By Kadejah Brathwaite
From lazy to self-centered, millennials have been criticized for just about everything. But these rumored egoistic, selfie-taking, job-hopping 23 to 38-year-olds actually contribute to society in a way that is unnoticed.
Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials grew up in a time when technology skyrocketed, birthing the internet and later, cell phones and social media. These new gadgets gave us quick access to information and influenced us to have an independent, strong-willed mindsets when it comes to social causes, voting and even purchasing this one thing (and it’s not a caramel frappuccino).
It’s a sustainable product.
According to the Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, 73% of global millennials are willing to pay extra cash for a sustainable product. I can attest to this fact because whenever I am shopping for skincare products specifically, the question of its usefulness to myself and the environment always comes into play. I pay more for environmentally-friendly, cruelty-free, vegan products because I know my conscious spending can make a positive difference on earth.
One millennial, in particular, is using his platform to expose his followers to shopping that not only consists of buying a product for its healthiness but shopping that encourages investing in the product as a way to transform lifestyles and save the ecosystem.
Jaden Smith, singer, actor and entrepreneur has been creating and collaborating with dependable companies since he was 11 years old. Just one year into his double digits the teen coined JUST Water, a water bottle company that is intentional about using natural spring water, paper and sugarcane to create reusable bottles.
Fast forward 10 years and Smith celebrated his 21st birthday, recently, by passing out vegan, healthy food to the homeless in Los Angeles through his pop-up food truck, “I Love You Restaurant.” Volunteering to feed the homeless is not an unheard-of good deed, but Smith expanded the concept by also raising awareness about his restaurant that serves sustainable vegan meals which are known to reduce greenhouse gases.
One and a half million Americans are vegan and 50 percent of them are young adults. So, while it may seem like we are self-absorbed and can’t function without a WiFi connection, we are also reducing our carbon footprint with our thoughtful purchases, and I don’t see us stopping anytime soon.