One thing we know is that Millennials love to spend money even if they can’t afford luxury goods. The other is that Boomers have lots of money to spend on luxury goods but are less targeted by luxury brands. Happy earth day! Here are some facts on how both Millennials and Boomers see the green side when it comes to lifestyle. This may be an entry for luxury brands to capture both target markets for Millennials and Boomers. A solution to educate both target audiences for greener causes and greener profit earnings.

In the past year, reports have indicated that Americans are more concerned about economic growth than they are about the environment. However, this does not mean that people in the US are not aware of environmental issues and trying to do their part to live more responsibly.

Earth Day Luxury Brands

Today marks the 43rd annual Earth Day, a day devoted to increasing environmental awareness and inspiring more sustainable attitudes toward conserving the planet. Yet, while there is a pervasive trend of consumers feeling that protecting the environment is very important, the DDB Life Style Study® reveals that even though attitudinal concerns about the environment are high, reported “green” behavior levels lag. Most are not willing to choose the environment over their wallets or quality of life.

When surveyed on the topic, 83% of American adults say that protecting the world’s ecosystems is important, 85% say that recycling is important, 73% say that reducing the use of packaging is important, and 72% say that whether a business ensures that its practices have minimal social/environmental impact is important. In fact, whether a business is as efficient as possible in its energy use is important to 75% of Americans and whether business’s buildings are as “green” as possible is important to 63% of Americans.

While 61% of American adults say they make a strong effort to recycle everything they possibly can, and an equal number claim they always separate the recyclables from the rest of the trash, only 51% use a reusable grocery bag as much as possible, and 49% say they use a refillable water bottle when they drink water outside of the home.

Unfortunately, when push comes to shove, most Americans are not willing to spend more to support environmental concerns. Only 43% would pay more for an environmentally safe version of a product, only 37% would be willing to accept a lower standard of living to conserve energy, and only 43% make a special effort to buy from businesses that are environmentally conscious.

While Millennials have some catching up to do on the recycling front, they can be commended for two behaviors where they outpace Boomers. Millennials are significantly more likely than Boomers to say they use a refillable water bottle when they drink water outside of the home (54% v. 46%) and they are much more likely to say they own a hybrid car (8% v. 4%) or electric car (7% v. 1%).

While Millennials have some catching up to do on the recycling front, they can be commended for two behaviors where they outpace Boomers. Millennials are significantly more likely than Boomers to say they use a refillable water bottle when they drink water outside of the home (54% v. 46%) and they are much more likely to say they own a hybrid car (8% v. 4%) or electric car (7% v. 1%).

 Big Spenders Millennials No Greener Than Rich Boomers Total Millennials Boomers
 SAMPLE SIZE 6429 1922 2221
I would pay more for an environmentally-safe version of a product 43% 46% 41%
I don’t think global warming actually exists 28% 25% 30%
I make a strong effort to recycle everything I possibly can 61% 53% 66%*
I always separate the recyclables from the rest of the trash 61% 53% 64%*
I use a reusable grocery bag as much as possible 51% 46% 54%*
I use a refillable water bottle when I drink water outside of the home 49% 54%* 46%
I make a special effort to buy from businesses that are environmentally conscious 43% 42% 43%
I would be willing to accept a lower standard of living to conserve energy 37% 41% 36%
How important is this issue to you: Recycling 85% 81% 87%*
How important is this issue to you: Composting 59% 58% 60%
How important is this issue to you: Reducing the use of packaging 73% 70% 75%
How important is this issue to you: Whether a business ensures that its practices have minimal social/environmental impact 72% 71% 72%
How important is this issue to you: Protecting the world’s ecosystems 83% 82% 84%
How important is this issue to you: Whether a business is as efficient as possible in their energy use 75% 73% 76%
[Own a car] I own a hybrid car 6% 8%* 4%
[Own a car] I own an electric car 4% 7%* 1%

*significant difference between groups

The DDB Life Style Study® is the nation’s longest running and largest longitudinal study of attitudes and behaviors. Conducted annually since 1975, the sample is balanced to the US Census on gender, age and race. This proprietary survey, with its 600+ questions, enables DDB to provide exceptional insight into American consumer attitudes and behaviors. The 2013 study was fielded among 6,429 respondents during January 2013. ©2013 DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc.

For further information on Omnicom and its brands, please visit www.omnicomgroup.com

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