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Interview with EcoTok

By: Ava H.

EcoTok is a TikTok account with a several different environmentalists posting daily content. Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to interview Alaina Wood (@thegarbagequeen) about EcoTok!

Photo from: Grist

When did the idea for EcoTok occur and how did it happen?

Alex Silva (@ecofreako) came up with the idea to create a “hypehouse for the environment” earlier this year, and in July he created a group message with a group of environmental creators who were interested. After the group decided on EcoTok as a name, we created a TikTok account for EcoTok, and the rest is history!

When did you first go viral? Was it a slow process or did it happen quite fast after you launched?

It happened quite fast after launching. Our first video has over 50K views, and our 3rd video has almost 250K views! I think people were excited and recognized many of our creators, so they wanted to support us from the beginning.

What is the greatest reward for providing environmental education content to such a large audience?

The greatest reward has been being able to educate and inspire others to make changes that will help our environment.

What has been the biggest challenge for EcoTok? How did you and your team learn from it?

Our biggest challenge has been making sure we put out correct information and that our claims are backed up by scientific data. It can be really tempting to use click-bait type of videos because those typically perform well. However, it is important to the group that our videos contain factual information. We solved this by creating a checklist that creators follow before making a video. For example, checking if the information came from a reputable source, is their bias, etc. We also are hosting a media literacy training for creators as well. We have learned everyone comes from different backgrounds and not everyone has a scientific background-which is okay!

How did you find so many inspiring creators to post content on EcoTok?

The TikTok algorithm makes it very easy to find other like-minded individuals. We all became friends by finding each other’s videos. We started to connect and formed EcoTok. After launching EcoTok, a few other environmentalists approached us and wanted to join so we brought them on board.

What is the brainstorming process like for creating your TikToks? Do you plan out all videos well in advance or is it more of a spontaneous process?

It is more spontaneous. What is going on in the world is always changing so we try to report on current events. We have a calendar that creators can sign up for when they would like to post to ensure we have videos going out daily.

Where do you see the future of EcoTok going in 2021?

We would love to continue to grow EcoTok and expand to other platforms such as Youtube or even have our own podcast!

How are your partnerships going with Countdown, Goodfair, and WFP?

Our partnerships have been going great! We are so grateful for the businesses who have partnered with us over the past 6 months. We love sharing our passions with them and helping them grow their pages/events as well.

How do you deal with negative comments?

Our general rule is to ignore negative comments unless we can use it as a learning opportunity and/or if they are directly harassing one of our creators or followers.

Do you implement any strategies to help your videos go viral, or does it happen naturally?

We’ve noticed that our most random videos go viral, but we always try to keep up with trends in hopes our videos will go viral!

How can our readers support your environmental initiatives?

Follow us on TikTok: Eco_Tok

Instagram: Eco.Tok

And sign up for our newsletter on our website to stay up to date on eco-news and what EcoTok is working on.

Thank you Alaina for taking the time to talk with F(earth)er Magazine!


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