Skip to main content

Millennials are the worst ... at recycling

Surprising, considering they're extremely eco-conscious in all other facets of their lives.

For all their eco-friendly viewpoints, millennials aren't great at being green at home.

That's the conclusion of a Sheldon Group study that found just 34 percent of millennials regularly recycle newspapers, cardboard, plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

This is compared to 52 percent who recycle among all age groups.

This is quite the surprise, considering the same survey found millennials are the age group most worried about climate change and its impact on their lives as well as those of their future/current children.

Similarly, millennials are less likely to bring their own reusable bag grocery shopping, and don't adjust the thermostat as often to save energy, compared to older adults.

Why is this?

Now before we get all "millennials are terrible," that's not to say the generation is completely turned off to green practices.

It's just a case of different priorities.

Millennials don't believe the green efforts you can make at the individual level will have a significant impact on preventing catastrophic climate change; instead, they think the major effort needs to come at the corporate level.

So millennials are more likely to spend their money at companies with good environmental records, and are more likely to lobby companies to make positive green changes.

"Millennials are pushing companies to make a positive impact on the world because they believe global problems are too big for individuals to solve," said Suzanne Shelton, president and CEO of The Shelton Group said in a press release.

"Millennials see spending money with these companies as another form of activism. It's crowdsourcing by consumerism," she adds.

So if you're the owner of a business that's trying to appeal to millennials, you need to be green to make green.

Next Up

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

redmons popcorn colbert 2

Support grows for Redmon's Popcorn after shop's sudden closure

The county also commented on the situation, saying it hopes to help owner Zack Redmon.

prior lake high school

Prior Lake HS investigating another 'racist' video involving student

The principal said the social media video was reported to them this week.


Taxing 401(k) contributions would be disastrous for millennials

It's one of the possible tax reforms being (quietly) considered in D.C., according to a report.

Millennials are worst behind the wheel – but everyone's pretty bad, report finds

AAA's survey has thrown up some pretty shocking figures about dangerous driving habits.

Holiday spending to rise, with millennial dads among most generous

Consumers are preparing for more spending this holiday season.

France is banning gas and diesel cars

All new cars sold will be electric or hybrid by the year 2040.

Askov Finlayson pledges $1M to climate change action groups

The champions of "The North" will donate more than the cost of the company's environmental impact.

Sorry, millennials, it's harder than ever to buy a home in the Twin Cities

Final sale prices have now risen for 64 consecutive months

MN Libertarians fall short of 5 percent, but gain disillusioned millennials

Third-party votes ultimately didn't have a bearing on the result in Minnesota, unlike in other races around the country, but Tuesday night was still a success for Libertarians.