Making climate change cool

A green planet or a trend for more likes…

Do we tell stories of the world to simply share an experience? Or is there more to it? Amazing groups of people share their stories, locations and memories by contributing to the breadcrumb trail of how we live. One of the largest visual archives of our history, is where the most beautiful stories are formed. Instagram.

Edale — cold, windy and ready to summit the next peak!

When we are old and divulge our stories around the campfire, we want everyone listening to feel like they were there. When we spend our lives documenting and sharing experiences on Instagram, we leave a stream of every moment we deemed worthy, our story. I think that carries a strong message.

This story we leave behind is what makes others find inspiration or interest and like our content. It can be the peak of what each photo on Instagram offers, however I am a strong believer that there is more you can do with this influence.

More and more Instagram is being used to spread ideas through the stories people write. If you can think of it — someone else has probably already made a hashtag for it.

A growing trend is to tell stories about the environment and climate change. It makes sense really, taking pictures of jaw dropping scenery sewn together with an engaging story makes a really interesting shot. More to the point engages people who before might not have been interested.

The problem is, it’s not always for a good cause…

Large amounts of posts are targeted to be interesting and have a twist of positive direction to them — the more the post is seen the more exposure projects get to do good. NatGeo and REI are a few of my favourite brands on Instagram that challenge the way we think. NatGeo show the stunning beauty of the world and have many research projects alongside to educate, and REI are a community of outdoor lovers proving you don’t have to get stuck in a day in day out cycle of life.

Of course there is another side to the coin

There is nothing wrong in posting an image of an amazing landscape or a breath taking mountain, the problem comes when you are endorsing a better environment for more Instagram followers and likes. I have seen people post pictures and make videos about a cause, which all relates to nothing more than them enjoying the ride. Wanting to share these pictures because it gets them noticed. There never seems to be an outcome from what they have developed.

Snowdon Peak — first mountain summit, longest 35km hike in my life!

At the end of the day, if we are talking more about climate change, and at least becoming more comfortable about the subject, then there is still a chance for us to make a positive change.

It doesn't mean that overnight the whole world would change even if there were more positive research projects. Since Instagram is such a young audience, it would only help prepare them for the world and what they will need to face. The phrase “it’s OK, my children won’t have to worry” will catch up with us one day.

We are creating a timeline of the planet as it changes. Picture by picture, experienced by millions through the photographers eyes. This could turn out to be the most epic tale of them all, a tale of how the earth became and how it survived.