Top 20 ways to be sustainable as more adults likely to go vegan to help planet

Gen Z and millennials are most likely to go vegan and veggie to help the planet – while baby boomers are leading the way when it comes to shopping local and going plastic-free, according to research.

A study of 2,000 adults has examined the actions being taken by different generations to help the environment.

It found that those aged 18 to 24 are nearly twice as likely to have made ‘green’ changes to their lifestyles than those over 60, the baby boomer generation.

The younger group also came out on top when it comes to using reusable nappies and sanitary products and buying shampoo and conditioner bars, both a benefit to the planet and their purses.

However, baby boomers are leading the way when it comes to air drying clothes rather than tumble drying, protecting the planet and the longevity of their garments.

They also buy more loose fruit and veg to cut back on plastic and are more likely to compost their food waste, the study found.

These people are more likely to be good to the environment

They are also most likely to grow their own fruit and veg, turn off lights and gadgets when they aren’t in use and cycle or walk to avoid driving.

Colin Banks, Head of Sponsorship & Partnerships of green power company OVO, which commissioned the research to mark the launch of its bike share scheme in Glasgow, Cardiff and The Vale, said: “It’s great to see that everyone is making an effort to go green, but there are some interesting differing habits between age groups.

“While younger people are more likely to make more dramatic lifestyle changes such as changing their diet or the way they shop, older people are going back to what they know from their childhoods by air drying clothes and ditching the car and doing a collection of smaller things that collectively make a big difference.

“We can all make small changes to do our bit and live better. It’s great to see that no matter our age, we’re all getting behind fighting the climate crisis.”

Plastic straws and cups
Cutting out plastic straws and cups is a good way to be ‘green’

The study also found 86% of adults consider themselves to be environmentally friendly in the way they live and shop.

And more than half (52%) would be prepared to pay an extra 11% for a version of a product that is more environmentally friendly than cheaper alternatives, as 27% often feel guilty about the things they do and the impact it has on the environment.

This is also true for how Brits travel, as more than half (56%) want to explore more sustainable travel options, with more than a quarter (27%) wanting to swap driving for cycling in order to reduce their carbon footprint.

Despite this ambition, the study carried out via OnePoll found the reality is that that motor car is still the most popular way for Brits to commute to work, being used by 28% of adults.

Fewer than one in 20 regularly cycle to their workplace, and just six per cent are likely to catch the bus when they need to commute showing how bike schemes can make it easier for these Brits to make their ambitions a reality.

Colin Banks added: “We have created the new green routes, a map for residents and visitors to use with the new OVO Bikes in Cardiff and Glasgow, to explore a selection of sustainable spots and support the local economy.”


1. Turned off lights when leaving the room

2. Taken a reusable bag to the supermarket instead of buying one

3. Turned off the tap while brushing my teeth

4. Recycled as much as possible in the kerbside collections

5. Used LED light bulbs

6. Reduced food waste

7. Air-dried towels and clothes

8. Switched off gadgets at the wall when not in use

9. Had more showers instead of baths

10. Bought plastic free products, where possible, such as loose fruit and veg rather than pre packaged items

11. Walked or cycled more to avoid driving

12. Bought local produce

13. Swapped plastic water bottles for a reusable water bottle

14. Ditched plastic straws

15. Used resealable packing to avoid food wastage

16. Picked up litter and put it in the correct bin

17. Composted food waste

18. Washed clothes in cold temperature to reduce carbon footprint

19. Ditched single use plastics (not including plastic water bottles, plastic bags)

20. Used cloths instead of paper towels

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