This is the generation that was born watching the television shows Captain Planet and the Planeteers as well as The Blue Planet.
It’s the same people that, as they left college and started their university studies, heard about ecotourism and global warming.
For this reason, it isn’t surprising that 70% of Latín American millennials consider climate change a priority, according to a survey announced by Telefónica in April 2016.
This information indicates that millennials – or Generation Y – are people born between 1980 and 1986, who share characteristics such as being socially sensitive, believing in collaboration, feeling passion for technology, and consuming information through digital media.
They are also optimistic. In fact, according to Telefónica, 60% of ticos that are in this generational group believe that they can make a difference in their local area and that it could have repercussions throughout the world.
They believe in “the power of one,” as was taught by One Earth, a popular company that ruled national television in the 1990s.
Now, with an age range so wide and realities so disparate between countries, Generation Y ca’t consider themselves a homogenous group.
For Shelton Group, which consults United States citizens specialized in green marketing, millennials exist that are green and activists but also others to whom the subject is of no concern.
“Many are green in attitude, but they don’t reflect it in their behavior. Although they are more likely to search for products and services on the internet, they don’t necessarily pay attention to how sustainable those products and services may be,” reads Shelton Group’s blog.
Nevertheless, those that identify themselves with the environment adopt sustainability as a cultural norm and it ends up reflecting in their consumption decisions.
Responsible consumers. At this point in history, the generation of the future becomes the generation of the present. Many of the first millennials make up the labor force today that moves the economy and convert themselves into parents of a family.
According to a study by the Center of Investigation Pew in the U.S., published in 2010, the most green millennials recycled and tried to buy products whose impact on the environment was very minimal, and were willing to pay more for them.
Shelton Group argues that entrepreneurship focused on green and handmade items found its niche in this generation, as well as services that use digital platforms to find apartments (Craigslist), lodging (Airbnb or Couchsurfing), buying and selling (eBay or Amazon), among others.
Millennials don’t care if their things are used or recycled; rather, they are considered vintage. According to Pew, the millennials can become quite activist consumers. Just like one might choose not to buy certain products or services because they do not share the values of the company, one can also consume because they share philosophies. Also, they are not shy in recommending it to their peers through social networks. It is there, in digital, where members of Generation Y also stand out as green activists.
Connected. Of all the features that describe millennials, there is one that cannot be debated: they are superconnected.
According to Telefónica, 59% of the ticos that belong to this category of the population own smartphones, 34% use laptops, and 30% have a tablet.
In fact, Generation Y in Costa Rica invests an average of seven hours a day to surf the internet and interact on social networks. “They are not only their gadgets, but the way that they manage their social life,” Pew emphasized in their report.
In this sense, the green millennials use social networks as megaphones for their causes. They can heighten or sink a company for offering a disservice and even exhibit its contradictions, provoking an image crisis if the company markets to be green and turns out to be unsustainable.