Millennials often pride themselves on their eco-credentials while the baby boomer generation is accused of poor stewardship of the planet — but new research suggests otherwise.
When it comes to reducing our carbon footprint, younger people fall short. They buy cheap clothes from Asos, ride Ubers rather than buses, have fast food sent via Deliveroo and eat smashed avocados from Mexico rather than seasonal vegetables from local suppliers – all of which boosts fuel emissions and non-recyclable plastic use.
A survey by Censuswide for Aviva into greener lifestyles found that people aged 55 and over were ahead in every category except the vegan diet — 9 per cent of 16-24 year-olds say they are vegan, compared to just 2 per cent among the over-55s.
But the baby boomers are more likely than the 25-34 age group to use recycling bins (84 per cent versus 66 per cent), avoid single-use plastic (66 per cent versus 54 per cent) and to eat fruit and vegetables in season (47 per cent to 35 per cent). Boomers are also more likely than millennials to try to reduce the amount of meat they eat (34 per cent compared with 28 per cent).
Older consumers take much more seriously the environmental case for buying from local suppliers, which 63 per cent of people aged 55 and older embrace but only 45 per cent of the 25-34 age group.
The fashion for upcycling may perhaps explain why older millennials and people in their early 40s are also most likely to buy second-hand items: 43 per cent of the 35-44 age group did so, while only 38 per cent of under-25s and 37 per cent aged 55-plus did so.