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#EarthDay meets TikTok: how Gen Z is bringing action and awareness to environmental issues

Tiktok belongs to Zillenials, a generation that cares deeply about the impact of climate change and taking action to stop it.
Andriy Onufriyenko:Moment:Getty Images
How Generation Z is tackling the climate change crisis on TikTok.

Doom-scrolling is an easy habit to fall into, but swapping out an endless stream of bad news with some wholesome content from #GardenTok and #CleanTok can help break the cycle.

This Earth Day, we're finding inspiration in TikTok content that offers solutions to real-life environmental quandaries, like inadvertently putting plastic in compost and buying sustainable clothing.

It's no surprise that TikTok is the place to find this information; its users are younger compared other social media platforms, like Instagram (40% of TikTok users are 18-24, versus  30.1% of the same age demographic on Instagram).

Through short and creative videos, Gen Z  has proven to be adept at gaining attention for intersectional issues like the climate crisis, racial inequity and economic disparity on their social platform of choice.

Produce stickers suck

@seeker Why those pesky stickers on your fruits and veggies are ruining your compost pile 🍌🍓 #EarthDay ♬ original sound - Seeker by The Verge

Compositing kitchen waste is a must in some parts of B.C., but before tossing that banana peel, lemon rind and avocado skin into the bin, check for a produce sticker. As we learned in this @seeker video, those pesky things are not biodegradable and can really muck up the whole compost process.

Vitamix Food Recycling turns rinds, peels and chicken bones into fertilizer with the touch of a button. $424.95 at Vitamix.

For a basket to hold compostable material until it's ready for the green bin, this unobtrusive OXO Compost Bin has an odour-sealing lid. $32.99 at Well.ca.

What goes into making plant-based milk?

@queerbrownvegan Which is your favorite milk? #vegan #earthmonth2022 #earthday2022 #plantbasedmilk ♬ Free - YANAtheartist

How can we know if our plant-based milk is better for the environment than cow’s milk? @queerbrownvegan explains how much water different milk options — including almond, oat, potato and soy — use. Some of the information was surprising.

Prefer to make your own nut milk? Urban Outfitters currently stocks the Nut and Grain Milk Maker for $44.

Can fast fashion ever be sustainable?

@andreacheong_ Reply to @tanyastoaster I could go on for ages but this is the brief breakdown! As a textile it can be wonderful but environmentally it’s not good. #tencel #sustainablefashiontiktok #fashioneducation #fashionknowledge #textiletok ♬ original sound - Andrea Cheong

@andreacheong_ is the founder of The Mindful Monday Method. An influencer who focuses on sustainability and quality garments, she posts helpful videos about fast fashion brands like Zara and explains how materials like polyester and viscose can have a negative impact on the environment.

Vancouver-based TenTree has a 365-year mission to plant 10 trees for every piece of clothing it sells (and has so far planted 75 million). Check out the latest clothing collaboration with National Geographic.

Cutting down on everyday waste

@sabrina.sustainable.life check out shop my swaps- link in bio for more! #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner #ecotok #sustainableswaps ♬ Bronze - Chris Alan Lee

@sabrina.sustainable.life is different from most TikTok influencers in that several of her videos focus on things she will no longer be buying thanks to no-waste swaps she’s made. (Some examples are razors, disposable bottles of hand soap and toothpaste in a tube.)

Interested in testing out one of her tips? Find cinnamon, bubble gum and spearmint-flavoured toothpaste tablets at Simply Natural Canada.

A collective of eco-minded content

@eco_tok some positive #econews of 2022 by @Zahra Biabani #ecotok #climateoptimism #divestment ♬ original sound - EcoTok

@eco_tok reposts videos from different environmentalists all over the world (making for one easy follow). A lot of ground is covered here: like litter cleanup, growing mushrooms at home, reducing household waste and how the clean water crisis affects marginalized groups all over North America. Some of the videos, like the one above by @zahara_biabani, break down important news in a way that’s easily digestible.

Interested in growing food indoors? Check out the Stay Wyld Organics Ltd. Mushroom Kit (Blue Oyster), $29.99 at Well.ca.