one of them being for environmental activism, and it has connected users of common interests all across the globe. Don’t forget to check out some of these accounts the next time you are browsing TikTok!