“Green” and trend: how to work with generations on ecology issues

"Green" and trend: how to work with generations on ecology issues

About the expert: Evgenia Shamis is the founder and CEO of Sherpa S Pro, the founder and coordinator of the Rugenerations Research Center – generation theory in Russia.

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Some experts call the Soviet waste management system not the most effective, while others, on the contrary, urge it to be guided.

In the USSR, there were points of reception of secondary raw materials.

It was possible to pass the glassot, waste paper and scrap metal.

After the collapse of the USSR, the era of mass consumption came.

Together with goods that rapidly conquered the market, the amount of waste grew.

Economic problems came to the fore in the new state.

The reception points began to close, and dumps with waste – appear in unsuitable places for this.

For example, from 2005 to 2010, the volume of municipal solid waste (MSW) increased by at least 26%.

If in 2000 there were 220 kg of garbage per Russian, then ten years later this figure increased to 330 kg.

Now every resident of the country produces annually at least 400 kg of MSW.

The dynamics of waste formation is also very indicative: 2005 – 39.

1 million tons; 2006 – 42 million tons; 2007 – 44.

1 million tons; 2008 – 45.

8 million tons; 2009 – 48 million tons; 2010 – 49.

4 million tons.

In 2019, the country’s population left about 65 million tons of waste.

That is, every year the amount of garbage increases by an average of 2%.

Which is more important: economic growth or environmental protection From 1995 to 2011, Russians were more interested in environmental protection than economic growth.

However, four years ago, in 2017, priorities changed.

This is stated in a study of the World Values Survey survey in Russia.

Since 2011, it has been engaged in a laboratory of comparative social research to the Higher School of Economics.

Explain the examples.

In the 1990s and 2000s in Estonia, the population was equally interested in both the topic.

But by 2020, the environmental agenda became key.

61% of the population set the problem of ecology in the first place in importance.

Finland achieved these indicators earlier, at the beginning of the zero.

In Russia, the picture looks different so far.

42% of respondents are more interested in economic growth and the creation of jobs.

40% of Russians are puzzled by environmental protection issues.

For comparison: in the period from 2010 to 2014, 50.

2% of Russian residents were interested in the topic of ecology.

Not only interest in the environment has decreased, but also the degree of trust in environmental organizations.

The total level fell from 46 to 34%.

The number of Russians who do not trust such organizations at all has increased to 15%.

Previously, this indicator was only 4%.

Green economy How the attitude to the problems of ecology in Russia over the past 20 years has changed When the environmental agenda again became relevant In 2018, environmental protection was started with renewed vigor.

This topic was raised not only by eco -activists, but also by statesmen of all levels.

Due to the growth of garbage dumps and plans for the construction of new garbage plants in the country, a wave of rallies and protests swept through the country.

All this provoked the authorities to develop a new garbage reform, which began in Russia on January 1, 2019.

During its implementation, the percentage of waste processing should reach 36%.

Currently, 7% of waste is processed, 90% is still sent to landfills.

Landfills occupy an area comparable to the territory of Switzerland.

A year later, a place on landfills in 17 regions will end, and after three years – at 15.

Ecology and generation As it turned out, in the last 15 years, and especially in the conditions of pandemia, Russian consumers began to pay more attention to environmental and sustainable development issues, pay attention to how they themselves act and what is happening at home in the city.

Such an interest in climatic changes and environmental problems is manifested among representatives of all generations, for someone to a greater extent, in others-to less.

But the interest of each generation in its own way is manifested and called.

According to Yevgeny Shamis, now there is confusion in the world in the topic of generations and it leads to mistakes that companies, cities and countries.

At first, the difference seems insignificant – after all, the conversation is about the same topic, about the environment.

But from the point of view of companies that allocate large budgets for research, confusion can affect the attitude to the company, as a result of the purchase of products, services, as well as the choice of companies as a place of work.

What is the difference in generations? Studies clearly show that the Z (zumers) generation has no particular passion for environmental friendliness.

This value is most clearly manifested in generation Y (millennials), born in the 1980-1990s.

At the same time, their passion depends on the year of birth – i.


From the intensity of public dialogue about environmental and climatic problems that was in their childhood.

The most vivid environmental agenda is manifested in those born in the 1990s-more precisely, from 1989 to 1998.

But those who were born before 1989 and after 1999 did not observe super-interest in the problems of only ecology.

“I’ll tell you about the delusions.

The first – it seems that all generations react equally actively to the eco -review and consider it one of the key challenges of our time.

This is not so: everyone is more important to the topic, but each generation distinguishes something of its own, special, and the degree of importance of each generation has its own.

The youngest generation (children and adolescents of generation Z) does not refuse the idea of environmental friendliness, but makes a choice towards combining this agenda with scientific and practical solutions.

Discussing their participation in ecology programs, choosing what to buy or what to do, they are looking for themselves or expect from organizations of scientific evidence, specific scientifically based and proven decisions.

It’s just to use the terms “environmental friendliness”, “sustainable development” without integration with science for generation is not at all the story that they want to talk about and which will encourage them to actions.

The second great misconception is to believe that older generations are not interested in making planet and nature better.

Not at all: they are actively involved in this.

It’s just that of representatives of generations of X (born in 1964–1984) and “Baby-Bomers” (1944-1963) this is called and looks different: not just ecology and salvation of the planet, but a story about specific plants for garbage, furniture, furniture, furniture Plastic, specific actions of city services – loading and removal of garbage to different processing plants, system solutions.

For example, there was a period when, seeing different containers in the courtyards, many “Xsa” were delighted and began to sort garbage.

And then they saw that everyone was loading into one car-in the end they were upset, for some time they stopped sorting and trusting.

For “X” this violation of the value of honesty is very important for generation.

Therefore, it is important to understand what every generation has priorities in the eco -review and talk in generation languages in order to form trust and involve people, ”says Evgenia Shamis.

General habits are actively influenced.

For example, generation X turns off the light in the house behind everyone, the children of the Z generation turn off the water.

“Yes, there are more cranes in families that do not need to be twisted, or you can just lower down so that there is no excessive water waste.

But the main thing is that the children heard the message – there is not enough pure water, and there are countries where it is critical for life.

And they changed their behavior, it is important for us that this appeared in the behavior of children massively, ”explains Shamis.

The habit of generations X and “Baby-Bomers”-collection and sorting of garbage: they collected and handed over waste paper, scrap metal, glassot, participated in numerous subbotniks.

The recycling system was deployed into all republics and regions of the USSR.

All schools participated in such programs – classes competed among themselves for the number of kilograms collected, the winners of intra -school and city competitions received prizes.

And the cities were regularly cleaned of garbage.

We add to them the “silent generation” (1924-1943 years).

In childhood and adulthood, these generations existed and promoted family habits associated with the processing of garbage caused by socio-economic conditions.

For “six acres” or summer cottages, it was customary to collect food waste, sorting them separately for compost (food products) and for fertilizers (eggshell).

In families, plastic bags were erased in connection with the deficit, but, acting quite environmentally friendly from a modern position.

So, the representatives of Y will choose the ecology and environmental friendliness in its pure form, as a concept.

For them, the goals of the Sustainable Development of the UN are a direct indication of actions.

All other generations will choose the Ecology Plus approach.

Green economy What do young eco -activists say about their contribution to nature defense True attitude to nature People again began to be more responsible to nature and planet.

This is a new value that has become relevant in recent years, adds Shamis.

“We are not talking about individual countries, but about the planet and general challenges for all of us – an increase in temperature, changing the level of the oceans, plastic pollution, and soil pollution.

From the new one – now, in the childhood of generation Z, there is a lot of discussion on how these global challenges are related to our health.

One of the trends is the connection of environmental friendliness with the common, separated, public space.

Even for home space, we do not always choose environmental friendliness: either there are not enough solutions, or we do not know about many of them.

What can we say about the spaces of areas, cities, regions, countries.

I must say that now in the field of ecology there are many falsified and simplified answers that do not show the real situation, manipulate it.

Representatives of generation Y are often caught for this, but the “Zumers” check the information more, and understand what is really happening, ”said Shamis.

Therefore, sometimes environmental friendliness is used only as a word, but does not always denote real actions.

Why companies need to follow the “green” generations Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and volunteering associated with it are now included not only in the agenda of the business, but also in the concept of “good person” for generations Y and Z, the expert explains.

The importance of the CSR was appreciated by entrepreneurs of the whole country.

Companies understand that social responsibility increases the level of loyalty of not only partners and investors, but also consumers.

So, according to the global study of consumer behavior for 2020, the attention of the PWC, the attention of buyers has shifted to the ecology and sustainable development.

And companies need to follow these trends, the authors of the report are sure.

Innovation economy “To help”: how brands build their social role Organizations that pay considerable attention to environmental issues are more likely to achieve consumer loyalty and attract public attention.

The trend for sustainable development is observed in all areas of life.

The companies began to change plastic bags to more environmentally friendly options, install containers for collecting packaging packaging, collecting lids to create ramps, make works of art and life from recyclables, for example, at the fantastic plastic exhibition (Moscow, 2020), and 2020) That’s not all.

Sustainable development now conquers tourism.

The President of the Russian Union of Trade, Andrei Ignatiev, at one of the sessions within the framework of the PMEF-2021, spoke about the new trend: people under 35 years old (generation Y) began to prefer to travel to those places where garbage is divided, a fresh fish of a local manufacturer is used, and preference is given to renewable energy sources etc.

“Young people understand that we live on one planet,” says Ignatiev.

– We live in a global world, and they want to follow this trend.

The main criterion of sustainable tourism is a meaningful journey that does not harm the environment.

” Representatives of the tourism industry have already held two forums for sustainable tourism.

About 2 thousand people became participants in the first event.

Speakers from 30 countries were present: UK, Slovenia, Norway, Portugal, Poland, India, Thailand, the USA and others.

During the discussion, the participants voiced two main myths about ecotourism.

First: sustainable tourism attracts only eco -activists and volunteers.

The second myth: this type of tourism is not about profit.

“Both of these judgments are erroneous.

The tourist really will not go to Murmansk to gather garbage on the seashore.

But he will choose a hotel there, which will follow the “green” trend.

The demand for stability is already visible in everything, ”Ignatiev believes.

In September 2021, the Russian Union of Trade of Trade plans to make changes to its charter.

A new mission may appear in the document – the development of sustainable tourism in the country.

When Russia comes to a bright ecological future This question should not be limited only by emissions of CO2 and the agenda that is currently relevant.

Russia goes its way, where each step needs to be translated into specific actions and translated into a language that is understandable to every generation.

“There are much fewer millennials in our country than other generations – 11 million less than representatives of the X generation, and 7 million are already less than the“ Zumers ”.

In general, it is mistaken to focus on only one generation.

To involve people of various ages, you need different words, examples, actions – they will be a hint when each generation chooses its own.

It is important to remember: if for a generation this does not sound in his language and does not fall into the usual scenario of actions, people begin to ignore them, ”the Shamis summed up.

To speed up the process of achieving sustainable development goals, you need to do two important things.

The first is to talk about relevant topics in generation languages.

The second is to include generations in a discussion of environmental issues for the exchange of experience.

How can you help ecology Not only business and the state should monitor the purity of the environment and preservation of the planet.

People play a huge and most important role in this process.

Each person cannot do without personal responsibility.

To do this, just select one of the principles of Zero Waste or Low Waste.

For example, in the yards of many houses there are already containers for separate garbage collection.

The role of a citizen is to support this important initiative and divide the waste, to show an example to neighbors, to their children.

If you start at least with this step, then the path to changes is inevitable.


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    The Green Economy project is based on the need to protect national interests while strengthening global technological trends. Why we talk about GreenEconomy? Because human activity causes irreparable damage to the environment. Until recently, people lived according to the principle "after us, even a flood." Fortunately, today the trend is changing. The development of a green economy is a direct proof of this. And in DEEPLA we are committed.

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