Millennials have been at the end of various joke through the years, especially from older generations. But, recently Millennials have shown many amazing qualities which could save the world with sustainability. Being a part of this generation myself, I feel it is my responsibility to help change the world. We are one of the most charitable generations and are known for wanting our careers, lifestyles, and the products we buy to align with our values and sense of purpose. Despite all the articles saying we’re killing this industry and that industry, maybe it’s time to change things for the better. Here are some ways we’re making it happen.
Millennials have a large force
“May the Force be with you” is exactly what we heard growing up. Luckily there is some truth to this. Richard Fry, a writer for the online newspaper Facttank, stated in his article Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation that this is indeed true, “Millennials, whom we define as those ages 18-34 in 2015, now number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69)”
The truth is that there is power in numbers. Perhaps that is why older generations feel threatened by us, or when we speak out about injustices happening in our country. Our large numbers put us in the perfect position for creating social, economic, and cultural changes. If a small percentage of millennials are already having an impact on our day to day global awareness, imagine what we can do when most of us commit to more sustainable practices. Now more than ever, it’s time to be the change you want to see. For me, that meant looking at my supply chain as a designer and the way I work and making changes to my lifestyle with my eating and shopping habits to name a couple.
Millennials are the most educated
There is power in numbers but knowledge is also power. Various online sources such as NPR.org and Pewresearch, confirm that millennials are the most educated out of all the generations and will continue to climb higher. Pewresearch also shows numbers for a survey taken in 2014 that showed 27% of millennial women and 21% of millennial men have a bachelor's degree compared to baby boomers where 14% of women and 17% of men achieved a bachelor’s degree.
Education is power, and it is exactly how millennials will change the world. We are educated enough to understand the consequences of our actions, discuss ideas and concerns with our educated peers, and can climb into positions of power to change laws and regulations. Education and knowledge are the best tools to fighting oppression, unethical practices, and corruption.
Millennials can spread their message
So, you are educated and you have great numbers, but it those aren’t simply enough to change the world. You also need to spread the message of sustainability and compassion. If only there was a way for you to tell the world what you’re thinking...
Millennials are one of the most digitally literate people on the planet, each interconnected through our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat.... These platforms give us a unique opportunity that previous generations haven’t had to voice their concerns and use that voice appropriately to change and better the world.
However social media is a double-edged sword, so appearing well educated can be an advantage. There will always be, unfortunately, people who want to ignore science, facts, and general ethical standards, but as educated individuals we must stand our ground. Change isn’t easy, but millennials do have the numbers and education to make this transition into a sustainable world smoother.
What can you do?
● You can elect to choose ethical and sustainable clothing, food, and accessories.
● Tell your friends or people you know, about what environmental products you find helpful (people trust word of mouth more than anything else)
● You can have a simple discussion with your friends and family to insight talk and commitment for a more sustainable future.
● Donate time to local nonprofits that help shape the world towards more sustainable practices.
● Support ethical and sustainable businesses in your hometown
Everyone has different levels of activism and that is perfectly fine. No one is encouraging you to single handedly take down governments or change civilization as we know it. Simple awareness and individual changes are more than enough to help change the course of history. I heard a great saying recently, “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, trying sleeping in the same room as a mosquito.” Change isn’t always radical, it takes time and the combined effect of a lot of small changes. The only thing we suggest not to do, is to remain neutral. Change can never come with complacency and silence.