A power hungry generation

A power hungry generation

Few generations have been as dependent on electricity as Gen Y, however new research has found the energy conservation message might not be getting through.

Monash University PhD candidate Samantha Smith from the Department of Marketing has explored the environmental opinions and influences of Gen Y (commonly seen as people aged 13 to 30) students, and found few feel the need to conserve energy in the face of environmental messages.

“Without question, Gen Y’s are big users of technology as multiple aspects of their life involve and rely on online technologies,” Ms. Smith said.

“The results of the research confirmed the heavy reliance Gen Y’s have on and highlighted the role that social media plays in creating this reliance.

“Feedback from participants also indicated that Gen Y’s are dismissive of the impact they can and do have on the environment and that, when electricity is restricted, it is not uncommon for Gen Ys to experience a degree of stress.”  

The findings also confirmed the “effort” Gen Y’s associate with being environmentally friendly, and highlighted the role that parents play in curbing their electricity usage.

“In this age of climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and using energy more efficiently it is vital to ensure the future health of the environment. Yet, paradoxically, this is also the age of advances in energy hungry technology - plasma TVs, iPods, iPads, smart phones and lap top computers are all affordable, common place and well-used items in Gen Y households,” Ms. Smith said.

“Environmental social marketing campaigns are therefore vital to ensure consumers are aware of and act to curb their electricity usage.”

In order to encourage Gen Y to be both mindful of how they use electricity and of their need to reduce it, Ms. Smith believes it is important marketers have a better understanding of the relationship Gen Y has with electricity and the factors that influence the way they use it.

“Any social marketing campaign attempting to influence Gen Ys to limit their electricity usage should employ a call to action that relates directly to them and their life stage,” Ms. Smith said.

“It should also take into account the higher value Gen Ys appear to give to cost or monetary savings than to environmental benefits.

“The results of my research hopefully provide both social and consumer marketers with a new and valuable insight into the environmental thoughts and actions of an elusive yet instrumental group.”


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Citation: A power hungry generation (2012, May 4) retrieved 22 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-power-hungry.html
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May 04, 2012
Why should we reduce our energy consumption? Lets get rid of the energy guilt by building massively efficient (TW/acre/year) nuclear power reactors.

Lets start building the next gen reactors ASAP!

IMO, they should be lead cooled and mass produced and shipped to pre-fabbed sites. Eventually they would be traveling wave, but they can be 'traditional' fast reactors for now.

PS-They can't melt down and can cool completely passively.

May 04, 2012
Also, I want to point out that we shouldn't stop trying to make things more energy efficient. But to suggest a lifestyle change will surely fail.

May 04, 2012
Something is not appreciated until it is gone.
Every teenager should be spend summers (and a winter) at boot camps in a primitive wilderness.

May 04, 2012
a smartphone and a laptop, power hungry?????
I can think of more power hungry applications that need to be taken care of.
Washing machine, dry machines, dishwashing machines, vacume cleaners, microwaves etc.

May 04, 2012
*a* smartphone and *a* laptop aren't big deals, but when there are 3-5 per household, it starts to add up fast. What you mention is spot on though.

Also, huge energy savings could be achieved with simple solar water heaters. PV solar cells have nothing on them in terms of cost or efficiency (yet).

May 04, 2012
Generation Y are less likely to drive, and if they own a car to drive it less than previous generation. They have a much smaller carbon dioxide footprint than that of older folk. What more do you want?

May 04, 2012
Generation Y are less likely to drive, and if they own a car to drive it less than previous generation. They have a much smaller carbon dioxide footprint than that of older folk. What more do you want?


It's just the baby boomers, who spent everyone else into the hole, looking for someone to blame all their troubles in life.

May 04, 2012
Even a TV uses more power than laptop and smartphone combined maybe even 2 of both.

May 04, 2012
Don't forget to take population increase into account. We need a lot more energy soon. Coal/fossil fuels aren't going to cut it. Plus, they turn some nations into 3rd world states due to lack of domestic energy resources.

May 04, 2012
I wouldn't count on population increase in the future any more though. A lot of countries are greying and there are so many people now that a lot of people become to poor to even sustain themselves.
Also banks and governments are making such drastic cuts everywhere, that population can not grow any further...

May 04, 2012
kaas, unfortunately the places with the highest birthrates are amongst the poorest nations. Many of the nations barely have goverments, so its not like cuts would do much to stop the growth.

The only thing known to be effective in slowing the birthrate is an increase in the quality of life. IE more goods/services provided to each citizen per unit of energy.

May 04, 2012

The only thing known to be effective in slowing the birthrate is an increase in the quality of life. IE more goods/services provided to each citizen per unit of energy.


Which means more fossil fuels used and more CO2 emmisions. It is a vicious cycle.

May 04, 2012
@shotman: see my first comment.

May 04, 2012
amongst the poorest nations. Many of the nations barely have goverments,

They have enough govt to keep them poor.
You must not have watched Stossel's special a few years ago demonstrating it is the type of govt that determines rich or poor, not population.
http://freedomcha...sel.html

May 05, 2012
Many of the countries in Africa and I think one country in the middle east are still a century, or more, behind the U.S. in terms of infrastructure.

You can't make solar power there, because there is no grid to distribute it anyway.

They have no water management at all, so every time they fall 10% behind average rainfall, they have a famine.

Now world population increase?

One third of WORLD population growth is coming from India and Pakistan alone (not to mention census figures don't even take into account how many of them are migrating to other nations, and contributing to those nations net increase, such as the U.S. and Europe.) Their combined population is currently growing at a rate of about 300 million per decade net gain, about the entire population of the U.S., and they aren't "uneducated". They have established governments and are nuclear states. Their average education is probably not as good as ours, but their best performers are better than the U.S.

May 05, 2012
You can't make solar power there, because there is no grid to distribute it anyway.

Why is a grid required?
A few solar panels, an inverter and battery would help out a lot of people.
This would be a nice addition to any neighborhood: http://www.infini...ish.html

the countries in Africa and I think one country in the middle east are still a century, or more, behind the U.S. in terms of infrastructure.

How many are constitutional republics that respect private property rights?
Just another example of the failures of socialism.

May 05, 2012
No one is going to voluntarily reduce their energy use. Anyone thinking "getting the message out" is going to make a ratz-azz differences is also naive enough to believe in cataclysmic AGW to begin with.

May 05, 2012
Why should we reduce our energy consumption?


Because the "progressive" liberal left, would rather government regulate and control energy use. For them, it's not a matter of the market determining energy sources and use, it's about social engineering the bahavior of the masses.

May 05, 2012
It doesn't make any sense to slow energy use down, or to slow the economy down artificially. The political left approach this issue complete wrong.

Even if theoretically possible (it's not in free societies), this would only cause the state of energy use to stagnate and stay the same, which means it would prolong the use of coal/oil.

We want the economics to operate as they would naturally, which means flat out. Once traditional energy becomes scarcer it will inevitably become more and more expensive, at which time the profit potential for alternatives and ability to compete with co2 based energy will emerge naturally into the market. The market is the final arbitor of energy use on massive scales, not the social engineers.

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