Cop26 – the UN summit about the climate crisis – is kicking off in Glasgow.
After being delayed a year due to the pandemic, all eyes will be on Scotland to see how politicians are planning to tackle climate change.
World leaders will gather to discuss how to cut carbon to be on a path to net zero emissions by 2050, to avoid devastating consequences if global temperatures rise more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
If Cop26 has got you thinking about your own environmental impact, why not follow these inspiring eco-heroes on Instagram to learn more about sustainability…
1. Greta Thunberg
An eco-warrior who needs little introduction, 18-year-old Greta Thunberg started her campaign against the climate crisis with school strikes in her native Sweden, and now influences the decisions of political leaders all over the world.
Thunberg will be joining protests in Glasgow during Cop26, so it’s worth following her Instagram feed to see her take on what goes down.
2. Isaias Hernandez
Isaias Hernandez – known as ‘QueerBrownVegan’ on Instagram – describes himself as an “environmental educator” from Los Angeles. His content focuses on three core areas: veganism, zero waste and environmental justice.
He makes easy to understand, informative videos on a wide range of topics within sustainability – from explaining closed-loop recycling to looking into the environmental impact of the agave industry.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio
You’ll rarely catch Leonardo DiCaprio promoting his latest movie on Instagram, as most of his content is dedicated to environmental issues close to his heart.
Follow the actor to learn more about how the climate crisis will affect the younger generations, species that are going extinct and the dire state of air pollution. Yes, it’s heavy stuff – but DiCaprio often provides calls to action and tips on how you can do your part to help.
4. Kathleen Elie
Kathleen Elie goes by ‘Conscious N Chic’ on Instagram, and she’s your one-stop shop for all things to do with sustainability and fashion.
Her posts will inspire you to shop second-hand and do more upcycling – while also demonstrating just how good sustainability can look.
5. Bea Johnson
Author of Zero Waste Home Bea Johnson uses Instagram to chronicle her journey towards a zero waste lifestyle. What she’s achieved is impressive – Johnson claims to have been ‘trash-free’ since 2008, and minimises her footprint by living in a 188 square-foot home.
She gives real life tips on how to reduce your environmental impact, including how to make food last longer, what to do with leftovers and second-hand shopping.
6. Lizzie Carr
Lizzie Carr is the founder of Planet Patrol, an organisation dedicated to cleaning up litter. It runs on help from local communities, and often combines physical activities such as paddleboarding or running with collecting rubbish.
Carr is a keen paddleboarder, and the idea came to her when she saw waterways choked up with plastic. It’s more than just cleaning up rubbish – although that is vital – as volunteers collect data on where trash is left, meaning the organisation can identify problem areas and hold polluters accountable.
7. Mikaela Loach
Mikaela Loach somehow finds time from being a medical student in Edinburgh to fiercely campaign for climate justice.
Follow Loach’s Instagram to discover more about the steps she’s taking to be more sustainable in her own life, as well as getting updates on her court case – she wrote on Instagram in May: “We’re taking the government to court to pull the plug on public payments for big polluters.”