Millennials – Jill has been under heavy fire lately. After the recent internet storm sparked by the mantra of “living by law, not a commodity,” a great deal of hate has spilled over to those 30-year-olds. “Lazy and Demanding” – Thunderbolts and Generation X Representatives. Meanwhile, Millennials May Help Save the Planet
The truth is that the older generations have been complaining about the youth since the dawn of history. Aristotle said, “When I see youth, I doubt the future of civilization.” Socrates claimed that young people “love luxury, irritate teachers, and are lax all the time”, while a 4,000-year-old painting was found, “Young people have fallen to the bottom and the end of the world is near.”
However, today’s text is about … an approach to ecology. As a representative of this demanding generation, I’m proud to say that in this aspect, millennials can do just that, and compared to other generations, they seem to be the most conscientious consumers.
X, Y, Z, millennials – who is it?
In the internet we will find a different classification of millennials, but they are roughly people born between 1985 and 1995, and according to some Igriki sources are those born between 1980-2000. The previous generation is referred to as X (born between 1965 and 1984), and the successors to Millennials are the “Zetas”. Before the “Xs”, we also had baby boomers, that is, people born more or less in the years 1946-1964, at the post-war demographic peak.
In his last report PWC has surveyed consumer awareness of environmental care. Respondents were asked, inter alia, whether environmental issues were important to them when shopping, ie the origin of the product, buying from companies that care about the environment or the type of packaging of products purchased. The report makes quite optimistic conclusions (you can read more about the good information – not only from this report -) over here). It turns out that our environmental awareness as consumers is increasing significantly.
The latest survey from 2021 shows that the number of respondents for whom environmental consumption is important increased by almost 20%. The authors of the report see the reasons for this positive trend in the spread of the epidemic. It seems that while sitting at home, we begin to think about our impact on the environment, which in turn has had a positive impact on our purchasing decisions.
What does Generation Y do well?
Going back to the generational differences – it turns out that millennials most often try to be green when shopping. Generation X fared slightly worse, followed by Generation Z. To justify them, it’s worth noting that this group was at the beginning of their careers, and therefore perhaps the least profitable.
With profits falling, the most common selection criterion is price. Organic coffee is not included in priority expenses, and clothes from chain stores are much cheaper than those made in Polish sewing factories. The baby boomers, the group who are perhaps most critical of the younger generations and, like Aristotle, fearing the youngsters will lead to the collapse of civilization, have performed as poorly as the Z-tki.
In defense of the baby-boom generation, I would like to remind you that a PwC survey shows that environmental awareness has grown in every age group. Generation Z should also be commended, because it was they who initiated the youth climate strikes and, apart from the slogans themselves, they are trying to seek dialogue with representatives of the world of business and politics. And when they start to make better profits, we can count on the fact that they will also make thoughtful purchases. So there is hope for our civilization.
Source: Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, PwC
Statements about making informed consumer decisions are one thing, and real action is another. Is consumer awareness really increasing and are we trying to make wise purchasing and lifestyle decisions? In my opinion, yes, and I have some evidence for that. In the past few years, many interesting trends have appeared that go hand in hand with an ecological lifestyle. Here are a few of them
Cycling to work and more. Although there is a car in our cities all the time, a positive trend can be observed, because more and more people are riding bicycles. In the past two years, Poles have thrown up bikes, which 70% of us have declared to own. According to a survey by Kross, 25% of respondents plan to buy a new two-wheeled vehicle this year. City and trekking bikes are the most popular, which confirms that more and more of us are starting to treat the bike as a means of transportation.
Cities are also encouraging people to switch to a bicycle. In many of them, we have bikes in town that we can rent for minutes. So it is an ideal alternative to commuting to work by car. And those who don’t like bikes can opt for other eco-options: scooters, scooters or electric cars, all of which are rented by the minute.
The clothes used are fashionable. Second-hand devices have been in our country for years, but their perception has changed dramatically. They used to be considered a shop for the less affluent. Today, second hand clothes are no longer a reason to be shy, and a way to design in the spirit of the environment. We can buy them not only in stationary stores, but also through retail or OLX platforms.
Second-hand stores have also entered shopping malls. In several cities in Poland we can find carousel stores operated by the company “Clothes to the Devotion”. Unlike secondary stores, which mainly pull clothes from western markets, UDO tries to recycle clothes from our market. The company makes a comprehensive selection, brings clothes to decent condition and sells them in its stores, which are visually no different from other stores in shopping centers.
4F recently tried to cooperate with UDO. Recently, in the stores of this Polish company that produces sportswear, we can find used clothes in good condition and at a lower price. Perhaps more and more companies will decide to take such a step.
No more storing unnecessary tools. Recycling isn’t just about clothes. In many Polish cities there are so-called gift boxes, that is, cabinets in which we can leave unused things, such as toys, kitchen accessories or books. From this wardrobe we can also take something we love, and give a second life to items that until now remained unused in someone’s basement.
Givebox in Gdansk, Source: trojmiasto.pl
There are also places and groups in the network where we can donate things. For example, on Facebook, the group titled “Note Garbage Truck Jedzie “. Group members not only give away their possessions for free, but also share information about treasures that can be found in trash cans.
Increasingly popular to save food. Restaurants, i.e. free-standing refrigerators, operate on similar principles as gift boxes. We can leave in them edible food that we cannot eat. These are not points meant for people in need, so everyone can take whatever they want, thus saving food.
A more advanced group in terms of providing food Freegans, that is, people who eat food suitable to be eaten from litter boxes near supermarkets. They are often full cartons of good fruit or vegetables. Experienced freemen boast that during one trip they managed to save food worth several hundred zlotys. You’ll find tips on how to avoid food waste over here.
Less is more, that is, the desire to be moderate. The fun, benevolent group in the heart of planet earth is the minimal group trying to get as few things as possible. Radical minimalists boast that their entire production consists of 100 items, including clothing and basic necessities. Minimalism in the more liberal version is simply being a conscious consumer and buying things we really need.
Minimalists also often live in the spirit of principle No waste or less waste. This means that they try to produce as little garbage as possible. Instead of buying new tools, they use what they already have at home. They do not buy special boxes for storing food, since a jar of cucumbers can be used for this. On the Internet, we can find many groups where netizens share valuable tips. How to generate less garbage.
Rush to make cities green. We care more and more about green spaces. Although the developer of batu and urban refinement are doing well in our country, the residents themselves often fight for trees in cities. This can be seen, for example, in civil budgets, many of which relate to the planting of new trees and other climatic measures.
Less and less meat in the diet. The meat industry is an industry that negatively affects the environment. Therefore, conscious consumers are increasingly trying to give up meat and existence vegetarian or vegan It became easier in our country. According to the Happy Cow ranking, Warsaw is at the forefront of vegan-friendly European cities.
Young people, mainly generations Z and Y, often choose to give up meat in the diet. According to Ariadna’s team, half of vegetarians are under the age of 35 and in this age group one in ten people are vegetarian or vegan. Vegetarian diet. In turn, Maczfit from the catering industry appreciates that In large cities, the percentage of people who follow a meat-free diet can be as high as 20%.
Individual actions will not fix the climate, but increasing consumer awareness has a positive effect on company policy. In order to survive in the market, companies must meet the expectations of consumers. That is why there are more and more vegetable restaurants in Poland, and we can eat a meatless burger even at McDonald’s. Thanks to new customer expectations, clothing companies are creating eco-friendly collections from certified natural materials, and our mail-delivered packages contain less plastic than before.
This is why even small daily choices make sense. Millennials have made great achievements in this field, because their environmental awareness is more advanced than that of other generations. Of course, we cannot generalize, since millennials are different, we also have environmentally conscious representatives of other generations. But statistically – millennials aren’t that bad!
Title picture: Mm Bouchard/ Unsplash
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