Are Gen Z Really That Different to Millenials?

16 February 2021

The generation focused on making change and seemingly undoing everything the boomer generation worked so hard for. There have never been more generational differences than we see in 2021.

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Despite their reputation for ruining the housing market and the diamond trade by preferring to spend their hard-earned cash on coffee and avocado, the reality is the oldest Millennials are now careering towards their 40s and likely have a family of their own.

Despite this, they are still blamed for seemingly everything that goes wrong in the economy while grappling with the fallout of the job market and property boost created by older generations.

But How Similar Really Are The Different Generations?

Joining in the melee that is the generation war between Millenials and Boomers are Gen Z. Gen Z are the generation of younger boomers, older Millennials and the mostly ignored generation that is the latch essential kids of the 80s, Gen X.

Hidden amongst the differences between Millenials and Gen Z is that they are both driven by a desire to create a better environment and a better world for those who will live in it after them. Being eco-conscious is what gets them both together when it comes to a matter of importance such as this.

Millennials have long been seen as the driving force of change.

This makes complete sense when you look at how the world changed as they grew up. Embracing the advances in technology and the rise of the internet and the online world, Millenials can come across as contradictory regarding how they live their lives.

Even so, Gen Z is looking to be largely following in their footsteps and making changes to their lifestyles to live a more sustainable lifestyle. With many Millenials eschewing excessive plastic and packaging and opting to complete tasks online overusing physical materials. Gen Z is the teens and young adults pushing through with gumption to create more long term sustainable choices that are damaging the world we live in.

One such way to follow how each generation's green values have evolved is to look at how they choose to live and the lifestyle they pursue. While Millenials have pushed through on eating less meat - 16% of Millenials have tried a vegan lifestyle compared to around 8% of Boomers, cutting down on excess products and plastic packaging, Gen Z has allowed this to evolve further by following their lead and making their voices heard on issues that are important to them. Around a third of Gen Z have proclaimed they wish to be living a fully vegan lifestyle by the end of 2021.

Downsizing Living Accommodation

Another such issue is that of houses and the tiny house movement. With a shift from living in big homes, that are unaffordable and eat into their income, many younger Millennials and Gen Z alike choose to downsize how they live and become more frugal to allow them money to spend what they deem to be essential.

Reducing Their Carbon Footprint

Far from being a generation of penny pinchers, living frugally is better for the bank balance and the environment. Many people choosing this lifestyle will eventually make changes to become self-sufficient including installing water tanks from tanks direct to capture rainfall to reuse, growing their fruit veggies and herbs and creating their own energy by using wind or solar power as much as possible.

With both Millenials and Gen Z pushing for change when it comes to climate control and protecting the environment for future generations, companies have noticed a shift in consumer patterns with more and more people looking to reduce their carbon footprint and eliminate as much waste as possible during their day to day lives. Recycling, upcycling, avoiding fast fashion and opting for electric cars are all sustainable ways to impact and reduce the damage done during their lives.

Equality and The Cancel Culture

There has been a long overdue in the qualities Gen Z especially expects of people. Fighting for equality isn't a new and novel fight, but they are carrying on laying new paths in the groundwork that has been laid and they aren't afraid to call out bad behaviour, racism and sexism along with fully embracing and supporting LBGTQIA and working to stamp out homophobia and transphobia pushing the narrative that Gen Z is the generation that is fully all-inclusive something previous generations have struggled to have accepted on this scale previously.

Do Millenials and Gen Z Have The Same Values?

It is fair to suggest that in reality, despite all the many differences in lifestyle and opinions, each generation is more similar than they would like to think. In fact, looking through history and causes closely championed by each different generational class, each one is merely a continuation of the previous. Except as a new generation reaches adulthood, they interpret contents and create their own ideas and methods of executing what they are passionate about.

In reality, it can be said that each generation before them has laid a foundation of sorts for the next one to carry on and allow it to burn brighter as changes and causes are brought to the forefront. It can be argued that in essence people's mindsets have changed over recent years and Millenials and Gen Z especially have more shared concerns and causes than potentially Millenials and Boomers have.

It has been said that despite their differences, both generations are the same and are fighting for the same things. While the younger of the two may be more frivolous with money than their older counterparts, Millenials were more financially secure at the same age, deep down they are fighting for the same things.

Is it fair to say that as each new generation reaches adulthood, their elders' qualities and values will too change and allow them to create their own way to enact change? There is still a lot each generation can learn from their predecessors. After all, there will always be a new fad, a new avocado toast, a new social media platform to saturate and new causes to fight for.

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