Even though Millennials are arguably the most environmentally educated generation, a study has found that they're also the least interested and least likely to actually do anything involving the green movement. The AP reports that information gleaned from 40 years of surveys from high school seniors and college freshmen from the Baby Boomer, Generation X, and the Millennials shows that the last is actually pretty lacking when it comes to being green.
Yes, we're not entirely sure how reliable a study that hinges on surveys given to high school seniors and college freshman can be, but it seems the high school seniors and college freshmen of yesteryear were a bit more responsible, or at the very least, answered questions better. Here are some of the AP findings:
- Researchers found that, when surveyed decades ago, about a third of young baby boomers said it was important to become personally involved in programs to clean up the environment. In comparison, only about a quarter of young Gen Xers - and 21 percent of Millennials - said the same.
- Meanwhile, 15 percent of Millennials said they had made no effort to help the environment, compared with 8 percent of young Gen Xers and 5 percent of young baby boomers.
- Millennials also were the least likely to say they'd made an effort to conserve electricity and fuel used to heat their homes.
- In the case of heating fuel, 78 percent of young baby boomers and 71 percent of young Gen Xers said they cut back, compared with 56 percent of Millennials.
For Millennials, this kind of confirms previous studies, like this one reported in Ad Age that explain that Millennials often think about being green and are the biggest targets of green marketing, yet never act on it--which unfortunately ties in with the "lazy" stereotype about the generation (yes, the L-word makes an appearance in the AP report). The new study compounds ones like this reported by USA Today in 2010, which found that the majority of Millennials blame previous generations from harming the environment, and 87% at the time believed it was their generation's responsibility to clean it up.
So what gives? "It's not so much that they don't think it's important. They're just worn out," an expert told the AP. "It's like poverty in a foreign country. You see the picture so many times, you become inured to it." When all else fails it seems, blame it on fatigue (or millenials).
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.