How to turn Millennials into sustainability champions

Millennials – that is, young adults born between 1980 and the early 1990s and also known as Generation Y – have been given a bad rap. Labeled as lazy, pampered, spoiled, aimless (and myriad other not-exactly-true titles), Gen Y has struggled to prove its worth during a very trying time in our country’s history.

As a Millennial, I find the flak thrown at my generation to be unfair at best. Sure, there are members of Generation Y who fit the labels – but, to be fair, what generation doesn’t have members who are entitled, spoiled and/or lazy? The public is fascinated with stories of Millennial mass unemployment, insurmountable student loan debt and the growth of a generation of Peter Pans who might never venture away from the nest.

What many generally fail to see is all of the good within my generation’s ranks. The creatives. The go-getters. The scholars. The philanthropes. They’re all there, trying to find their way in the world when so many have said they can’t make it. The system is against them and still they press on, creative by choice and entrepreneurial by necessity. And marketers need to pay close attention – after all, Millennials will soon be the most powerful spending force (their spending power is currently estimated to be around $990 billion).

Attracting Millennials’ attention isn’t too difficult – all it takes is an understanding of their makeup. Here are a few things about Millennials to keep in mind:

1) They are true technology natives. Not only comfortable multi-tasking, they are also comfortable multi-screening, that is, moving between multiple pieces of technology. From laptops and tablets, to smartphones and beyond, they love the way technology intersects with their lives, and honestly couldn’t live without their favorite devices.

Try engaging them through their multiple screens. You might be surprised that they not only engage with you, but also appreciate that someone understands their multi-screen lifestyle.

Next page: Hold the guilt, please