CLIMATE ANXIETY HAS BECOME AN EVERYDAY BURDEN FOR AN ENTIRE GENERATION. THIS HAS TO CHANGE. TO TURN THE TIDE, WE HAVE ASKED THE YOUTH ABOUT HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY.
With the findings of our study we want to inspire key actors to change their ways - to bring hope, commitment, REAL action and youth inclusion to Gen Z instead of climate anxiety, shame & blame. How you ask? Keep reading.
An everyday burden for an entire generation
Having grown up in a globalized world with shame and blame within sustainability communication, climate anxiety is common. Almost 4/10 adolestents feel that there is too much darkness and threats in sustainability communication. It can create a feeling of loneliness, barriers to act and a vacuum of nothing happening.
The million dollar question - what triggers hope and engagement for sustainability among youth?
HEART 17 X Ungdomsbarometern has created a study about sustainability engagement for youth in Sweden. The study confirms that optimism, brands/companies who act, creativity and innovation are factors that trigger hope. Collective action, to be part of something – is an important factor to create hope and action.
64% FEEL THAT CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES MAKES THEM MORE HOPEFUL AND COMMITTED.
43% WOULD COMMIT MORE TO SUSTAINABILITY IF WHAT THEY DO IS PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER, TOGETHER WITH OTHERS.
To involve companies and artists is important and expected channels for young ones when it comes to sustainable matters, but it needs to be done in a concrete, actionable way to be trustworthy.
"Technical solutions and entrepreneurs that take initiative."
– Boy, 19 y.o.
"When politicians and companies work together to find good solutions to the problems."
– Boy, 18 y.o.
"To see what things that makes a difference, and statistics on things that have gotten better"
.– Girl,17 y.o.
Companies must do their part
Innovation, entrepreneurship and finding new solutions to sustainability issues are also mentioned as something that brings belief. Some also note that companies must do their part to reduce emissions and impact on the climate.
Many find that their hope lies within their own generation, the youth. A generation that grew up with greater knowledge and commitment to sustainability than previous generations.
Moreover, taking action must be easy!
65% WOULD COMMIT MORE IF IT IS SOMETHING THEY CAN EASILY DO IN THEIR DAILY LIFE.
Too much time or money spent are the greatest barriers to act. This is also shown in how many young ones feel that their actions are meaningless.
So, it is time to team up. To join forces. Give youth something to believe in. Are you part of a big company, brand, an artist, a role model or a creative soul? Then how you communicate and act for sustainability can have a profound impact on sustainability engagement and mental health among youth.
Good news are good news
Good news and a positive tonality can also be crucial to motivate Generation Z to act. Also to see the consequences of taking action can kickstart commitment. Taking action should be easy.
Here’s to concrete and direct call to actions. To the creatives of the world that can lead the way. And to a Collective act, united by creativity – creating a feeling of togetherness within action for the Global Goals.
Source: Ungdomsbarometern, 2022
The study was conducted on 500 adolescents in Sweden, aged 15-24 in January 2022. For inquiries or to read the the study, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ungdomsbarometern is the leading analysis company in Sweden regarding how various subjects affect youth.