‘Going zero waste’ has taken off in recent years, and the movement has been propelled forward by advocates who have taken to social media to promote zero-waste living and more sustainable lifestyles. A synergy between raising awareness and the power of the internet, zero-waste influencers regularly create compelling podcasts, curate informative YouTube channels, and contribute to zero-waste blogs and other social platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to promote sustainability within food and clothing consumption while also highlighting low-waste products—and it’s working! Today, the zero-waste movement has inspired millions of people all over the world to consume less and embrace a zero-waste life.
But whose Instagram feed should you be following? Who are the best zero-waste bloggers? What are the best videos and podcasts out there to unleash your hidden environmentalist? Well, to help you get inspired by the world’s most celebrated influencers, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 for anybody looking to reduce waste and engage in a more in a minimalist lifestyle that embraces zero waste.
Hailed as ‘The Priestess of Waste-Free Living’ by the New York Times and generally regarded as the pioneer of mainstream zero-waste lifestyles, #1 on our list of top 10 zero-waste influencers is none other than Bea Johnson.
Johnson’s journey into zero waste began in 2008 and has fueled her career as an environmental activist, motivational speaker, and author, amongst many other things. She is the founder of Zero Waste Home, which started as a blog and became a bestselling book that has been translated into 28 languages. She is a world-renowned speaker and has given talks in over 70 countries, and her social media accounts boast over 700,000 followers.
Johnson lives by what she describes as the 5 Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot (and only in that order). Her devotion to zero waste propelled the term into the mainstream and inspired countless others to live a more eco-friendly and sustainable life.
Lauren Singer is an environmental activist, entrepreneur, and blogger who has been living a zero-waste lifestyle since 2012. She rose to fame after a photo emerged of her online holding a single jar containing all the trash she had produced in a year. This earned her the moniker ‘the girl with the trash jar’. She then gave a powerful TED Talk which introduced millions of people to the concept of a zero-waste lifestyle.
Singer is also the founder of Package Free Shop, which aims to ‘reshape the consumer product landscape, redefine what a truly good product looks like, and make natural and plastic-free products more accessible, affordable, and convenient for all.’
Her blog, Trash is for Tossers, is packed full of zero-waste fashion and style posts, zero-waste DIY guides, tips for sourcing reusable products, and so much more. Trash is for Tossers empowers readers with knowledge on how to live a zero-waste lifestyle and has been featured in The New York Times, Vogue, NPR, and CNN.
Kathryn Kellogg is the founder of the lifestyle website Going Zero Waste, which is dedicated to promoting zero waste and inspiring others to live a more sustainable life. Kathryn cites her acting background as the reason for moving to a zero-waste lifestyle, stating that, “…being a broke actor and having to pinch every single penny is how I wound up living a zero-waste lifestyle.”
Since developing a passion for zero waste, Kathryn has gone on to become a spokesperson for plastic-free living for National Geographic, Chief Sustainability officer at the One Movement, and the author of 101 Ways To Go Zero Waste. Her ability to lovingly promote sustainable living in an easy and fun way for just about anybody, coupled with her achievements and absolute dedication to a zero-waste lifestyle is as positive as it is inspiring.
Activist and educator Anamarie Shreeves gives voice to the often overlooked and unheard community of black zero-waste influencers. She is the founder of Fort Negrita, an online zero-waste store/blog, and the Zero Waste Habesha Instagram account which is equal parts zero waste and activism. Shreeves’ work focuses mainly on environmental racism and environmental justice. She challenges the misconception that environmental issues are mostly white issues and strives for inclusivity in the zero-waste movement.
Shreeves, who lives in Atlanta, is actively engaged in keeping her community clean and has been featured on CNN, PBS, Atlanta Tribute, and more for her zero-waste efforts. Considered somewhat of a trailblazer in the zero-waste community, she is one of the leading black zero-waste influencers in the movement.
Rob Greenfield is one of the few male zero-waste influencers around and the author of Dude Making a Difference; a memoir of his zero-waste journey across the United States on a bamboo bicycle. Described as an ‘activist and humanitarian dedicated to leading the way to a more sustainable, just and equal world’, he undertakes projects to bring attention to global issues and inspire positive change in everyone.
Greenfield is dedicated to empowering individuals and communities to improve the world around us and he is completely committed to living a simple and responsible life. He donates 100% of his media earnings to nonprofits and as such has even been hailed as ‘The Robin Hood of Modern Times’.
Concerned with the world’s plastic pollution problem, Anne-Marie Bonneau cut plastic completely in 2011 and gradually moved on to cutting waste (almost) entirely, earning her the title ‘The Zero Waste Chef’. Her blog turned book is full of incredible zero-waste recipes and contains a wealth of information on how anyone can create less waste at home and, more specifically, in the kitchen.
Given the fact that US restaurants generate anywhere between 22 to 33 billion pounds of food waste annually, zero-waste chefs are a welcome addition to any influencer lists. Additionally, whether people achieve complete zero waste or not is not important to Bonneau, what is important is that they try. “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
Addie Fisher is a Dallas-based writer and a zero-waste influencer who has made her way into the limelight. She is also a self-described “sustainable living enthusiast.” On her website, Old World New, she provides a practical guide for those who are interested in sustainable living but don’t know where to start. Fisher’s zero-waste influencer Instagram account shares the same name as her website and explores topics of sustainable living, slow fashion and thrifting, minimalism, zero waste and so much more.
Isaias Hernandez is a Los Angeles native who developed an interest in environmentalism following a series of environmental injustices his community faced while growing up. Hernandez went on to gain his B.S. in Environmental Science at The University of California, Berkeley, and later co-founded Alluvia Magazine, a creative collective which highlights POC environmental artists. Hernandez is also the creator of Queer Brown Vegan, a blog in which he makes environmental education content accessible and explores other topics such as zero waste, veganism, sustainability, and LGBTQ+ representation in the climate movement.
Nina Gbor is an award-winning Melbourne-based zero-waste influencer and activist who has dedicated her career to two things: sustainability and style. She is the founder of her own blog Eco Styles, which promotes sustainability in fashion and encourages self-empowerment while also advocating for gender, racial, and social equality, zero waste, and both personal and international development. Gbor also works as a stylist, public speaker, and is a former sustainable fashion tutor in short courses at RMIT University in Melbourne. Her dedication to her passion for ethical fashion and advocating for global female empowerment and equality is truly inspiring.
Imagine traveling the world promoting a zero-waste lifestyle while simultaneously battling a life-threatening illness. That is Josephine’s everyday reality. Besides balancing the demands of international travel and her brain tumor diagnosis, Josephine still finds the time to be an artist, model, nature conservationist, zero-waste influencer, and consultant. She is the founder of Rogue Gone Vogue, her own brand in which she documents her story and encourages people to live every day like it’s their last, without the waste.
With so many inspiring individuals taking up the zero-waste cause, there were surely going to be some notable omissions from our list. However, if you want to explore even more great zero-waste content, then Zero-Waste Guy Jonathan levy; Zero-Waste Nerd Megean Weldon; Wasteland Rebel writer Shia; and Treading My Own Path author Lindsay Miles, are all worth checking out. And of course, don’t forget to subscribe to the zerowaste.com blog for all the latest news, guidance, tips, and tricks to help you on your zero-waste journey.
Finally, if your business is looking to embrace zero waste, chat with one TRUE Advisors to get more insights on how you can optimize your waste management operations to ensure nothing goes to landfill.