I truly do believe that sustainable living has the power to match some of the biggest online content niches. Move over travel and fitness, sustainable living is here! I’ve spoken extensively on how important it is to document our sustainable lifestyles and eco-friendly swaps on social media because this is where grassroots culture change comes from.
Creating sustainable living social media content isn’t reserved for the experts either. In my experience, eco-friendly audiences tend to connect strongest with real and accurate content as opposed to perfectly curated and filtered posts. So if you don’t have a DSLR camera, ring light, tripod and a library of filters, that’s no problem at all. All you need to be a content creator is a smartphone with a decent camera and you’re ready to go.
While taking photos and videos is the first step in creating sustainable living content, there are a few tools that will level up your ‘gram game. And that’s what I’m going to be sharing with you today. Let’s get into it.
It’s tricky constantly having to come up with fresh content ideas on daily basis for all the different platforms you may be on. That’s why I created a free guide with 101 eco-friendly content prompts to inspire engaging online, social media, video and audio content. Download your copy now:
If you create any sort of content at all, you need Canva in your life. I’ve been using this online design tool since 2013 back when it was still in beta. Now its become a household tool and helped everyone from content creators to professionals to small businesses create beautiful designs. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s like Adobe Photoshop but 10x easier to use and 100x more useful.
Here’s a list of the weekly content I create in Canva between my brand and for CONCENTR8ED:
- About 100 pins for my Pinterest scheduling tool
- 5 Instagram feed graphics
- 40 or so Instagram story graphics
- Standalone graphics and infographics for both websites
- Animated videos for Pinterest and Instagram
- Podcast covers and graphics
- Ebooks and downloads for both brands
- Printables such as business and thank you cards for CONCENTR8ED orders, which I can print locally on recycled paper and are shipped carbon neutral.
Canva has a free library of millions of stock photos, illustrations, animations, music and so much more. It is a one-stop-shop for any content creator. My favourite tools are the Background remover which has insane accuracy and the resizing tool that allows me to repurpose content perfectly for all my platforms.
Not only is this an amazing content tool, but the company has some serious environmental values. They’re female-founded, carbon-neutral and even run campaigns allowing users to send a postcard on Canva to the Australian Prime Minister demanding more investment in renewable energy and few fossil fuels. I could spend this whole episode talking about their sustainability initiative but I think you get the picture.
I honestly wouldn’t be able to do what I do without Canva. If it’s something that you might be interested in trying, I contacted them to get a free 30-day trial of Canva Pro for my eco friends. Click here to claim yours now!
Adobe Lightroom and VCSO
While video is becoming more and more important, still photos are the standard of social media, search engines and websites. I’ve been the person who has a DSLR camera to take photos for social media and websites, especially back in my food blogging days. But a photography friend once said to me, the best camera you can have is the one you’re going to use. The camera I’ve used to most is my iPhone (which is second-hand by the way!).
At least for now, I’m not the type of person that’s going to lug around a bulky camera or drop everything to get it and take a photo. Whereas my phone is usually within arms reach. I’m well aware the quality is lower but I’m not a photographer so for me it’s about convenience.
Smartphone photos almost always need a little bit of editing. Even if it’s just to add a little brightness, crop into a square or add a filter to make sure your photo matches the aesthetic of the rest of your content. I use two free iPhone apps to do this, Adobe Lightroom and VCSO. I usually start with Lightroom to up the exposure and increase the colour vibrance. Then I export and add to VCSO and use one of their free filters, usually at about 40 or 50%.
A big mistake I see content creators make is only having a social media presence. While it may be easy to think that your loyal audience will always stay engaged, the truth is that social media content creators may be one algorithm change away from disaster. I don’t say this to scare you. But the reality is that social media is there to make money and organic, unpaid reach is dwindling by the day. That’s why is so important to set up your own corner of the internet with a website.
Much of my website traffic and social media followers come from Pinterest to my website, which means having my site is essential. It allows me to look like an authority in the sustainable living space and rounds up all of my content, profiles and information in one space.
I’m not very tech-savvy. So if I can run a personal website, an online store, a podcast and multiple social media profiles with nothing but the help of Ecosia and YouTube – anyone can! I just switched over from GoDaddy to Green Geeks, the leading eco-friendly web hosting provider. They use renewable energy and even put back 3 times the power they consume into the grid in the form of renewable energy. Use my link below to start or switch your hosting to GreenGeeks from as low as $2.49/month
It’s worth noting that if you begin monetising your content by taking on brand sponsorships, selling books or eBooks, creating YouTube videos etc, you may be able to claim the cost of these tools as a tax expense too.
Eco Action Step
Your eco action step for this week is to try out some or all of the tools I’ve mentioned if they resonated with you. Make the most of the Canva free trial and see how it can impact your life. Try the Lightroom and VCSO apps and see if they can add to your creative process. Start a website or switch your hosting to Green Geeks to save money and carbon emissions. A creator is only as good as his or her tools, so don’t be afraid to try something new. They might be the game-changer you need!