meet glacier girl: the hero the world both wants and needs

Glacier Girl is the pseudonym of 20-year-old Londoner Elizabeth Farrell, the visual activist who is raising awareness about climate change using the twenty first century’s number one medium: a mix of tumblr, Instagram and Facebook posts.

Ever since she watched Chasing Ice, the award-winning documentary film that proves climate change exists through startling footage of glaciers melting in the Arctic, Elizabeth Farrell felt compelled to take action and the eco-friendly comic heroine that never was was born – with a twitch of a recycled cape, enter Glacier Girl to the rescue! Through the use of an aesthetic that is both relatable and accessible, she appeals to her generation through exhibiting customised clothes, accessories and photographs on her Instagram and Tumblr. In this day and age seeing is believing – melting glaciers and rising sea levels are indicative of the detriment that human consumption is having on the world, and Elizabeth’s use of stark-yet-aesthetically-pleasing imagery spreads the word in an incredibly accessible way. Her work and personal style –  with her dewy skin and ocean blue hair, she’s about a million miles from fellow eco-warrior Swampy – haven’t gone unnoticed by the eco-royalty of the fashion world either; from modelling and collaborating with Vivienne Westwood to discussing the revolution with Katherine Hamnett at a talk hosted by School of Doodle, Glacier Girl is truly a force to be reckoned with. Here she gives some pointers on how you too can make a difference.

Recognise your power as an individual and use it

Naomi Klein is a huge inspiration of mine. I’d google consumption and climate change and couldn’t find anything but I knew I wasn’t making it up! I read her book Capitalism vs the Climate and found everything I was trying to say in one place articulated amazingly.  I knew how important these issues are – I felt that my generation of people weren’t acknowledging them and it was really stressing me out, I wanted to make them more common knowledge. I wanted people who were already conscious of what was going on to implement it in their lives. We all have the power to make a difference.

Your voice is the most useful tool

Communication is number one. The biggest most effective thing you can do is talk about climate change and create as many conversations about it. Doing all the small things that become habit – recycling, switching off the lights – is amazing, but speaking about it is raises the most awareness. Think about things on a global scale, take action and have empathy. Working towards environmental justice is also working towards social justice, you have to look after the environment in order to have a good lifestyle. Educate yourself on what you can and can’t do and then express your knowledge in any way possible and communicate it with other people.

You Can Do It Yourself

My work is DIY through lack of technical skill most of the time which shows you don’t have to be amazingly talented, it’s just about the way you approach it. I share my art out on global platforms because they can be found by the widest audience.  I find it easier to articulate what I want to say through images rather than words alone; there are no language barriers, you can interpret them in your own way and different interpretations will have a butterfly effect in the way they have the potential to inspire others. It’s so easy to have access to ideas and become immersed in them now.

Pause and think

At school they taught us about climate change as a chemistry subject but not as a social issue. I was 17 when I realised about it properly and it felt so late. I got really angry at the lack of awareness. It should be implemented in the education system much earlier on. People need to pause and think about the reality of how their lives affect the planet as a whole.

​ Aim with no expectation

As with anything, when it comes to spreading an important message, don’t expect anything – if you have no expectations then you’ll always be pleased. There are a lot of young people doing amazing things and that’s inspiring for me. I didn’t expect the positive response from all that I’m doing and it’s a nice surprise as it’s taking over my life in a good way because I’m doing what I love.

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