Baby boomers are the green champions
With coronavirus lockdown it is becoming more difficult to go green, especially as recycling centres are closed and refuse bin collections have been cut back.
“But it is just as important as ever for us all to cut our carbon footprint,” said Midlands green energy expert Ron Fox.
“That is why I was very interested to read a new survey recently showing surprising results about which age range are the green champions,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park.
Most think generation Z, those between the ages of 16-24 who pride themselves on their eco-credentials and who back Greta Thunberg and skipping school to join protests, or the millennials, those aged 25-34, would win.
They would expect the baby boomer generation, those over 55 years of age, would be in the last of the five places. But the opposite is true.
A survey into green lifestyles by Censuswide for the insurer Aviva found in their sample of 4,003 adults that the older group were ahead in every one of the 13 categories bar two with the 45-54s second, the 35-44s third, the 25-34s fourth and the 16-24s in the fifth and bottom place.
That older generation, which has been accused of poor stewardship of the planet, is more likely to use recycling bins (84 per cent compared to 54 per cent by the 16-24-year-olds and 66% by the 25-34-year-olds).
Comparing the two groups the baby boomers avoid single-use plastic (66% as opposed to 55% and 54%); are reducing plane travel (24% versus 21% and 18%); are cutting back on car usage (38% compared to 26% and 31%); eating fruit and veg in season from local suppliers (47%, versus 33% and 35%); giving unwanted items to charity shops (76% to 55% and 57%); using energy-saving LED lights (88% to 59% and 72%) and most surprising of all trying to eat less meat (34% as to 31% and 28%).
The only categories generation Z (9%) and the millennials (8%) won were becoming vegan, compared to the older group at 2%. Also the youngsters were better at buying second hand items at 38%, millennials 40% and baby boomers 37%.
The younger generations could point out the over 55s are better off because of the property boom and they can afford, as the survey pointed out, to be keener on lowering their thermostat and growing their own vegetable.
But the older group could reply that younger people buy and discard cheaper clothes, ride Ubers rather than buses and have fast food delivered to their homes, all of which boost carbon emissions from vehicles and non-recyclable plastics.
“The conclusions I took from the survey,” said Ron, “is that although older people are quietly leading the charge to take care of the planet. But this is a challenge that all generations must face together and we can all take small steps which can add up to a big difference.”
For more advice on green energy matters contact Ron on 0845 474 6641 or go to www.noreus.co.uk