Module 7 - Environmental online engagement

1. Introduction

Brief description of the unit: In this unit you will learn / be able to identify the main elements of online engagement and digital personal branding to encourage pro-environmental actions. This module will focus on the transformation of perceptions and attitudes into concrete, pro-environmental actions. It will focus on facilitating and managing online environmental engagement initiatives that effectively connect and engage with diverse audiences.

Competence statement:

Understand the importance of environmental online engagement in raising awareness and promoting action. Learn about the variety of digital communication formats that can convey environmental messages (social media platforms, online forums, webinars, video conferencing). Recall the different online platforms and tools available for environmental engagement. Detect the main online campaigns on environmental sustainability and their strong/weak points. Detect greenwashing campaigns and the online presence.

Learning outcomes:

  • Learn how to craft a proper digital identity to promote a sustainable lifestyle.
  • Being able to use and interact with the main digital social media platforms and other tools.


Keywords: Environment; Engagement; Online tools.

Expected time: 6 hours.

2. Understanding the environmental online engagement

Environmental online engagement refers to the active involvement of individuals, organisations, or groups in activities and discussions related to environmental issues on digital platforms and through online channels.

This engagement can take various forms, including but not limited to:

  • Social Media Activism: Posting, sharing, and interacting with environmental content on social media platforms to raise awareness, promote sustainability, and advocate for environmental causes.
  • Online Advocacy and Campaigns: Participating in or organising online campaigns, petitions, and movements focused on environmental conservation, climate change action, or other eco-friendly initiatives.
  • Virtual Environmental Education: Engaging in webinars, online courses, and virtual workshops to learn about environmental topics, conservation strategies, and sustainable practices.
  • Online Environmental Reporting: Sharing and disseminating news and information about environmental issues, climate science, and conservation efforts through blogs, news websites, or citizen journalism.
  • Digital Activism: Using digital tools such as email, social media, and online forums to pressure governments, corporations, and institutions to adopt environmentally responsible policies and practices.
  • Online Collaboration: Collaborating with like-minded individuals and groups across the globe to brainstorm solutions, share best practices, and work together on environmental initiatives.
  • Environmental Content Creation: Developing and sharing online content such as videos, infographics, and articles to educate and inspire others to take action for the environment.
  • Community Building: Establishing and participating in online communities and forums dedicated to environmental topics, where individuals can exchange ideas, seek advice, and mobilise for environmental causes.


Environmental online engagement harnesses the power of the internet and digital technology to foster a global community of environmentally conscious individuals and drive positive change for the planet. It plays a crucial role in advocating for sustainability, combating climate change, and protecting natural ecosystems in the digital age.

Online environmental engagement can be a powerful tool for promoting environmental awareness and driving action. Introducing environmental online engagement to older people can be an enriching experience that helps them become more informed and involved in sustainability efforts.

Practical material

Activity 1: “Crossword puzzle”


Activities for reflection

To you, what does the term “online environmental engagement” mean?

How has online engagement impacted your awareness of environmental issues?

Do you recall a memorable online environmental campaign or initiative? What makes it effective?

Reflect on your own online behaviour related to environmental topics. Do you share content, engage in discussions, or take action online? Why or why not?

Consider the qualities of effective online involvement as presented in the presentation. Which ones do you believe are most significant, and why?

How can you use your internet presence and abilities to promote environmental advocacy and awareness?

Are there any problems or challenges to participating with environmental issues online? How will you overcome them?

Determine one particular action you can take over the next month to connect with environmental concerns online. It might be as simple as sharing an instructive article or joining an online campaign

3. Online tools available for environmental engagement

Examples of online tools:

  • Global Footprint Network’s Ecological Footprint Calculator: this online tool helps users calculate their carbon footprint and provides suggestions on reducing their environmental impact:


  • Global Forest Watch’s Map: this interactive map allows users to monitor deforestation and forest changes worldwide, empowering them to take actions to protect forests:




How can you can take action through online environmental engagement

  • Share personal stories: Keep a journal of your own progress toward sustainable living. Tell your own stories of eco-friendly behaviours, including energy conservation, composting, or ethnic consumer choices (e.g. reuse of products instead of buying more new). Encourage others by sharing your experiences.


  • Create & Share content: Compose essays, make films, or launch a blog devoted to environmental advocacy and sustainable living. Provide your audience with educational and motivational information (e.g. about consuming leftover food).


  • Promote eco-friendly products and practices: Encourage eco-friendly behaviours and goods (e.g. from recycling materials) that are consistent with your own beliefs. Give advice on how to cut waste, save energy, and encourage responsible consumption (e.g. by sharing articles on social media pages/blogs).


  • Raise awareness: Make use of your internet presence to spread the word about local environmental challenges in your city or area (e.g. by participating in events on social media, or sharing those events). Discuss local projects, issues, and solutions online (on social media/blogs).


  • Collaborate with others: Join forces with groups, individuals, or influential people in the sustainability field who share your values (e.g. local environmental organisations, informal groups relevant with climate change/sustainable way of living, etc.). Working together can help you reach a wider audience and spread the word about your work.


  • Advocate for: Motivate and inspire others to adopt sustainable life, particularly the next generation. Engage in intergenerational discussions on the environment and emphasise the advantages of making environmentally aware decisions (e.g. participate in local actions, attend discussions/ events in your area about the environment and connect with other people that are aware of this).


  • Leverage Visuals: Use images, infographics and videos to make your content engaging and shareable. Visual content can effectively transfer sustainability messages (e.g. YouTube videos).


  • Promote local initiatives: Through your internet channels, endorse and support regional environmental events and projects. Urge people to take part in workshops on sustainable living, tree planting, and community cleanups..


  • Set a positive example: Set a good example for people to follow in your daily activities (even recycling and show a good example to your neighbours/colleagues/friends) and share with them how you practice sustainability. Celebrate and encourage progress rather than perfection.


  • Encourage action: A call to action should always be included in your material. Urge your audience to adopt eco-friendly products, cut back on trash, or contribute to sustainability efforts as concrete steps toward living a more sustainable lifestyle.


  • Be patient and persistent: It takes time to build an online presence and make a lasting impression. So, you need to begin with small steps (e.g. create an account on social media platforms) and then develop your presence online (e.g. upload pictures).


  • Measure and share impact: Evaluate and share the results of your sustainability initiatives. Measurable outcomes, whether they be in the form of less waste, saved energy, or support for a particular cause, can motivate others.

Practical material

Activity 2: “Live your sustainable life”

Activities for reflection

How comfortable/confident do you feel now to use the tools listed above for environmental engagement?

Do you feel that these tools are useful or not? And why?

Can you share some ideas with the group about how you would use these tools for environmental engagement?

4. Unit in a nutshell

5. Quizzes

6. Further reading



  • Tufekci, Z. (2017). Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest. Yale University Press.

7. References



  • Zhang, N., & Skoric, M. M. (n.d.). Media Use and Environmental Engagement: Examining Differential Gains from News Media and Social Media. City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
Skip to content