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Can TikTok Save The Planet?
TikTok, as an app, comes with a lot of assumptions. It’s a way to zone out and have a break with some mindless scrolling. You’ll probably see a few dance videos, a puppy doing a trick and get the lowdown on some celebrity gossip.
Creeping out from the underground is a huge movement of TikTok users who are a part of #ecotok and with over 780 million views it’s not so underground anymore.
Talking about everything from greenwashing, zero waste tips, and oil spills to COP27, TikTok has become an online grassroots community for people to not only access information but also participate in themselves.
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Big names have paved the way for this movement such as groups like Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg who have taken more large-scale and public approaches to climate change conversations. Yet, the majority of people making climate change related content on TikTok are youth, aged 30 and under who are concerned for their future and want to help young people like them with understanding what’s in store for the future.
When you think about it, TikTok is actually the ideal place to have these conversations. Away from politicians, news media and opinionated parents, TikTok can be educational and informative just based on the kind of content that “ecotokers” are making on the app.
Videos are informative, easy to understand and the search function means if you want to understand something or learn all you have to do is search the keywords and thousands of explainer videos will pop up.
TikTok’s viral eco videos also prove that science communication doesn’t have to be boring, dry or not engaging. We’re so used to seeing science communicated by familiar faces like Dr Karl, David Attenborough or Bill Nighy, who perhaps coincidentally are kind of all old white men. TikTok provides a platform for diverse voices, where people who can talk about their local communities as well as make relatable content that’s way easier to understand for younger audiences.
Here are a handful of TikTok accounts that we think are paving the way and creating really interesting conversations on their platforms:
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