Are Young People Our Future if They're Also the Most Wasteful?

youth energy use photo
Migrated Image

Photo via vanlaar via Flickr CC

According to a recent survey, it looks like the under-24 crowd is guilty of being the most energy and water wasteful demographic. The reason is that they have simply no idea how much energy or water certain household tasks and appliances use. And yet, this group is supposed to be the most informed when it comes to environmental issues. So does this counter the notion that young people are the hope for the future?A survey of 2,000 UK residents showed that the least energy- and water-savvy demographic are those people between 18 and 25 years old. Most of the people in this group couldn't identify the most energy-intensive home appliance, and are one of the worst water wasters.

Jon Z Bentley, Energy & Environment Partner, IBM Global Business Services, said: "The good news is that Generation Y is showing clear concern for environmental issues. The not-so-good news is that far too few are taking even simple, small steps to control their own wasteful use of resources. This is important not just because of the difference this generation can make today. Climate change and the need to be careful in our use of energy, water and other natural resources are not transient issues. They will be with us for the next 40 years and beyond.

The contradiction is a little surprising - how is it that a group usually so aware of the problem of climate change can also know so little (or rather, do so little) to be part of the solution? Surveys with sample populations this small should be taken with a grain of salt, but it would be very interesting to see this expanded to a bigger sample and from different countries to find if it really is the case. If it is, we have a bigger problem on our hands than we might like to think.

Via Business Green