Majority of young adults say climate change influences their decision to have children or not
Seventy-five percent of Gen Zers and 77% of millennials said climate change has affected their major life decisions, according to new research.
The survey of 2,000 Americans, split evenly by four generations, revealed 78% of Gen Zers aren’t planning — or didn’t want — to have children of their own as a result of climate change.
Seven in 10 millennials felt the same — but that’s not all: In addition to their thoughts on parenthood, 50% of Gen Zers said their career path changed due to climate change.
And 73% of millennials say climate change affected where they planned to live.
It hasn’t only affected their decisions — it’s also impacting their health, as results revealed climate change has negatively affected 59% of respondents’ mental health (71% for millennials and 67% for Gen Z).
Commissioned by Seventh Generation and conducted by OnePoll in advance of Earth Day, the survey split respondents by generation — Generation Z, millennials, Generation X and baby boomers — and compared their thoughts and actions toward climate change.
Turns out, 44% believe — regardless of our actions — the Earth will become uninhabitable as a result of climate change.
Of those, the average respondent believes we have about 108 habitable years left — but that number decreased across generations; Gen Zers believe we have 95 years, while baby boomers averaged a slightly more optimistic 119.
Still, the pessimism didn’t translate to their actions, as 70% are actively fighting climate change, with millennials leading the charge (85%).
“We believe climate change is not only this generation’s problem to solve, but that the solution will be its legacy,” said Joey Bernstein, CEO of Seventh Generation. “Now more than ever, we want to underscore the importance of addressing the climate crisis and are inspired by the youth climate movement, which is committed to keeping our planet hospitable for years — and generations — to come.”
And even though some people believe the fight against climate change is lost, others are optimistic.
Forty-three percent believe we will make the necessary changes to reverse the effects of climate change — and respondents believe Gen Zers will be the ones to do it.
When asked if they think Gen Z will be the ones to solve climate change, 52% answered yes, with millennials the most likely to think so (62%).
“With every decision, people are given the opportunity to take positive action and ultimately, make a choice for the world we want to live in,” said Bernstein. “As a company with a mission that prioritizes the health of the next seven generations, when you support Seventh Generation you are contributing toward a healthier, more sustainable and habitable planet for future generations.”
Please note: Generations for this survey were defined as follows:
● Generation Z: 18–23
● Millennials: 24–39
● Generation X: 40–55
● Baby boomers: 56+
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