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Instagram’s New Green Activists

Formerly visible through its events and remarkable actions, environmental activism has now largely invested in a sort of digital marketing and has adopted more diverse tones, between humor, information and revelations, to raise public awareness concerning environmental issues. Although green activists are still present at in-person gatherings and still use regular calls to action, digital platforms, particularly Instagram, now allow them access to a new field of possibilities and a larger audience, enabling them to mobilize the public and authorities around issues related to the environmental cause and obtain real changes in real life. An overview of activists who are digitally green.

Launched in 2018, the “On est prêt” campaign mobilized 60 French-speaking Youtubers for the environmental cause. Every day for a month, these influencers launched all sorts of ecological challenges to their subscribers, such as deleting their e-mails to reduce their digital footprint, not using plastic and buying in bulk, or cooking with leftovers to avoid waste. Elliot Lepers, founder of the NGO “Le Mouvement” – an organization specializing in campaigns to mobilize French decision-makers on ecological and social justice issues and gender equality – and instigator of this digital campaign, wished to “get involved beyond a one-off testimonial that would have taken us two minutes [because] the challenge is to have a deep, strong and long-term commitment.”

More recently, in 2019, two well-known Youtubers, Horia and EnjoyPhoenix, committed to the fight against waste, abuse of packaging, and the environmental impact of transport, by asking brands to stop sending them packages and samples. Other activists, such as the journalist Hugo Clément, who has just published his book, Journal de guerre écologique, use social networks in a more vindictive way, as weapons of combat to fight for the environmental or animal cause. By collaborating with associations such as L214 or Direct Action Everywhere France, he publishes shocking reports on the often-deplorable treatment of animals in slaughterhouses that provoke public opinion and some parliamentarians.

The impact of visual content

The emphasis on visual content on these digital platforms, particularly Instagram, makes it possible to have a strong and immediate impact, often generating reactions and exchanges with users. The use of hashtags will notably allow followers to gather around the same subject or facilitate the virality of a campaign. For example, the #climatechange hashtag gathered over 4.6 million publications in November 2020. Digital mobilization around a cause is much higher than a physical mobilization and is also more accessible. Digital mobilization avoids having to go through institutional media, offering freedom of tone and speech, even if it means distancing oneself from the facts to promote impact and buzz. In France, the number of active Instagram users is estimated at 21 million people, representing 31% of the population, which gives us an idea of the extent of the impact that a digital campaign can generate. This impact is all the more important since, according to the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2020, the use of Instagram as a source of information by its users has doubled since 2018 on a global scale.

Alexandria Villaseñor

With social media accounts partially or entirely dedicated to environmental subjects, such as Brut or Loops, whose editorial line offers importance to ecology, mobilization campaigns, or militant influencers, social networks are more than ever turned towards engaged content with clearly claimed biases that attract and convince. The year 2020 has accelerated these trends due to the lockdown forced on us by the first wave of COVID-19, which made over 3.9 billion people stay at home. This period has reinforced the predominant role of digital tools and communications in the way we interact, while at the same time reinforcing the focus on issues such as the environment. With a more connected generation, influencers have the power to promote more environmentally conscious behavior and, by mobilizing their communities, engage the public and government to bring about change in real life.

Acumen has selected 10 “green” Instagram accounts, that incorporate humor, information and even gastronomy, so you can engage, according to your tastes, in the fight against #climatechange.

Le Media Green

Le Media Green


In terms of infographics, @peau_neuve is an example to follow. Filled with beautifully constructed designs, a few memes and quizzes, this anonymous Instagram account, called Le Media Green, focuses on good environmental practices, mainly in the beauty industry. Le Media Green has a large community of 210,000 followers. In addition, @peau_neuve has also released a book, Mon année écolo en 52 conseils et astuces (My environmentally-friendly year in 52 tips and tricks), to provide tips to living a more environmentally conscious life.


Hugo Clément


With a mix of information, revelations and activism, notably for animal welfare, Hugo Clément, author of the documentary program Sur le front, devoted to the animal cause, has nearly 1 million followers on his Instagram account. Investigating animal abuse or ecological disasters, often alongside associations, he uses his account as a real information and awareness resource. The French journalist does not hesitate to denounce and publish photos and shocking videos, considering his fight for ecology as a real-world war.


Victoria Arias


Victoria Arias is a 29-year-old French-American woman living in Amsterdam. For her 108,000 followers on Instagram, the influencer advocates slow living, meaning living by giving priority to quality over quantity, by staying connected to our environment and our values, and by living in the moment. The young woman has also written a book, Green Life, and she hosts the podcast “Tout ce que j’aime.” Unlike other activists on Instagram, Victoria has kept a certain beauty to her account by posting beautiful photos and thus adhering to the main goal of Instagram.

Lizzie Carr

Lizzie Carr


An athlete, adventurer, and nature lover, Lizzie Carr shares almost all aspects of her life on her Instagram account with 40,300 followers. Through photos taken on her paddleboard, at the beach, and in the wilderness, Lizzie campaigns for sustainable development and for the cleanliness of oceans. She created the @plastic_patrol account to encourage as many people as possible to contribute to this fight alongside her.


Rohan Chakravarty


The American illustrator and cartoonist, Rohan Chakravarty takes a humorous approach to ecology. Since 2010, Rohan has been trying to help people understand the serious subject of ecology through his humor. He hopes that by making ecology issues visual and funny, his 121,000 followers will retain information more easily than when it is communicated pedagogically.


Alexandria Villaseñor


Barely 15 years old, the young Alexandria Villaseñor is part of what is called the “Greta generation” in reference to the famous Greta Thunberg. With 16,000 followers, Alexandria’s Instagram account deciphers all of her actions in the fight against climate change. Conferences, prestigious meetings, organizations and more, the young girl wastes no time. Based in New York, she created @earth_uprising to promote environmental education led by those of her generation.

Inès Leonarduzzi

Inès Leonarduzzi


When we think of our fight against climate change, the first thing to come to mind isn’t necessarily the digital footprint. Inès Leonarduzzi created the NGO “Digital For The Planet” in 2017 to alert the public of the impact of digital pollution. On her Instagram account, which has more than 8,000 followers, and on her LinkedIn profile, totaling more than 83,000 connections, she gives out advice to companies, as well as interviews and interventions at UNESCO and elsewhere, with the aim of encouraging the use of low-carbon technologies.


Elliot Lepers


Downloaded over 500,000 times, the 90 Days mobile application was created by Elliot Lepers and designed as a guide for those who don’t know where to start in the fight against climate change. Simple gestures, useful tips, Elliot Lepers makes it easier to practice virtuous ecological practices. His Instagram followers benefit from book recommendations, humorous content, and political bias, as well as insights into the environmental initiatives he undertakes.


Alexandra Cousteau


Alexandra was born with activism in her blood: the genes of maritime exploration and ocean preservation are what guide the life of Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s grand-daughter. As a consultant for Oceana, she campaigns against shark hunting and fights for the preservation of a blue planet. At 44 years old, this environmental activist is also co-founder of the Oceans 2050 organization, which relies on the discoveries of science and technology to protect our oceans. On Instagram, she broadcasts information on the state of the ocean and shares her actions with her 12,000 followers, with the added bonus of some souvenir photos with Commander Cousteau.


Chloé Charles


For this activist cook, the fight against waste has to go through the fork. As nomadic chef and promoter of a more humane, accessible and responsible cuisine, she offers tailor-made cooking services to individuals and professionals, advising on new concepts while helping to reduce food waste and drawing the focus towards cuisine that is as tasty as it is virtuous.