The “pop” side of sustainability
The best sustainability creators experimenting with sustainability communication online
Key takeaways from this article
- The presence of multiple stimuli has reduced our attention span to 8 seconds;
- New strategies to share knowledge are crucial to winning our attention. Edutainment is an example of this;
- Instagram and other social media platforms are used by Gen Zers to deepen their knowledge about sustainability in an easier and more “pop” way.
8 seconds. They are nothing compared to a lifetime, but actually many things can happen in such a short amount of time. This is the brief window any information or message has to capture our attention.
Neuroscientific research confirms that our attention spans have been reduced as a result of the numerous stimuli we encounter throughout the day. Conveying information immediately and effectively is therefore even more challenging when the matter is both difficult and technical, as in the case of sustainability – a notoriously hard-to-digest topic.
In this article, we will investigate those sustainability creators who have understood how to win our hearts in that timeframe, making sustainability “pop.”
New generations, new concerns
In our era, concerns about global warming and sustainability are becoming mainstream. Generation Z is growing up in a world affected by pollution, plastic waste, and extreme weather events. Climate change has been part of their everyday lives since day one. In fact, they are the most environmentally conscious generation, with 50% of young people and teenagers reducing their purchases and 45% ceasing to buy from specific brands due to sustainability or ethics concerns. Most importantly, it is not just about the amount of information reaching this generation but also about “how” it is being shared.
A new form of education: edutainment
New generations are often recognized as early users of new media such as social networks, streaming services, and digital spaces. According to a Comscore study, nearly 84% of people aged 18 to 24 are on YouYube, 61% on TikTok, and 56% on Instagram. What do all these figures mean?
Young adults are keen to consume content in a different way compared to previous generations. In fact, most of the content available online can be defined as “edutainment.” – an educational content that, while sharing knowledge, entertains the audience to grab their attention. Remember those fatidic 8 seconds? Edutainment attempts to get straight to your mind in such a short span of time.
Many sustainability content creators on social media are following this trend. Let’s start to get to know them and discover their strengths!
Some of the best sustainability content creators you can find on social media
Exposure to sustainability content on social platforms, especially from influencers, has a profound effect on cultivating sustainable habits and consumption behavior. Forbes has acknowledged this influence by coining the term “Greenfluencers” – i.e., those who leverage their online presence to educate followers about environmental issues and champion sustainable lifestyles.
Among the numerous creators that advocate for a more eco-conscious way of life, some have earned recognition and authority also in traditional media as a result of books they have published, speeches they have given, and businesses they have started.
Here is a selection of four “Greenfluencers” you could be interested in following:
Lauren Singer shares tips and tricks to reduce waste. Her profile is a collection of daily life shoots and content where the influencer educates her followers to live a more sustainable lifestyle. For example, you can find short videos explaining the differences between labels on your clothes.
Bea Johnson and her family live a zero-waste lifestyle. You can draw inspiration from her peculiar way of living and learn sustainable practices applicable to your daily routine.
Neel Wanders is a biologist and wildlife photographer who shares his passion while promoting sustainability. If you are a nature lover, this Instagram creator is the perfect match for you. Video pills about all the hottest sustainability-related topics alternate with stunning photos.
Kathryn Kellogg advocates for zero-waste ways to live. If you are looking for some practical instructions on how to transform your lifestyle thanks to more respectful practices for the planet, her profile is a must-follow.
A pop sustainability is possible but it must be authentic
Here’s the plot twist – authenticity is the name of the game. So, when coming across new green influencers and sustainable brands, take some time to investigate their way of communicating and if their values align with yours.
In the next article, we will share documentaries and movies that can help us better understand the sustainability phenomenon.
 “You now have a shorter attention span.” Available at: https://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/
 “Gen Z and environmental issues.” Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2022/06/01/gen-z-and-environmental-issues-how-to-earn-young-consumers-trust/?sh=4a15084d33ab
 “Most visited social media platforms among Gen Z.” Available at: https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/What-are-the-most-visited-social-media-platforms-among-Gen-Z#:~:text=The%20highest%20percentage%20of%20Gen,%2C%20and%20Instagram%20at%2056%25.
 “How social media creators are becoming sustainability superheroes.” Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/solitairetownsend/2022/12/09/greenfluencers-how-social-media-creators-are-becoming-sustainability-superheroes/?sh=3590f92e1a2f
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