Conventional to Conscious

It is October, a pretty special month in the eco-conscious world. Not only is it the perfect month to take lovely autumnal walks and enjoy nature, it also is the month of Project Green Challenge.

Project Green Challenge is run by Turning Green – a student led global movement that is dedicated to advocacy and education of all things environmentally sustainable and socially responsibly (you go guys!). Through 30 days of environmentally themed challenges the project is encouraging students to question the status quo and implement positive change, and we are excited to see where it takes them.

With all these students choosing to make a positive change, it’s had us thinking about students and their power to choose. There are millions of students across the world, so it is no surprise their choices make a huge impact on overall market consumption and trends.

So, what are students choosing?

One of the fastest growing lifestyle movements in the UK is veganism and this movement is being driven by young people and students. Currently, close to half of all UK vegans are within the 15-34 age category. This change in consumption has already had a great effect on what stores are selling and menu options at cafés and restaurants. You can walk into most supermarkets and be greeted with a range of dairy-free, meat-free, vegan certified options.

And the movement doesn’t stop there. The organic market seems to be ever growing worldwide. People are choosing products that are produced without harm to soil, water, air, humans or any other species. The students of today are leading the trend from conventional to conscious: a study of over 30000 people showed that the most health-centric group of people to be those born between 1990 and 2000. Millennials, it seems, are more concerned than previous generations about what is in their food and cosmetics, and importantly the overall lifecycle of these items. And with organic certification clearer than ever it is now easier for everyone to use their consumption vote to support organic practices.

A recent campaign promoting the reasons to go organic
The Soil Association are one of leading organic certifiers, based in the UK

The large impact students have can’t only be seen in their consumption but also in their politics. This year’s snap election in the UK saw a record turnout of young people, which greatly influenced the results and showed that the youth vote really matters.

Project Green Challenge aims to show students the clear power they have. PGC-participants get set different challenges each day that make them think about how the products they want, the companies they support, and the practices they endorse affect the world and the environment. Most students are not aware how much their consumption vote actually matters.

Each day brings into the spotlight different areas of everyday life under new scrutiny. There are themed PGC days such as ‘Body’, which highlights the impact of everyday exposure to synthetic materials and chemicals can have on our skin, and ‘Wellness’, examining the impact products and how the lifestyles we lead impact on our wellbeing.

With a different theme each day, students are realising all the different aspects that their purchases have an effect on, whilst learning about all the little changes they can make to have a more ethical, greener lifestyle.

There is an array of reasons to go organic and use your consumption vote in an ethical way. With so many resources, infographics, and TEDx Talks at the tip of consumers’ fingers and endless organic food and lifestyle blogs, it never has been easier to go green.

If you’re a student and are wondering what you can do, why not check out Turning Green’s website, where you can find more information about the different Project Green Challenges and the stories behind them.

Find out what challenges are out there and follow along, look for the hashtag #PGC2017!

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