4 million – that is the estimated number of people who have participated in climate strikes in 2019 across the globe. Awareness and consciousness surrounding climate change and the environment have taken centre stage in 2019 and social media has a huge part to play. It was the stage where conversations about the severity of the climate crisis were sparked, and the more people talked about it, more people became aware of the crisis. 

The growing attention towards the environment also means that more people are looking for ways to reduce their negative impact on the planet. As such, social media accounts by environmental influencers have been growing in both following and numbers. By sharing practical lifestyle and mindset changes, they seek to educate the masses on a more sustainable way of life. 

So who are these micro-influencers making huge waves for the environment? Using Meltwater’s Social Influencer Tool, we searched for these influencers based on well-known hashtags related to sustainability and the environment. We were particularly interested to find environmental influencers in Asia, as such geographical filters were used.  

These are some of the influencers we discovered:

1. @Jesswithless (Jess with Less)

sustainability-influencers

At first glance, her Instagram feed looks that of any other fashion influencer. There are photos of herself donning a different outfit every other day. But upon closer look, you will realise that almost every single piece of clothing she wears is ethically sourced – it is either a secondhand purchase or purchased from an eco-friendly brand. 

The impact of fast-fashion on the environment is detrimental. The speed at which new clothing is produced means that consumers purchase and dispose of their clothing in fairly short cycles. Not only is it a huge source of textile waste, production methods – such as the use of toxic dyes and chemicals – are extremely harmful to the environment.  

As such, Jess’ encouragement of shoppers to be more mindful of their clothing consumption would go a long way in reducing environmental damage. 

2. @thegreenhub_ (Kira Simpson)

Based in Australia, Kira’s Instagram feed serves as a guide for anyone starting their sustainable journey. Through her content, she raises awareness about our impact on the environment and actionable steps people can take for a more eco-friendly lifestyle. 

Here is an example of the advice she gives to reduce wastage. Nothing too complicated and super easy to incorporate into our lifestyles. 

While many of us have the intentions to reduce our damage to the environment, it can be difficult to embark on a 360-degree lifestyle change. Starting with small changes to our day-to-day is a great way to build that momentum. 

3. @clare_voitin (Author / Organic Food Grower)

Clare is an expert on organic farming, owning an organic farm herself. She advocates for greater awareness of the food that we eat – where they come from and how they are grown. Ultimately, she wants to raise the support of local food producers who commit to sustainable farming practices. 

Most of the time, the groceries that we purchase from supermarkets often come from large-scale commercial agriculture farms. Intended for widespread distribution at a low cost, their production practices often have little regard for the environment. Whether it is the mistreatment of animals, deforestation of forests, or production of greenhouse gases, unsustainable commercial farming has brought about massive consequences to the environment. 

By choosing to allocate our dollars towards sustainable farming practices, it puts some pressure on the agriculture industry to adopt healthier, sustainable practices too. 

4. @claudiachannn (Claudia Chan)

You may recognise her as one of the finalists of Miss Hong Kong 2018. As an avid diver and ocean lover, she has also been very outspoken about her efforts in marine conservation. 

While her fans initially follow her for updates about her life, Claudia has instead, used her influence to educate her followers on the importance of caring for marine life. 

The ocean and marine life are in the constant face of threats. Global warming, overfishing and pollution of many kinds are some of the dangers threatening to destroy the biodiversity of the oceans. Giant corporations that produce the things we consume are the biggest culprit of marine life damage. Claudia’s love for the ocean inspires her audience to commit to caring for the ocean through their daily choices. 

Why focus on micro-influencers?

More often than not, these environmental influencers are micro-influencers. As their content focuses on only one vertical, which is the environmental cause they are championing, their highly niched group of followers would be smaller than that of a typical macro-influencer. That being said, there is a higher level of trust between the audience and the influencer. The content they choose to put out is often inspired by a personal value or belief, and that translates to authentic and genuine conversations among the audience community. 

 

Implications for brands

As such, environmental influencers are more selective with the brands they choose to work with. They are more likely to work with brands who themselves embody the same values and champion the same cause. Beyond that, brands have to convince these influencers that their products or service they offer does actually bring value to the aspect of environmentalism they care about. For brands, a lot of research has to go into searching for the right influencer and building a strong relationship and connection with them.

To help you with finding the right micro-influencer, here is a checklist of questions to ask yourself: 

  • Does their content align with your brand values and message?
  • Is the micro-influencer already a fan?
  • How engaged is the micro-influencer’s audience 
  • Who are the micro-influencer’s followers?
  • Do they use more than one platform? (YouTube, Blog, Twitter)

 

Researching on these questions can be difficult, or even impossible, to do on Instagram itself. With limited search capabilities, it is likely to miss out on that perfect micro-influencer for your brand. Meltwater’s Social Influencer tool allows you to search for relevant influencers using advanced keywords and filters. On top of that, you can deep dive into the reach, engagement, and audience demographics of individual Instagram profiles. With data this rich and comprehensive, you’ll take your influencer marketing efforts to the next level. 

On a larger scale, brands themselves should look inward to reassess their impact on the environment. As people become more environmentally conscious, they demand greater responsibility from businesses to reduce their negative impact on the environment. It seems like sustainability is no longer just a trend or fad, but a long-term commitment for both brands and consumers. And that is the right step forward for the entire world.