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?


Dave C.
David C4 years ago

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

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se4 years ago


Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton4 years ago


Alicja Kramek
Alicja Kramek4 years ago


Nimue Pendragon

Don't lump everyone in the same category.

Sarah M.
Sarah M6 years ago


Abbe A.
Azaima A6 years ago

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

Sue T.
Susan T6 years ago

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....

Hege Torset
Hege Torset6 years ago


Masha Samoilova
Past Member 6 years ago