Study: Millennials Love Going Green But Don’t Actually Recycle

CBS Local — Many millennials may present themselves as being a part of a progressive generation that is outspoken about preventing climate change, but a new study says their actions don’t back up their words.

According to a survey by marketing firm The Shelton Group, millennials are less likely to recycle compared to any other generation. While the complicated age group doesn’t like to take a personal role in cleaning up the planet, they were found to be the most likely generation to support companies that “go green.”

“Millennials will reward corporations that take action and address problems for them,” The Shelton Group’s Suzanne Shelton said. “Millennials are pushing companies to make a positive impact on the world because they believe global problems are too big for individuals to solve,” the firm’s president and CEO added.

According to the poll of 1,000 millennials, only 34 percent of them recycled paper or aluminum cans. Even fewer millennials said they adjusted their thermostat to save energy. The average for the rest of Americans in both “green” categories stands at nearly 50 percent.

The study also found that millennials aren’t that embarrassed by their “all-talk” attitude either. When asked which eco-unfriendly habits they would be embarrassed by, only 25 percent said they’d be ashamed if people found out they didn’t recycle. Less than 40 percent said they’d be embarrassed if someone found out they wasted food or water.

Even though few millennials are apparently stepping up to support their environment, climate change is still a major issue for them. 76 percent answered that they were extremely concerned by climate change and 82 percent said they feared it would impact their children’s future.

The Shelton Group concludes that millennials, unlike other generations, believe corporations are the only ones that have the power to make positive change on big issues.

“Millennials see spending money with these companies as another form of activism. It truly is reverse crowd-sourcing,” Shelton said.

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