UK people aged 55+ are more likely to recycle their waste (84%), avoid single-use-plastic (66%) and buy only seasonal fruit and vegetables (47%), compared to UK adults in any other age group, according to research from Aviva.
A survey of around 4,000 UK adults found that when asked about climate-conscious actions, in almost every category, over-55s were most likely to be taking steps already.
Their behaviours also include shopping at local stores (63%), using LED light bulbs (88%) and growing their own vegetables (37%).
One notable exception relates to people adopting a vegan diet. Over-55s are least likely to be vegan, at just 2% of this age group, while 9% of under-25s say they eat a purely plant-based diet.
Environmental consciousness is also influencing which brands UK adults choose, with two thirds (68%) of adults across all age groups more likely to pick brands with sustainable or climate-aware credentials.
Zelda Bentham, Group Head of Sustainability for Aviva said: “Green living and climate-conscious behaviours are often seen as the domain of the young, but this research suggests that older people are quietly leading the charge and taking steps to care for the planet.
“Whether we’re reducing plastic, growing our own food or reducing how often we travel - or even what we purchase or how we invest our money - we can all take small steps which can add up to a big difference.”
Activity to reduce environmental impact
16-24 years 25-34 years (%)
35-44 years (%)
45-54 years (%)
55+ years (%)
All age groups (%)
Avoiding single-use plastic items
Eating only seasonal fruit and vegetables
Planting trees / growing own vegetables
Reducing meat eaten in household