Millennials are criticized for being selfish and entitled, but many are leading the way with current green trends. From owning small homes to eco-tourism, millennials are proving to be an environmentally conscious generation.
Some older generations view millennials through a less than favorable lens. They might consider them self-centered, obsessed with technology, unwilling to abide by social norms, or perhaps all of the above.
But this view of millennials is not necessarily accurate or fair. Take, for example, the steps that millennials have taken to ensure that the environment remains healthy for many years.
It's hard to argue that current ecological trends come largely from 20s and 30s. But does that outweigh some of the potentially harmful habits of millennials?
Just take a look at any twenty-something's Instagram feed, and it will quickly become clear that millennials love to travel the world. Maybe that's why they want to keep it. Unlike previous generations, who largely preferred to stay close to home, millennials understand the scope of their actions in the world because they have seen and appreciated it more.
Many advances in modes of transportation have made it easier than ever for millennials to explore and appreciate the world, leading them to focus more on eco-tourism.
Millennials love anything that is trending too. And right now, all things eco-friendly are in. Reusable shopping bags, updated home decor, and children's clothing are hot topics that have had a tremendous impact on the way millennials live.
Positive habits like these can turn into a seismic shift when a whole generation starts practicing them, and that's the direction millennials start heading.
More and more millennials are making substantial changes to their lifestyles to create and sustain a healthier earth. For example, many twenty-somethings have adopted a vegan lifestyle. By eliminating animal products from their diet, vegan consumers help reduce their negative impact on the earth.
Growing plant-based foods consumes less fuel and generates less carbon than animal products, even if it isn't. This change in lifestyle is indicative of a larger shift in the outlook of millennials in general.
Millennials aren't afraid to stand up to fight for what they believe in. They are ready to march against an initiative they do not believe in, related to the environment in another way.
They are committed not only to vote, but also to consciously vote for politicians who share their belief that land is a precious commodity. This willingness to stand up to long-standing systems makes millennials the perfect defender of nature, and certainly a vocal one, especially on social platforms.
Although older generations may view the internet as interfering with actual human interaction, millennials have a very different perspective. They cluster around problems using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat.
The growing reach of social media has spawned a new era of online activism that includes a movement towards green and sustainable living. It's easy for millennials to share the ways they live sustainably and get new ideas from other eco-minded friends.
If you're still not convinced that they are moving toward real, measurable change, just look at what the generation has already accomplished. Consider projects like Reforest Sri Lanka, led by young MBA students.
It took them just 10 months to plant more than 26,000 trees in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, in the US, the online platform iMatterNow has been driving the change. Encourage young people to take action regarding environmental policy or, at the very least, to inform themselves.
These are just a few of the collective ways that millennials have begun to drive lasting change in the way the world works. There are also some movements that are not formally organized, and therefore fly under the radar.
For example, millennials tend to spend their dollars on products from environmentally conscious companies. This trend is directly affecting the way large companies market their goods and services. Many have even added pages to their websites that set out their policies on sustainability.
With millennials making so many moves to help nature not only survive, but thrive as well, it is clear that this generation has no ill will towards the environment.
Rather, they are seizing the opportunity to be the generation that makes real and lasting change in terms of green living. As trends continue to move towards sustainability, in everything from food to fashion, millennials can only be expected to grow in their collective strength.
Watch out for the ways young people will change the world in the years to come!
By Emily Folk
Emily Folk is a conservation and sustainability writer and editor for Conservation Folks.
Original article (in English)