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Environment: What can we learn from Generation Z?

Generation Z Is More Sensitive To Issues Related To the Environment And Its Relationship With Their Future.

Greta thunberg

Access to information, content and a self-taught education has been shown to have an important influence on people belonging to this generational group, who in turn show a higher concern for progressive issues. Photo: Reuters

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: Medio ambiente: ¿Qué podemos aprender de la Generación Z?

Generation Z is at its peak. Access to information, content and self-taught education has shown to have an important influence on people belonging to this generational group, who in turn show a higher concern for progressive issues compared to past generations. In the case of the environment, we find peaceful mobilizations around the world promoted and carried out by young people. We also see local and community environmental movements driven by adolescents and children who, through their social networks, teach how to have a sustainable life and promote a variety of environmentally responsible diets.

Greta Thunberg and the power of words

The clearest example of this is that of Greta Thunberg, an 18-year-old Swedish woman recognized around the world for her environmental activism. From an early age, Thunberg showed interest in the environment, especially climate change and the lack of relevance that has been given to it. Then, at home, she convinced her family to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and little by little she made her way into an adult world to demand answers and actions to combat climate change.

Her first demonstration was in August 2018, when in the midst of a heatwave in Sweden she decided not to attend school until the following general elections in the country. She demanded that the government take action to reduce carbon emissions and comply with the provisions of the Paris Agreement. During this time she sat in front of the Swedish Parliament every day with a sign that read "school strike for the climate" in protest. After the elections, she continued to protest every Friday and this drew the attention of the local media, which quickly spread the response of the young woman, which was joined by thousands of students in more than 270 cities around the world.

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Since then Thunberg has become the face of environmental activism and the fight against climate change. Her leadership has been marked by her way of speaking, which is accurate and forceful. For this very reason, she has been the object of ridicule, but in the face of this, she has only shown that she is clear about her position of being forceful on an issue that is urgent. On several occasions, she has even scolded the older adults for their lack of seriousness with a problem that literally puts the very life of planet Earth at risk.

Today Thunberg has shown that young age is not synonymous with immaturity, much less a lack of commitment to the causes that you want to support. Last year, a documentary made by National Geographic about her personal life and how it has marked her activism was released on Disney +, since Thunberg was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

Similarly, in August this year, the activist appeared on the cover of Vogue Scandinavia. In this one, she strokes a horse in the middle of a forest and is wearing an overcoat and a floral dress, both made from recycled materials. The magazine tackled the issue of sustainable fashion. Thunberg brought attention to the use of fast-fashion that affects both the environment and low-income communities.

The example that generation Z gives us

Social networks have been the main tool of this generation that has grown alongside tools such as Instagram or TikTok. Although the saturation of information and immediate access to the Internet have been a problem, people belonging to this generation show that these tools can be used to generate mass movements.

Thunberg is just one of many examples of the tenacity young people have today and their ability to speak from a strong position. Generation Z is giving us a clear lesson: no matter your age, you are never too young to be able to firmly position yourself on an idea. Today we see young people worrying about changing their lifestyle in order to have hope for a future, unlike older people who prefer their personal pleasure before the common good.