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Baby Boomers Have Heavy Footprints

Baby Boomers Have Heavy Footprints

Did you grow up during a time when plastic was having its heyday? In fact, maybe you recall this line from the movie, The Graduate:

“I just want to say one word to you…just one word…Plastics. There’s a great future in plastics.”

Dustin Hoffman’s character, Benjamin Braddock was told that plastic was his future. Of course when he refused the offer, he had no idea what that future would hold for such a seemingly innocuous word. Flash-forward more than 40 years, and now plastic is overrunning our planet. Each year we create over 200 million tons of the stuff and our plastic obsession continues to double every twenty years.

There seems to be two sets of baby boomers. One set of folks has always lived a green lifestyle, and the other set has embraced all the conveniences and excesses that accompany our modern life. Going green is not a new concept to the first group. They used cloth towels instead of paper, dried their clothes outside, mended clothes to last longer and turned down the heat to save money.

AARP provides an interesting infographic that tells the (not-so-green) baby boomer story:

“Studies show that the baby boomers have the highest footprint among all age groups. They represent the first generation of the consumer society and bring high levels of spending to middle and later life.”

This left me with a few questions. Does having more money later in life equate with having a higher carbon footprint? How can we harness the interest and enthusiasm of our generation to tackle the ailments of our planet for our children and grandchildren? Can we start with plastic?

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Conservation, EcoNesting, Green, Home, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, , , , , , , , , ,

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Ronnie Citron-Fink

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer, editor and educator. She has written hundreds of articles about sustainable living, the environment, design, and family life for websites, books and magazines. Ronnie is the creator of Econesting, and the managing editor of Moms Clean Air Force. Ronnie was named one of the Top Ten Living Green Experts by Yahoo. Ronnie lives in New York with her family.


+ add your own
7:20AM PDT on May 10, 2013

not surprised....but this was part of the baby-boom generation, more creature comforts, more turning wants into needs, and less thinking of the future and more focus only on the present

1:55AM PDT on May 10, 2013


7:16AM PST on Feb 28, 2013


9:10AM PST on Feb 27, 2013


5:21AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

Don't lump everyone in the same category.

4:56PM PDT on Jul 25, 2011


3:17AM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

It's sickening to realize what we've done to our oceans with plastics.

1:21AM PDT on May 29, 2011

in the article you ask "Does having more money later in life equate with having a higher carbon footprint?
I say to you ...ask Al Gore in his huge mansion & private jets, ask Michael Moore, ask any other rich liberal....

I would bet dollars to donuts that their "footprint" is way larger than mine is. i refill my plastic bottles....

7:36AM PDT on May 21, 2011


5:27AM PDT on May 18, 2011


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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