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Follow These 5 Environmental Advocates on Instagram

We can be advocates for equal access to nature by better understanding the experiences of marginalized individuals and communities and learning a little bit every day. In just a few minutes, you can infuse your Instagram scrolls with education and impact by following these 5 thought leaders and intersectional environmentalists—eco-advocates who connect social and environmental issues.


PattieGonia, an Instagram personality, is shown wearing a dramatic wig and dress made of upcycled plastics.

 @pattiegonia aka Pattie Gonia

Focus: Directing people to nature and promoting reuse

Instagram followers: 345k

About: Meet Pattie Gonia: one of Instagram’s most fabulous environmental advocates and the drag persona of queer environmentalist Wyn Wiley. Her posts aim to redirect her followers to nature, especially LGBTQIA+ individuals, and she calls people to reflect on the impacts their actions have on our planet—like in this video. Pattie also advocates against over-consumerism—the problematic practice of constantly buying new instead of reusing materials—and puts that into practice by making drag costumes, wigs and accessories with sustainable materials.

Recent post topics:

  • A new LGBTQIA+ outdoor/environmental job board that she established to engage more people in nature-focused careers
  • Step-by-step guides on climate activism
  • Outdoor non-profits that you should donate to or support

@Greengirlleah aka Leah Thomas

Focus: Being an imperfect environmentalist

Instagram followers: 228k

About: Leah Thomas self-defines as an “imperfect environmentalist.” Determined to highlight the various systems that oftentimes force us to be selective in our support for the planet, she emphasizes the idea that no one can be the perfect advocate for the planet but trying is always better than doing nothing. She also acknowledges that environmentalism itself is “imperfect,” and there is much to be done in terms of making the environment accessible to everyone. That’s why many of her posts focus on breaking down nuanced information and ideas on intersectional environmentalism into language that is digestible and understandable.

Recent post topics:

  • Organizing community hikes with her non-profit collective, called Intersectional Environmentalist
  • Finding sustainable braiding hair for black women
  • Veganism for BIPOC individuals

A screenshot of an Instagram post, a woman running on the left with text describing her concerns regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline on the right.

@nativeinLA aka Jordan Daniel

Focus: Running outdoors for justice

Instagram followers: 51.3k

About: Jordan Daniel has been #runningforjustice in Los Angeles, California for years. Full of passion and intellect, Daniel is a social and environmental advocate who uses her platform as one of few established, indigenous, female runners to advocate for accessibility and representation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color in nature and outdoor athletics.

Recent post topics:

  • Intersectional environmental issues like the #Landback movement that seeks acknowledgement of the theft of indigenous land and resources by the U.S. government
  • BIPOC-owned sports businesses you should know about and support
  • Conversations with athletic brands like Altra Running on important diversity and inclusion initiatives in outdoor sports

@unlikelyhikers aka Jenny Bruso

Focus: Outdoors for everybody and every body

Instagram followers: 136k

About: Jenny Bruso is the founder of Unlikely Hikers, a “diverse, anti-racist, body-liberation outdoor community featuring the underrepresented outdoorsperson.” Since 2012, Bruso has been an outdoor and environmental advocate who fiercely defends that the outdoors are for everybody, and every kind of body. Her mission focuses on how to get marginalized communities into nature, as well as using her platform to explain why certain groups are discouraged from interacting with nature.

Recent post topics:

  • Hosting “group adventures” with Unlikely Hikers that are open to all
  • Partnerships with outdoor brands like Eddie Bauer and fellow outdoor community groups like We Color Outside and The Venture Out Project to diversify outdoor spaces
  • Supporting #Landback by including Land acknowledgements (citing which indigenous groups’ land is being used) on all outdoor posts

@Climatediva aka Summer Dean

Focus: Climate change-inspired sustainable lifestyle tips

Instagram followers: 52.1k

About: If you’re looking for sustainable fashion, lifestyle tips and climate change communication with a tapped-in comedic flair, look no further than intersectional advocate Summer Dean, aka @Climatediva. Dean maintains a what-else-can-you-do-but-laugh perspective on the sometimes-frustrating aspects of environmental advocacy, and hosts a podcast called Dismantled, which talks about topics in intersectional environmentalism.

Recent post topics: