Nine out of ten of Millennials and Gen Z’s believe that the environment is only getting worse, and if you don’t know why, consider this to be your very own reality shock.
A recent survey revealed the island’s younger generations’ thoughts on the economy, the environment, and their future, and there was an overwhelming, yet promising concern, for the ecological destruction that is currently ensuing.
EY, a global organisation, conducted a survey among over 750 Generation-Z (ages 17-25) and Millennials (ages 26-40) in Malta between August and September of 2021.
The survey was designed to unveil the respondents’ opinions on local issues where many said that overdevelopment, the environment and traffic form Malta’s biggest challenges.
This survey revealed a lot of interesting things about the way in which these different, yet pretty similar, generations think and one thing that both almost unanimously agreed on was that the environment has just gotten worse.
However, it still wasn’t considered as the island’s biggest challenge, overdevelopment took the cake instead with a 68% majority.
The environment came second in the ranking with 55% picking it as Malta’s biggest challenge.
“Nine out of every ten youths in Malta believe that Malta’s environment is getting worse. An extremely high result that demonstrates young people today have developed a very strong environmental conscience,” the survey said.
“Those that claim that it is getting worse increased for both generations in a single year by around 5%,” it continued.
In fact, the island’s youth believe that the government should prioritise investing in pollution reduction and waste management.
Another question showed that those that believe that living conditions will be worse in five years time increased by 8-10% since last year. This could be due to environmental worries, however, this was not specified.
According to the survey, the respondents gave some strong comments on Malta’s environment and showed subsequent support for greening projects around the island.
Many want to see afforestation plans take precedence over developments that uproot trees and remove naturally kept areas.
Their proposals were categorised into three:
1) Protecting ODZ areas and natural sites
2) Expanding woodland where possible
3) Greenifying urban areas and creating more green lungs in busy town centres.
Some even argued that such initiatives would open new economic avenues rather than disrupt financial growth. Besides this, they will improve people’s overall quality of life through cleaner air, open spaces and “nature in its purest form”.
“They also mention education campaigns on waste management, tackling harmful single-use plastics through legislation and decreasing our reliance on heavy fossil fuels by shifting to renewables.”
Do you think that the environment has gotten worse?