To be honest, I spend a LOT of time on Instagram. When I’m not scrolling through my businesses’ feed, engaging with potential prospects and networking, I’m looking at the ADORABLE #dogsofinstagram. 

Over 75% of businesses in the U.S. will be on Instagram by the end of 2020. And 11 percent of Instagram users currently shop through the app (and that’ll grow).

There’s a lot to learn about Instagram as a business, and one of the best things you can do to get better at it is to look to the current leaders in the space.

More than 56% of Instagram users are between the age of 18-34 years, according to Statista. That’s a huge overlap with the age range of eco-consumers. Because of that, there are a lot of incredible eco-influencers on the platform. 

Read about these amazing eco leaders, their work and motivation, and follow them on social media for more eco-inspiration.

Christa (@showme_zerowaste) | Low Waste & Family

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Christa Payton wants to help you achieve a zero-waste lifestyle. Craving alternative milk, like cashew milk? Interested in pumpkin puree? Her Instagram contains recipes for healthy, sustainable food options, as well as book recommendations for if you’re interested in reading more literature on sustainability in food (like plant-based options).

As an Aunt, Christa also gives a lovely glimpse into her life and family, and what it’s like to be an aunt, and teaching children about sustainability through food and activities.

Anne-Marie Bonneau (@zerowastechef) | Sustainable Chef

The “Zero-Waste Chef” is everything you’ve wanted in a food blogger and more: she’s inspirational, real and funny, and her mantra is “No packaging. Nothing processed. No waste.” Her blog features a number of recipes and even weekly menus for you to follow to be more sustainable in your kitchen. 

She’s also got a book coming out early next year, but in the meantime, check out her Instagram for recipes ranging from beet kvass, ginger beer and lots and lots of sourdough and fermentation tips and tricks (perfect for your quarantine bakes). 

Meghan (@nottrashy.zerowaste) | Plastic-Free Living

Live bigger, live better, live plastic free. That’s Meghan’s mantra, and that’s the mantra that you’ll be repeating once you start following her on Instagram! You’ll find a fun DIY lip balm, which will come into handy once the dry winters hit soon; this time, you get to do it all without the extra plastic and chemical ingredients. 

From her Instagram, head on over to her YouTube channel, filled with over 100 helpful videos (a make-your-own mascara video? Sign us up!) But more importantly, it’s about progress, and Meghan acknowledges that we all have our wins and our fails. Follow her to see how she is working towards her plastic-free journey. 

Lin + Toni (@plasticfreeto) | Low Waste

As their bio notes, Lin and Toni are two plastic free queens, and really, that’s what they are. Their Instagram feed is filled with extremely useful graphics about social issues ranging from environmental racism + policing to environmental veganism to even couch activism (ways to get involved in social movements at home). 

Make sure to follow their Instagram for statistics and in-depth explanations of important concepts. The sisters have said that their biggest challenge has been staying positive throughout the process. Once you know, you can’t un-know!

“As we continue to learn more about the worsening state of the climate, the ongoing impacts of colonization, and the influence of capitalism on government, it has become clear that working together to fight inequality is the only way forward.⁣”

Lin and Toni

Polly Barks (@polly.barks) | Zero-Waste Consulting

Polly Barks is on a mission, she says, and that’s to help break down the complex aspects of zero-waste living into smaller, more sustainable concepts and actions. She’s a zero-waste educator and consultant, where her work helps small businesses and companies with sustainability. 

Her Instagram is full of helpful guides and tips, and hop on over to her website as well. Her blog will give you insight into ethical alternatives for food, supplies and marketplaces, and provide everything else from guides on what gifts to give, zero-waste moving, and much more. 

Dominique Drakeford (@dominiquedrakeford) | Sustainable Fashion/Intersectionality

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Support Black Owned (especially sustainable) Businesses! Not just today. Not just tomorrow or 3 months from now! Everybody (kinfolk included) needs to forever support our business … this is not a trend! It may take some extra research but the extra effort is critical! . (Check out @melaninass for sustainable Black & POC owned brands – more brands, businesses, orgs and efforts will be shared there over the next few weeks) . . WAYS TO SUPPORT: 🖤 Shop directly with brands (online or in store) 🖤 Directly boast to your friends about the brand 🖤Boutiques – merchandise Black owned brands dammit 🖤Donate 🖤 Share about companies via social media 🖤 Blog about them 🖤 Influencers – partner with small brands 🖤 Financially help a start up that you believe in 🖤 Circulate affordable/accessible creative professionals to amplify a brands messaging 🖤 Give a testimonial of the brand on their website and/or social media 🖤Share new platforms that a brand can promote on 🖤 Add to existing Black owned databases or create a new one 🖤Learn about justice initiatives and how you can get involved . . . Kinfolk -We have to intentionally and unapologetically support each other now more than ever! Food, home goods, beauty, wellness, books, podcasts, fashion, consulting, etc! Black economics is going to become a vital avenue of liberation! . . . Purse by phenomenal Black owned sustainable brand @hifatra | Made from a repurposed gallon water bottle & deadstock fabrics! This woman is the queen of creative waste reduction – Sustainable Black brands are the past, present and future! | photo by @loyalnoon

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Dominique Drakeford grew up in Oakland, and has worked as a youth leader, woman empowerment mentor. She helps to create activities and curriculums for youth in the Bay Area, focusing on environmental education while incorporating her own background in sustainable entrepreneurship and fashion (She obtained a Master’s degree from NYU). 

Follow her on Instagram to see how she redefines what it means to be sustainable while seeking justice and creative innovation (and of course, to look at the amazing outfit inspo on her page!) She’s appeared everywhere from Vogue to Forbes, and as she says on her bio, she’s “a thought-leader harnessing Leo energy to educate and disrupt un-sustainable systems while simultaneously celebrating [her] Blackness.”

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