Editor’s Note: Today’s blog written by Simon Trabelsi. Thanks Simon!
There was a time when being environmentally friendly was reserved for the societal pariahs. Any mention of sustainability was associated with tree huggers, hippies, body odor, and tomfoolery such as this . While laughing at crying hippies is indeed hilarious, these people do have a point: we should take care of our planet. Unfortunately, this point always seemed to get lost in the strange delivery of their message.
However, in recent times the millennial generation has begun changing this trend. Due to our cause-driven mentality, going green is now the trend everyone is looking to join. Rapper Drake recently announced he is embarking on a tour in an eco-friendly tour bus; Ludacris has partnered with Battleground Earth: Planet Green and Discovery Channel to raise funds and awareness for sustainability; going green isn’t simply reserved for tree huggers anymore.
The wonderful thing about going green is that it now also appeals to the capitalist. As proven by the research in IMAGES Multicultural Millennial study, because of the purchase power held by Millennials, it is in any big corporation’s interest to show a commitment to sustainability – the money that can be saved on cutting back on supplies and energy usage doesn’t hurt either. With the new interest in going green, many industries are creating jobs with the green initiative as the impetus. Many millennials see these jobs as an opportunity to redefine the green industry and move it toward inclusion of all, including the scientific and agriculture community as well as the newly graduated looking to redefine what it means to be “corporate green.”
The true reason for this environmental obsession is actually much deeper than money or trendiness – somewhere along the line, the millennial generation took a look around and considered the long term effects of how humankind is treating the planet. Asthma, cancer, and various birth defects are all made worse by man-made atrocities like pollution and toxic waste. With advancements in research revealing adverse side effects of different substances at a rapid pace, who knows where we will find ourselves in the next 10, 20 or 50 years? It is this mentality that has inspired our generation to take a proactive approach to sustainability, and I would encourage everyone to do their part – no matter how small (I’ll be off my soap box shortly, I promise).
In closing, I would like to leave you all with a person who personifies the millennial passion for sustainability: Markese “Doodat” Bryant, a Morehouse student who fused the things he saw in his neighborhood growing up and his passion for music to become an advocate of going green. The large corporations that can weave this type of environmental credibility into their marketing will surely be the ones who earn the support of the millennial generation.