How teens are becoming greener thinkers

Global warming and climate change have become quite literally a hot topic (pardon the pun!) in the past few years, especially amongst generation Z teenagers who are taking on greener values in their lifestyle habits.

The push for change

A lot of the push to do something about climate change has come from gen Z. So, we carried out research earlier this year with teens in the UK, aged 13-18 years, to see the impact environmental influencers have  when it comes to being green.*

Sir David is a greater influencer than Greta Thunberg

According to our research, Sir David Attenborough’s Our Planet has had a greater influence on teenagers’ green values than Gen Z icon, Greta Thunberg. With 33% of teens saying Sir David Attenborough’s programme has affected their greener thinking whilst Gen Z icon Greta Thunberg influenced just 15%.

Sir David’s influence on young people shows no sign of diminishing either, with his new documentary, A Life On Our Planet, now on our screens.

Eco-friendly shopping

We found that eight out of ten teens now prioritise the environment when shopping. They said they would happily pay more for an eco-friendly option when buying goods.

As teens become more eco-friendly shoppers, they said they would be prepared to pay an additional £291 for a ‘green basket of goods’ that contained their favourite products such as trainers, a mobile phone, a laptop, a top/shirt, food, make up, a games console and books than non-ethical items. Below is a table showing the average amounts they were willing to pay extra for some of their favourite products if they were eco-friendly.

ITEM AVERAGE COST (£)
Trainers £37.9
Mobile Phone £55.9
Laptop £61.5
A top/shirt £25.3
Food (e.g organic vs regular food) £17.5
Make-up and cosmetics £21.1
Games console £54.5
Books £17.7
TOTAL £291.4

How much effect has the coronavirus pandemic had?

Whilst Covid-19 has created a lot of changes this year, the coronavirus pandemic has also caused teenagers to think more about the environment.

77% of them agreed that it offers an opportunity for a change for the better. With many people having to work from home, nearly nine out of ten teens (86%) see it as having a positive green impact, since it reduces the need to commute. Whilst a further 73% believed that the pandemic has made people more aware of the fragility of the earth.

Ethical spending

Behaving ethically is another driving factor in the way teens spend their money. The research showed that 54% would rather keep their money than invest it in a business that had unethical business practices. Additionally, 61% of teens would rule out working for at least one corporate sector for ethical reasons – such as mining industries, fossil fuels and fast fashion retailers.

Doing right by our planet and its people

At OneFamily, we are dedicated to sustainable investing with our Stocks and Shares ISA and Lifetime ISA, ensuring when people invest into these products they are investing in companies which have set an agenda to help tackle climate change.

* Unless otherwise stated, all research conducted by Opinium, on behalf of OneFamily, in April 2020 among a sample of 1,000 13-18-year-olds in the UK.

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