Top eco-influencers share their passion for posting eco-friendly content on Instagram and Tiktok, the pressures they face to be an environmental educational resource, and their tips for creating your own sustainable lifestyle in and out of the digital realm.
Leah Thomas is a celebrated environmentalist based in Santa Barbara, CA. Coining the term ‘eco-communicator’ to describe her style of environmental activism, Leah uses her passion for writing and creativity to explore and advocate for the critical yet often overlooked relationship between social justice and environmentalism. With this intersection in mind, Leah founded and launched Intersectional Environmentalist in 2020, a resource hub and platform that aims to advocate for environmental justice, provide educational resources surrounding intersectional environmentalism, and promote inclusivity and accessibility within environmental education and movements.
Leah, who is also the founder of eco-lifestyle blog @greengirlleah, uses her multiple years of eco-focused educational and work experience to inform her ever-expanding list of projects, as well as her audience of more than 350k followers. A graduate of Chapman University with a B.S. in Environmental Science & Policy and a cluster in Comparative World Religions, Leah has interned twice with the National Park Service and has worked at leading green companies, including eco-friendly soap company Ecos and most recently, Patagonia. A fundamental optimist and opportunity-maker, Leah used her time after being furloughed during the pandemic to create Intersectional Environmentalist.
Leah’s writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Vogue, Elle, The Good Trade, and Youth to the People, and she has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, W Magazine, Domino, GOOP, and numerous podcasts.
California born Richa Moorjani made her series lead debut last year as ‘Kamala’ in Mindy Kaling’s Netflix’s comedy, “Never Have I Ever.” After its premiere, the show immediately hit #1 around the world in the Netflix Top 10 and was nominated for numerous awards for its first season including a TCA Award, People’s Choice Award, Independent Spirit Award, Hollywood Critics Associate Award and NAACP Image Awards. Beating out over 15,000 applicants from a global casting call, the series reteamed Richa with Mindy after she previously guest starred on her eponymous series, “The Mindy Project.” “Never Have I Ever” returned for season two this summer, continuing the story of 15-year-old ‘Devi’ as she navigates high school, first loves, changing friendships and living with her mother and stunning overachieving cousin ‘Kamala,’ who is getting her PHD for Caltech.
Raised in a family of performing artists, Richa began her acting career in high school (even performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival during her tenure) before studying theater and dance at university. She also is a trained Bollywood, Kathak and Indian Classical dancer who focuses on meaningful projects in film, television and dance that give a voice to the South Asian Diaspora.
Pattie Gonia (she/they) is an intersectional environmentalist, drag queen and advocate for inclusivity and diversity in the outdoors.
The Pattie Gonia community exists to uplift LGBTQIA+ people and allies in the outdoors and to exist as a platform to give other voices and organizations all the shine in the world. Together with her community, they’ve fundraised over a half million dollars for LGBTQIA+, BIPOC and environmental non-profits, completed over 10,000 miles of hiking together and raised awareness about the ongoing plastic crisis through their film Everything to Lose.
Out of heels, Wyn Wiley (he/him) is a professional photographer, speaker, educator, and creative director for major brands as well as a number of non-profits around the world. Wyn/Pattie both have a life-long history of working with LGBTQ+ youth and social justice focused non-profits.
Abbie Richards is a researcher and science communicator from Boston, MA who uses social media to discuss misinformation, conspiracy theories, and climate change. She's currently pursuing her MSc in which she's researching the intersection between misinformation and climate change. Additionally, she co-runs the creative environmental collaborative, EcoTok, which uses TikTok to educate about climate change and other environmental issues. When she's not working, you can find her misting her houseplants and asking them about their day.
Isaias Hernandez is an Environmental Educator and creator of QueerBrownVegan where he creates introductory forms of environmentalism through colorful graphics, illustrations, and videos. He seeks to provide a safe space for like-minded environmentalists to advance the discourse around the climate crisis.