teens and sustainability

Young Teens Think About Climate Change Differently From Older Teens, Young Adults

Girls are more likely to be dissatisfied with environmental efforts than boys, and older teens are more likely to care about corporations' role in climate change than younger teens, new data finds.

Generation Z is the most progressive generation ever, and one of the top issues that concerns them is climate change. And while most of Gen Z sees climate change as a real threat to their future, younger teens care about sustainability and the environment in a different way than older teens and young adults, new data shows.

"The State of Sustainability Among Gen Z" survey by Morning Consult, commissioned by technology company HP, breaks down differences along age and gender lines within Gen Z, and NBCLX has an exclusive first look. Here are some of the findings:

  • 13- to 17-year-olds notice environmental efforts happening in their homes and communities more than people between 18 and 20, who tend to care more about corporate agendas
  • 13- to 17-year-olds view sustainability as protecting the current environment, while 18- to 20-year-olds view sustainability as maintaining the planet for future generations.
  • When younger teens think about being environmentally conscious, they focus on their personal efforts while older teens and young adults focus on large corporations who hurt the environment.

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The survey also looked at differences in how boys versus girls view sustainability to promote HP's Girls Save the World initiative. Part of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Solv[ED] Youth Innovation Challenge, Girls Save the World encourages anyone who identifies as a girl between 13 to 18 to submit a solution to an environmental problem in their community for the chance to win a prize up to $50,000 — and help implementing it. Here's what the research found:

  • Girls are less likely to feel satisfied with current environmental efforts than boys. Less than half, 42%, of female respondents said they were satisfied compared to 57% of male respondents.
  • About two-thirds (63%) of young women feel they either don’t have or are unsure of whether they have the proper tools and resources to solve environmental issues in their futures.
  • Girls are more likely than boys to notice environmental efforts within their community, like littering or trash being sorted incorrectly.
  • Girls are more confident than boys in their ability to persuade the adults they know to make lifestyle changes to be more environmentally conscious.
  • Girls are more likely than boys, and 18- to 20-year-olds are more likely than younger kids, to see themselves working to solve environmental issues in the future.

Learn more about Girls Save the World at HP.com. Learn more about young people and climate change at LX.com.