Lene is a Client Services Executive at Whalar. She champions sustainable living in all areas of her life, both inside and outside the office. Her dedication to better living is infectious, and has become a pivotal point in her professional world. Connecting with ethical influencers is a passion point of Lene's, who believes they hold the key to inspiring the next generation of eco-warriors.
In light of Extinction Rebellion and issues concerning our environment rising in society, the ‘conscious’ trend is also growing on social media. I personally follow a number of inspirational accounts who discuss living (or trying to) a zero-waste life. But; is there such a thing as completely zero-waste in today’s society?
We follow, communicate and build relationships with people that reflect our own values, then we buy into brands that match those values. People have actively started searching for ways to reduce consumption and live a more sustainable life. This is where influencers such as Anne Therese Bengtsson become important spokespeople.
The word on the street is “reduce, reuse and recycle”, something more friends and families are actively discussing and trying to live by. Conscious consumption can be difficult in our everyday lives. We reside in fast-changing environments where the high-street has ingrained into us that we need it all NOW.
I had a chat with Anne Therese, eco-warrior, founder of Role Models Management and host of the podcast Hey Change. In her show, Anne discusses sustainability, her mission and sharing a greener everyday life with the world.
“One might think that there is no way on earth we can get it right, and when you start your eco-warrior journey it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed”.
Turning around your lifestyle, and not least, mindset, can be daunting and a lot of people have sought advice from social media - myself included. Personally, I have learned everything I know about sustainability from social media, reading books and articles online and watching documentaries. Our accessibility to information shows the borderless potential that social media and digital publishers have to pave the way for sustainability and environmentalism.
Our recent campaign with Grey London for the UN, “Take Your Seat” demonstrated how social media users can use their influence to positively implement change if an effective strategy is put in place and paired with passionate creators.
Anne Therese describes herself as always having been a bit of a nature nerd, with a bird watching dad and a childhood spent in the countryside in the southwest of Sweden. As she grew older, she started to learn more about our society and what impact we leave.
“What I discovered was that there were so many alternative ways to live, eat, and have fun that was just as good, if not even better than how I already lived, and I wanted to share these things with the rest of the world”
That’s how both her podcast ‘Hey Change – Finding Happiness in New Realities’ and agency Role Models Management were born. Alongside her business adventures, she continued to build out her mission through her social media channels that focus on living a conscious everyday life. Anne Therese aims to inspire others via her channels and her followers on their journey to a more ethical lifestyle.
“I think it’s important that we help each other learn more so that we can continue to grow.”
Anne shares tips, tricks and little snaps from her life to assist and inspire others to do little swaps every day to help our environment. Talking about and discussing living a greener lifestyle on Instagram often doesn’t come without, what most would call, ‘Eco-Shaming’. Eco-Shaming takes place when a person does a good deed for the environment, but then receives negative backlash via questions and comments attacking their beliefs.
“Why is it that as soon as we decide to become more conscious human beings, we suddenly hear about all the other things we should be doing too?”
Undoubtedly, social media plays a very important role in today’s society. People want a community and like-minded people to talk to. Currently, our second nature is to look to social for inspiration and to spread awareness about topics we feel passionately about. You’re never a ‘nobody’ on Instagram because you have the opportunity to reach and influence thousands.
“We’re in a point in time where we need to change pop-culture, re-establish what ‘cool’ is, and spread awareness and positive change”
Social media allows us to like, share and interact with each other are all crucial ingredients to start making changes within your communities. Through a supportive network that is open to sharing and learning new information, we can foster a journey to a more conscious life.
As Anne points out, changing your routines can be appear overwhelming at first. However, if we break it down into small changes, everything is suddenly far less daunting. Anne outlines several accessible tips to kickstart your eco-warrior journey with:
1. Carry a reusable water bottle
2. Start using a reusable coffee cup
3. Bring your own sustainable cutlery and straws rather than use plastic
4. Stop using plastic shopping bags and start bringing your own tote bags
5. Take a look in your own home for household swaps (example; beeswax wrap instead of cling film)
6. Do your research when shopping
7. Start being more curious and have fun with it
Let’s use our channels to build strong, supportive communities where everyone can feel empowered to voice and strengthen their opinions.
To check out Anne Therese’s channels, you can find her on Instagram and her website. You can listen to her podcast Hey Change here.
Banner content from "Burt's Bees" World Earth Month campaign, by @spiritedpursuit.