The era of the ‘eco influencer’

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It is no secret that plastic pollution and carbon emissions are affecting our climate and inspiring consumers to become increasingly eco-conscious in their decisions and habits. 

Instagram has fast become a source of inspiration for this new movement with a new era of ‘eco influencers’ at the forefront, says Amelia Neate, social media expert from the agency Influencer Matchmaker.

Shoppers are increasingly driving conversations and are looking to eco-conscious accounts on social media for advice and support, she believes.

“Sustainable living is a life choice that’s increasingly being demonstrated through a new form of influencer who are encouraging more customers to follow in their footsteps, which is making brands reconsider the way they deliver and market their products,” says Amelia.

“Those that are passionate about our planet are looking to influencers for interesting and sustainable ways they can embrace this movement themselves.”

Here she analyses the eco efforts of influencers and how they are shaping a new type of customer…

Travel Influencers

Wanting to minimise their impact on the environment as much as possible, parent bloggers Travel Mad Mum and Travel Mad Dad understand how their travelling can be the cause of carbon concern.

The family say they try to balance out their air miles by eating sustainably and recycling and reusing products on their travels. They also ensure they use eco-alternatives as much as possible.

Mum Karen, now an avid fan of eco-friendly brands, uses recycled plastic suitcases, energy efficient hammam towels, eco-friendly shampoo bars and solar chargers every time the family travels. She advises her followers on new eco-friendly finds along the way.

In a recent campaign, Karen partnered with travel guidance brand ABTA to give her audience advice on making holidays greener. From educating children on recycling, through to combined travel such as taking trains or cycling, were all on the list of ways to reduce your environmental footprint.

Lifestyle influencers

Worried about the levels of plastic still entering our landfills and seas – more than five trillion pieces in the world’s oceans – lifestyle influencer Curiously Conscious prides herself on sharing kinder ways to live.

More recently, she switched plastic for eco-friendly and like-for-like products. In her bathroom, she has swapped disposable cotton pads for washable cotton rounds from EKKO Skin. Plastic bottled milk has been removed from her kitchen and replaced with a glass alternative and she also sources eco cleaning products from Splosh that use refillable bottles, for which cleaner pouches can be ordered online.  

The influencer notes however, that there are still big cost efficient and plastic-free alternatives that she is on the hunt for, such as bin bags, toothpaste and crisps.

Fashion influencers

When it comes to sustainable fashion, there are more than six 6 million posts on Instagram, and influencers have woken up to the idea of creating a more ethical wardrobe.

Paving the way are ‘thrift-fluencers’ like The Metal Romantic, an Instagrammer who specialises in styling vintage items and up-cycling old finds. More recently she has hand-dyed vintage jumpsuits and even repurposed an old purse chain into a necklace. She promotes her designs on her social platform and then sells them through a hand-curated Etsy store linked in her bio.

Sustainable fashion advocate Emma Slade Edmonson has created a series of bite-sized videos for her followers called ‘come second-hand shopping with me’ with a range of guests. She carefully curates her wardrobe from charity shop finds and shows her followers how to style second-hand items.

Home influencers

New York-based zero waste blogger Lauren Singer from Trash is for Tossers (378K followers on Instagram), is renowned for her minimalistic lifestyle and home. Starting a series called ‘Simple Swaps’, she discusses the process of how she became litter-free and even managed to fit two years’ worth of waste in a single jam jar! Lauren set up her own zero waste store called ‘Package Free Shop’, which was decorated with milk paint – a non-toxic and non-plastic based paint.

The store sells products to help customers reduce their daily waste. In a post that shows off her stylish yet minimalistic living space, you can see reclaimed pallet coffee tables, bamboo cleaning utensils and natural decorations.

Gifting influencers

US Instagrammer Going.Zero.Waste recently told her 148K followers that Americans spend $7 billion on wrapping paper every year – and took to her neighbourhood recycling bins to ‘scavenge’ free and recyclable gift wrap. She said that old grocery bags, newspapers and string seemed to work perfectly and didn’t cost her a penny.

She’s also noted how you can use nature to inspire your degradable home decorations to help cut costs. She shows how everything from dried oranges, chestnuts and conkers and branches are great for any party! 

Businesses and brands

Encouraging brands and businesses to go greener at work, blogger Eco Warrior Princess recently noted that laptops are more energy efficient than desktop computers and working from home actually cuts down our C02 emissions.

This move could also help avoid paper waste with less print material required and even help reduce unnecessary plastic use, such as water cup dispensers.

This age of influencers are helping to shine a light on ways we can all go greener and reduce our individual impact on the environment.

And, as Amelia points out, influencers and brands must work collectively in helping to encourage consumers to adopt the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – on an everyday basis.