Even before the pandemic struck, there has been a rising demand for sustainability across many different industries. Consumers are now more eco-conscious of their lifestyles and work harder than ever to reduce their carbon footprint. One of the ways they’re endeavoring to do this is by making their homes more environmentally friendly. An eco-friendly home is self-sufficient, meaning that it makes most resources such as natural light and energy. It also uses low-maintenance materials and installations so that maintaining the home does not consume an inordinate amount of resources either.
There is also an increasing demand for sustainable workplaces and business models. Financial advisors for small businesses and larger enterprises recommend that companies incorporate sustainable practices into their business models and manufacturing processes and market them. As such, businesses that continue to disregard the demand for sustainability might not survive this new climate.
Millennials favor sustainability
Millennials, or those born from 1981 to 1996, are the largest age bracket in today’s workforce. Their collective purchase decisions have a substantial influence on the market. This generation and the one immediately after it, known as Generation Z, are more environmentally concerned than older generations, and this can clearly be seen in their destruction of the fast fashion industry.
They’re also rallying to work at sustainable companies.
So much so that they would rather earn less in a company with sustainable practices than earn more at an environmentally irresponsible company. Of course, the pandemic has likely changed this as many people struggle with unemployment and lack of job security. But it goes to show how far this generation would be willing to go for a more sustainable lifestyle.
Before the pandemic, millennials had been putting off buying homes due to financial instability. But since the Coronavirus hit, 28% of millennials with no home of their own are now finally interested in buying their first home. According to the National Association of Home Builders, they’re interested in homes made with ethically and sustainably sourced materials and have appliances that consume less energy for lighting, heating, and cooling.
Smart and modernized home technology
Millennials are tech-savvy and want their homes to accommodate this facet of their lifestyle. Having smart technology in their homes is a popular trend among millennial homebuyers. Smart technology is often marketed to be more sustainable in that it can help minimize the consumption of resources such as water and electricity. This cost-effective feature is also what allows smart technology to be a good investment in the long run.
Gadgets and appliances such as smart thermostats, smart security systems, and high-efficiency washers and dryers have a big appeal among millennial consumers. Though they might be expensive to purchase upfront, these home installations will help you save on water and electricity in the long run. Smart technology can also boost a home’s real estate value.
The biggest motivator: finances
Research shows that although millennials and Gen Z are more environmentally conscious, their lack of financial stability holds them back from investing in their dreams’ sustainable lifestyle. Many in the millennial and Gen Z age groups are swimming in student debt loans that they’re likely still going to be paying off long after graduation. Millennials also have a clear memory of growing up in the 2008 global recession and entered the job market in an economy that has seen better days. Still, millennials are shown to be more willing to splurge on smart and sustainable home features if they can see themselves reaping the rewards of their cost-cutting features. So what does the future hold for millennials who want a sustainable life while still improving their finances? It seems they are the ones who must decide what the market will offer.