8 great Instagram accounts to follow this Earth Day

22 Apr 2016

Today (22 April) is Earth Day. To celebrate this planet of ours, we take a look at some of the Instagram accounts that remind us, daily, that the world around us is worth protecting.

Earth Day was started in 1970 with the purpose of getting environmental protection onto the national political agenda in the US.

After that first Earth Day, which brought 20m Americans out to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment, the movement grew and, in 1990, Earth Day became a global affair.

As technology has improved, Earth Day’s potential for reaching larger numbers of people has grown. Today, at the time of writing, #EarthDay is the No 1 trending topic on Twitter.

But Twitter is far from the only social media site celebrating it this year, and Instagram is the perfect vehicle for showcasing the beauty of our natural world. Every day, it’s populated with stunning vistas, glorious sunsets and, of course, cat pics.

These accounts, though, are more stunning than most, dedicated to showcasing the best our planet has to offer, and focusing on celebrating the world in all its glory.

National Geographic (NatGeo)

National Geographic’s Instagram continues the work of the society, giving us glimpses of the world through the eyes of NatGeo’s award-winning photographers.

This account takes in everything. Not just endangered animals and beautiful scenery, but the far reaches of the world that many of us will never see.

Furthermore, it shows us, and how we interact with that world, reminding us how closely we’re tied to the things around us.

@natgeo @stevewinterphoto #NatgeoEarthDay Everyday is Earth Day Read a new Nat Geo piece on the new tiger numbers by Sharon Guynup http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160420-tigers-conservation-trafficking-world-wildlife-fund-panthera/ Earth Day on April 22 celebrates our planet and the life that it provides for all living things. Though we have humans often forget that without the vital necessities our planet gives us we would no longer survive. The air we breathe the water we drink is all here for us every moment of every day. Though we take it for granted as we do the natural systems which provide these life giving elements. The oceans and forests give us the air we breathe. 50% of our oxygen comes from forest – the other 50% from the oceans.Though we cut down the forests and pollute and remove the creatures which keep our seas in balance. 75% of our fresh water comes from forests and grasslands. forest which pull carbon from the atmosphere and slow climate change and give homes to the creatures which live within. Including some of my favorite animals big cats. Here are 2 tiger cubs drinking at a waterhole. Want to have your #EarthDay photo published on NatGeo.com? Add #NatgeoEarthDay to your images, then check NatGeo.com on Earth Day, April 22nd. #NatgeoEarthDay @natgeo @stevewinterphoto @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #bigcatsforever #ivoryfree #wildaid #bigcatsforever

A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

World Wildlife Fund (world_wildlife)

As you might expect, the World Wildlife Fund posts a lot on Instagram about various initiatives and events they’re involved in, but that’s certainly worth wading through for the good stuff – the animals.

BREAKING: One of the last places on Earth where elephants, tigers and orangutans coexist in the wild has received long-term protection! Through an ambitious project model combining innovative financing approaches with traditional conservation, @World_Wildlife, Frankfurt Zoological Society and @TheOrangutanProject will join forces with local communities to actively manage the 100,000 acres of former logging forest, known as Thirty Hills, to protect rather than exploit the land’s natural resources. Saving this critical Sumatran forest could not have happened without WWF's partners and champions like the @LeonardoDiCaprio Foundation. Follow the link in our bio to learn more. #Save30Hills #WorldElephantDay

A photo posted by World Wildlife Fund (@world_wildlife) on

Green. Happy #StPatricksDay!

A photo posted by World Wildlife Fund (@world_wildlife) on

Kevin Richardson (lionwhisperersa)

Taking cat pics to a new zenith, Kevin Richardson – based in South Africa – has devoted his Instagram feed to creating awareness of the planet’s dwindling lion population.

According to Richardson, there are fewer than 18,000 lions still living wild in Africa. His feed shows us why it’s so important to reverse that decline.

While the majority of his posts feature lions, Richardson also occasionally posts photos of other big cats.

Australia (australia)

Proving there’s far more to Australia than snakes, spiders and the wide variety of other animals that would kill you as soon as look at you, the Australia Instagram account showcases the breadth of the country’s beauty.

Yes, it’s a tourism account, but that scarcely matters when you’re treated to glorious images of the vast diversity on show, from wildlife, to the ocean, to the Outback – and not just Uluru.

US Department of the Interior (usinterior)

The US Department of the Interior is responsible for America’s national parks, so the beauty captured in its Instagram feed should come as no surprise.

America is famed for its diversity, with a trip from the east coast to the west coast bringing you from lush greenery in the north and swamps in the south to desert.

This account captures that transition and everything in between, bringing you from Florida to the Grand Canyon.

The Visuals Collective (thevisualscollective)

Founded and curated by photographer Brett Brooner, The Visuals Collective collects – the hint was in the name – stunning images from around the world, gathering together the ethereal, majestic and jaw-droppingly-good images taken by its members.

Capturing glimpses of mountainscapes, oceans, remote locations and inquisitive wildlife – with just a few of us humans thrown in for good measure – the account is basically a must-follow.

we’ll never get tired of this bear, photography by @beccatapert #exploretocreate

A photo posted by The Visuals Collective (@thevisualscollective) on

adventures together are better. photography by @bokehm0n #exploretocreate

A photo posted by The Visuals Collective (@thevisualscollective) on

@livingitrural sure knows how to capture animals in that fog. #exploretocreate

A photo posted by The Visuals Collective (@thevisualscollective) on

@shortstache comin in hot with the vibes. #exploretocreate

A photo posted by The Visuals Collective (@thevisualscollective) on

epic animal portrait by @moners_ #exploretocreate

A photo posted by The Visuals Collective (@thevisualscollective) on

“we get it Washington, you vape.” photography and caption by @bdorts #exploretocreate

A photo posted by The Visuals Collective (@thevisualscollective) on

Insta_Ireland (insta_ireland)

If you ever needed a reminder that this world is worth saving, or celebrating, just look to Ireland.

From the Cliffs of Moher and Killarney National Park to UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Giant’s Causeway, Skellig Michael and the Burren, we really do pack a whole lot of pretty into this little island.

Insta_Ireland goes a long way towards capturing that.

NASA (nasa)

Finally, we turn to NASA, because who better to showcase this planet in all its wondrous beauty than those who have seen the entire thing at once.

The NASA feed does stray from this pale blue dot frequently, but when it focuses on us, boy, does it do it well.

Earthrise from Christmas Eve, 1968: Millions around the world were watching and listening as the Apollo 8 astronauts – Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders – became the first humans to orbit another world. As their command module floated above the lunar surface, the astronauts beamed back images of the moon and Earth and took turns reading from the book of Genesis, closing with a wish for everyone "on the good Earth." The mission was also famous for the iconic "Earthrise" image, snapped by Anders, which would give humankind a new perspective on their home planet. Anders has said that despite all the training and preparation for an exploration of the moon, the astronauts ended up discovering Earth. Credits: NASA #nasa #space #apollo #christmas #apollo8 #history #otd #moon #earth #holiday #merrychristmas

A photo posted by NASA (@nasa) on

Main image via Shutterstock

Kirsty Tobin was careers editor at Silicon Republic