Study: Baby Boomers Most Likely to Act on Climate Change

Stand aside, millennials—when it comes to real change, baby boomers tend to take more real steps than younger generations.

People born between 1984 and 2002 — the millennials — have earned the nickname “generation green” for their pro-environmental stance and their occasional digs at the older generations that failed to keep Climate Change in check. But according to a survey by research firm Opinium Research, Baby Boomers are the ones who are most likely to promote and support sustainability.

Baby Boomer March featuredThe firm polled 2,000 people about their green habits. Half of the respondents aged 55 or older — the baby boomer set — prefer to shop locally, buy clothes that last longer, and try to avoid single-use plastics. By comparison, only 25 percent of millennials do the same. 

Also, while 78 percent of all respondents believe they have a “personal responsibility” to deal with the climate crisis, a substantial number are not prepared to make sacrifices. For example, respondents want to eat less meat, avoid fast fashion or bicycle instead of drive, but some have been unable to do so, Opinium notes.

“The will is there,” says Steven Day, cofounder of renewable energy supplier Pure Planet, which commissioned the survey. “People have told us they want to live more sustainably than they currently are. But clearly the challenge we face is how we harness people’s energy and intent, and channel it on the things that have the most impact.”

This becomes important to track as millennials and older Gen Zers take the place of Baby Boomers as the housing industry’s top influencers by mortgage activity.

Alan Naditz is the managing editor of Green Builder magazine.  He has covered numerous industries in his extensive career, including residential and commercial construction, small and corporate business, real estate and sustainability.