Eco-Revolution: How Gen Z is Pioneering a More Sustainable Future

The inevitable effects of climate change loom as a global challenge with a variety of controversial remedies. One of the groups that stands out in its unparalleled devotion to shaping a sustainable future is Generation Z—the group born between the late 1990s and early 2010s. As the consequences of climate change become increasingly evident, this generation has emerged as a driving force in the fight against environmental degradation. But why does Gen Z possess such a commitment to tackling the climate crisis? Witness their unparalleled passion for climate change and increased drive toward an eco-revolution.

With technology rapidly developing, Gen Z has grown up technologically adept, far beyond the capabilities of older generations. They also witnessed the growth of the internet, which has facilitated global communication and collaboration on a much grander scale than ever before. Social media especially has molded how members of Gen Z handle social issues. Prior to social media, children’s only source of understanding the world came from their parents, teachers, and books. Even then, parents monitor and limit the books that children are allowed to read.

The lack of discussion surrounding heavy-hitting issues such as climate change in previous generations may contribute to less effort in tackling the issue. Without the expansive knowledge provided by social media and the internet, children live in ignorant bliss outside of their “kid bubble.” For Gen Z, this realization and awareness of the world around them snowballed at a much faster pace than previous generations, due to the world of information at their fingertips.

Growing up in the digital age with easy access to information, Gen Z is more aware of global environmental issues, climate change, and the human impact on these issues. Due to a heightened connection with their peers worldwide, Gen Z is able to collaborate and form deeper connections with their peers regarding issues that they may have been previously ignorant of , amplifying their environmental consciousness. Youth activism has also rapidly spread through social media. The activism of influential people such as Greta Thunberg and various youth-led movements like Fridays for Future are discussed at length as both relevant topics in school and through the virality of social media. Figures such as Thunberg provide relatable role models, empowering Gen Z to take similar action. Since pioneering the 2019 Global Week for Future march for climate change, Thunberg created a snowball effect of youth participating in marches, community volunteering, and promoting policy changes over social media. She has made activism more relevant, inspiring youth to advocate for issues their peers support.

According to a survey completed by Tyson et al., 67% of Gen Z believe that climate should be a top priority to ensure a sustainable planet for future generations. The survey also found that 45% of Gen Z has interacted with social media content regarding the need for climate action in the past two weeks; this contrasts with 27% of members of Generation X. Often in Western society, people feel disconnected from issues that do not seem to affect them on a daily basis. However, social media has a way of illuminating the real impact of issues, with pictures and videos that demonstrate the non-sugar-coated reality. With so much information readily available, it can become easy to fall down a rabbit hole of extreme images meant to grab one’s attention. Organizations are constantly trying to get a grip on the algorithm, often utilizing their most shocking or attention-grabbing content to do so.

Another driving factor lies in Gen Z’s awareness through educational experiences. Many school districts throughout the United States have incorporated environmental education into their curricula. Throughout high school and college especially, climate change is consistently brought up by teachers, professors, and various clubs and organizations on campus. Students often write papers on climate change during standardized tests, or are required to write research papers on the topic. By exposing students to information about sustainability and climate change throughout their educational careers, schools encourage a sense of responsibility for future generations.

Values also play a significant role in deciding which issues are most important to people. Gen Z is often characterized by their empathetic nature. They have been taught inclusive values at an early age, and often connect environmental issues with broader social concerns, for example, the disproportionate impact of ecological problems on marginalized communities. By implementing topics into the curriculum that tug at one’s heartstrings, teachers are able to increase engagement from students while providing necessary education about eminent issues.

As Gen Z enters the workforce in a variety of fields, they are demonstrating an interest in exposing corporate injustices surrounding climate action. According to Forbes, a 2022 survey by Team Lewis Foundation and HeForShe determined that Gen Z is more concerned with climate change than other issues such as gender equality and economic opportunities. Evidence of this action is already becoming evident as Gen Z works toward changing policy. According to an article by the New York Times, youth-led climate action in Montana won a lawsuit in June 2023 regarding fossil fuels. The revolutionary ruling found that the state’s failure to incorporate appropriate climate action surrounding fossil fuel projects is unconstitutional. As we are witnessing the real effects of climate change at an alarming rate, these issues will be integral to company policy as Gen Z takes over corporations and pursues entrepreneurial endeavors.

As the unresolved issue of climate change is transferred to future generations of world leaders, such a daunting task is overwhelming. The very survival of life on our planet rests in the decisions made by the fledgling voices of Gen Z. According to a study conducted by Yale’s School for Environment, 7,348 major natural disasters occurred between 2000 and 2029, as opposed to 4,212 natural disasters between 1980 and 1999. From poor air quality and light pollution to an increase in natural disasters, Gen Z’s passion has stemmed from their personal experience of the consequences. Unfortunately, many current world leaders and corporations have given up on making a dent in the accelerating detriment already inflicted over the past century.

By entering the workforce during a time of economic instability, Gen Z is hyperaware of the consequences that depleting resources entails. Growing up in this climate, they recognize the magnitude of the implications affecting every aspect of their lives, especially if alternative energy sources and other solutions are neglected. Gen Z’s heavy involvement in social media facilitates their ability to collaborate and create lasting movements. Together, their passion will pave the way for a more sustainable future.


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