Which Generation Cares Most About The Environment

Which Generation Cares Most About The Environment?

Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Krystine

Concern about environmental issues varies across generations.

But which demographic cares most about protecting the planet?

Understanding generational differences regarding the environment helps drive engagement across age groups.

Which Generation Cares Most About the Environment?

Inforgraphic depicting the different generational age groups
Different generations of donors tend to be driven by varying motivations and giving preferences. Image Credit: Classy

Who is responsible for protecting the environment?

Which age groups are more concerned?

Research clearly shows that Gen Z cares the most about environmental issues compared to older generations.

Surveys find around 70% of Gen Z report being very or extremely concerned about climate change and sustainability.

Key Points

  • Gen Z edges out Millennials as the most environmentally concerned generation.
  • Approximately 70% of Gen Z say they are worried about climate change.
  • Gen Z advocates push sustainability through protests, lawsuits, and social media activism.

How Concerned Are Different Generations?

Research by Pew Research Center and elsewhere sheds light on environmental concerns by age group:


Surveys consistently find Millennials more worried about climate change and the environment than older Americans.

A 2020 Pew study found 59% of Millennials view climate as a major threat compared to 49% of Gen Xers.

Generation Z

Gen Z edges out even Millennials regarding climate concerns, with surveys showing approximately 70% are very or extremely worried about environmental issues.

Generation X

Gen X adults are less engaged than younger generations.

But around 50% still say the government should do more on climate.

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers display the least concern, though significant percentages still express moderate to high environmental concern.

While variation exists within generations, younger demographics like Gen Z and Millennials show the highest climate engagement through attitudes, voting, and activism.

How are Youth Shaping Environmental Activism?

A young group of teenage activists demonstrating against global warming.

Younger generations are also driving sustainability through activism:

School Strikes

Inspired by Greta Thunberg, millions of students worldwide have participated in youth climate strikes demanding government action on global warming.


Teens and youth activists have sued governments and corporations over climate inaction, establishing legal precedents affirming climate protection rights.


Gen Z advocates lobby policymakers directly and amplify civic engagement through social media campaigns like Vote4Climate.

Campus Organizing

University student groups pressure campus administrators to divest from fossil fuels, increase sustainability, and teach climate justice.

Through street protests, legal challenges, lobbying, and campus organizing, young advocates are pressuring power holders to address environmental degradation.

Broadening Environmental Concerns Across Generations

While youth lead on climate activism, expanding sustainability advocacy across age groups is crucial:

  • Intergenerational collaborations, where younger and older activists work together, build broad engagement.
  • Policymakers can activate multiple demographics by linking environmental policies to shared values like public health.
  • Mobilizing faith-based, civil rights, labor, and other community organizations expands climate advocacy.
  • Framing sustainability in terms of family and community resilience motivates older demographics.
  • Inclusive organizing provides entry points for diverse demographics to participate.

With strategic framing and inclusive mobilizing, climate concern can spread across generational lines.

How Concerned Is Gen Z About the Environment?

Surveys consistently find Gen Z reports the highest levels of concern about environmental issues compared to older generations.

Approximately 70% say they are very worried about climate change specifically.

Driving Gen Z’s environmental concern is seeing the tangible impacts of climate change in their lifetimes, from wildfires to hurricanes.

Gen Z advocates pushing for sustainability because they will live through the most severe climate disruptions if action is not taken immediately.

They treat climate change as an existential threat demanding urgent mobilization.

Gen Z expresses their climate concern through activism like protests, voting for pro-environment candidates, suing governments over inaction, and pushing for climate justice.

Their concern also shows up through consumer choices, as Gen Z heavily factors sustainability into purchasing decisions.

Overall, climate change and living sustainably are top-tier priorities for Gen Z in a way not matched by older demographics.

Are Millennials More Environmentally Conscious?

While Gen Z edges them out, Millennials are more environmentally conscious compared to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

Approximately 60% of Millennials report being very concerned about climate change and sustainability issues.

Millennials came of age seeing An Inconvenient Truth and the beginnings of the climate movement.

This shaped their worldviews to see climate as a definitive generational challenge.

Millennials try to reduce their carbon footprints by driving electric vehicles, limiting air travel, adopting plant-based diets, and purchasing from sustainable brands.

However, one study found the highest concern comes from the youngest Millennials, indicating a growing consciousness over time.

Younger Millennial advocates are leading protests, pushing institutions to divest from fossil fuels, and lobbying governments for sweeping climate policies like the Green New Deal.

Still, as a generation, Millennials display greater environmental concern compared to older demographics.

What Generation Is The Most Eco-Friendly?

Based on survey data about climate views and research on sustainable practices, Gen Z emerges as the most eco-friendly generation.

70% of Gen Z report high levels of environmental concern compared to 60% of Millennials.

Gen Z is driving the adoption of eco-friendly behaviors that reduce carbon footprints.

For example, they are twice as likely as other generations to be vegetarian or vegan for environmental reasons.

Gen Z also limits air travel, buys second-hand clothing, takes public transit, and purchases eco-friendly products at higher rates.

Importantly, Gen Z favors companies that operate sustainably and factor environmental impact into purchasing decisions.

Their buying preferences push businesses to adopt greener practices.

Gen Z also prominently voices environmental demands through activism online and in the streets.

Overall, research indicates Gen Z is the most focused generation on living an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

Key Takeaways

  • Research shows Gen Z and Millennials have the highest climate change concern.
  • Youth are driving sustainability through protests, lawsuits, and campus organizing.
  • Broad-based organizing and framing can mobilize more generations.

Understanding which generations are leading on sustainability points us toward engaging all age groups in solving our shared climate challenges.


How active are Baby Boomers on environmental issues?

While more moderate than younger generations, significant percentages of Baby Boomers still express moderate to high levels of environmental concern.

What tactics do youth activists use to push climate action?

Young advocates use protests, school strikes, lawsuits against governments, corporate lobbying, and campus organizing to demand climate action from leaders.

How can environmental advocacy expand across generations?

Inclusive organizing, intergenerational collaborations, connecting climate issues to shared values, and strategic framing can mobilize more age groups.

GreenChiCafe is passionate about the environment and our natural world.

Please check out our website for more great content on important environmental topics.

1 thought on “Which Generation Cares Most About The Environment?”

  1. Pingback: Why is Thrifting Good for the Environment? (Save Money and Save the Planet) - Green Chi Cafe

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top