Okay, I know. I’ve been writing some truly heavy things on the blog lately. It’s time to get back to a part of the blog I’ve been ignoring: sustainability and zero/low-waste! Now, of course, I haven’t learned what I know on these subjects just by sleeping with a book under my pillow. I’ve learned a good amount of what I know from sustainable influencers throughout the internet that have awesome advice and experiences to share. And I’m using the word “influencers” lightly here. These are the type of influencers you want to follow because they are filled with experience and knowledge. I’ve consolidated some for your convenience. Here are 5 sustainable influencers to follow if you’re on a sustainable living journey!
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Shelbizleee was one of the first eco-friendly influencers I really got into online. She suddenly appeared in my suggestions on Youtube one day, maybe after watching some videos on minimalism and reducing waste. Not only is she extremely down-to-earth, funny, and opinionated, she has extremely helpful advice for just about everyone. She’s very conscious of budgets, which is something that is often overlooked in the zero-waste and eco-friendly community. Watching her is like hanging out with a friend you really admire.
Her channel is filled with a ton of advice for different topics, spanning from zero-waste to minimalism. One of the types of videos she shines at is going to different grocery stores and seeing what’s zero-waste there. I have learned so much on what to look for and how to shop zero-waste because of her videos. Additionally, she covers common zero-waste and sustainable items that are worth investing in and ones that aren’t. Finally, she calls out many things in our culture that have been normalized (monthly subscription boxes, online shopping “haul” videos, and single-use items) and does in-depth analyses of why they are bad.
Most of all, Shelbizleee doesn’t preach perfection. Zero-waste is nearly impossible for the average person and you’ll find that many sustainable influencers act like everyone needs to be perfect. What’s refreshing about Shelbizlee is that she knows that just trying to reduce waste as much as you can is helpful and that nobody is perfect.
You can find Shelbizleee on Youtube.
It’s only fitting that Sedona Christina is next on my list since Shelbizleee has done a cross-over video with her in the past. She’s also next on my list because she covers a topic where a lot of waste can exist: beauty & fashion. When most people start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, they generally start in the kitchen and work out from there. For me, finding sustainable options in my beauty routine has been one of the hardest aspects of my journey. This is for two reasons: I tend to keep the beauty products I have for a long time because I rarely use them, or because I have very curly hair that has been hard to find sustainable products for. Additionally, sustainable beauty can be a little tough on the budget.
Sedona Christina has a lot of good advice on sustainable beauty and thrifting fashion, which is arguably where she started out and is her bread & butter. She has some really great DIY tips for anything from hair masks to laundry detergent. She has an extremely enviable minimalist lifestyle and has been living a minimalistic and zero-waste lifestyle for a long time, leading to a wealth of information and good tips. Also, she has an easygoing way about her and is honest about her journey and changes in her lifestyle, which makes her seem approachable.
You can find Sedona Christina on Youtube.
I first heard of Dominique Drakeford from a Buzzfeed video of all things. This video covered something that I have often thought myself while scrolling through Youtube and Instagram: why is the sustainability movement so white? Where are all the POC voices? Dominique asked herself the same question and decided she was going to put her voice out there and help other people of color find their voice in the sustainability movement as well.
A lot of what she covers is the privilege of the zero-waste and sustainability movement, not only financially but racially as well. White voices have moved to the front of the conversation even though POC and indigenous people have been practicing this way of life for a long time. POC voices have all but been pushed out of the movement. On top of that, marginalized communities are suffering the most from our climate crisis. We cannot move forward in the movement until there’s a place at the table for everyone. Dominique has been working to uplift the people who are missing from the forefront.
Dominique practices “zero-waste-ish” which I absolutely love. As I have mentioned for some of the other sustainable influencers, it’s nearly impossible to be fully zero-waste, and only certain people (of privilege) can pull it off. Dominique co-founded Sustainable Brooklyn with Whitney McGuire, which “works to bridge gaps between the sustainability movement and targeted communities through various modalities.”
You can find Dominique Drakeford here.
Next up on my list of sustainable influencers is Sustainably Vegan – it’s right there in the name! Now, first of all, you do not have to be vegan to gain valuable information from Sustainably Vegan. While many sustainable influencers are vegan, there is an argument to be made for supporting local farms that raise animals. That’s a whole post for a different day.
Like many of the other influencers I am bringing to the forefront today, Sustainably Vegan is extremely down-to-earth and understanding of different people’s situations. She has a lot of videos about shopping zero or low-waste and offers tips for those with no access to stores with bulk food sections. She also travels to different cities to talk about the options available in each. Her information is extremely accepting and beginner-friendly. She also has quite a few delicious recipes on her channel that are zero-waste and can be appreciated even without being vegan.
In addition to her zero-waste shopping and food tips, Sustainably Vegan has many videos covering a variety of other topics. These include minimalism, essentialism, no spending/saving money, and even relaxation. Her content is extremely well-rounded and is out there to simply help improve people’s lives. She’s also a fellow curly person with a ton of tips on that as well!
You can find Sustainably Vegan here.
If you’ve looked into the zero-waste movement at all, you’ve seen Lauren Singer. She’s pretty much everywhere and really popularized the movement. She’s been on everything, from a TEDx stage to MSNBC, showing off her infamous mason jar of all the trash. The first time I saw a video of her, I thought this lady was bonkers. I mean, can people really live like that? The more I’ve seen and heard from her, however, the more I’ve come to appreciate her over time.
Although not everyone can go full-on zero-waste like Lauren, she is a wealth of knowledge. Her website, Trash is for Tossers, covers pretty much every zero-waste topic you can think of. She has advice for newbies and veterans alike. If you’ve watched any of her interviews, you know that she’s fairly hardcore. That’s a good thing, though, as she’s helped push the movement forward and made zero-waste living a topic for the mainstream masses.
My respect for Lauren recently increased because she has proven to be open and honest. Many influencers struggle with staying authentic. They have a lot of pressure to be perfect all the time, which is simply impossible. Her latest post is about breaking her own zero-waste rules for the first time since 2012 in wake of COVID-19. I can imagine that is very hard for someone who is pretty much the face of a whole movement. It shows not only courage but her own humanity, which is something I like to see in sustainable influencers.