Old people don’t care about the environment! Of the clichés that have the hard skin of our elderly, this one is one of the most unfair. Older people in particular are concerned about climate change and concerned about future generations. On the occasion of World Environment Day, next Sunday 5 June, we set the record straight to do honor to dedicated seniors† Especially those who fight for the environment, biodiversity and life, regardless of their age!
When we think of the faces of the fight against climate change, we immediately quote Greta Thunberg, a 19-year-old Swedish activist who became known for her school strikes when she was a minor. In our French regions, the environmentalist Camille Etienne, 24, embodies the struggle against industrial powers. In short, you have understood that young people under 25 are emerging as THE generation that wants to put the fight against climate change at the center of its political agenda.
Way behind, would the old people be just selfish people who only think about spending their retirement in peace and far from the surrounding noise? In any case, it is one of the prejudices that stick to the skin of our elderly. However, the elderly not only feel involved in ecological struggle, but are also part of those who are most committed to a more sustainable way of life every day and environmentally responsible.
Buy local, turn off electrical appliances: the good green habits of our elderly
The impact of freight transport on the environment no longer needs to be demonstrated. Faced with this finding, the vast majority of older people are ready or have already changed their consumption pattern to reduce the impact of its consumption on the planet. This is generally more than the rest of the French and European population. For example, according to a study carried out by the market research agency BVA, on behalf of the European Investment Bank, and published on the website of The cross, nearly 3 in 10 (28%) of people over 65 have already reduced their red meat consumption, compared to 24% of adults aged 30 to 64. Older people also buy 89% local and seasonal products against 87% of the European population.
As for the little habits that are good for the planet, our elders are also involved. Indeed, they are the champions of selective sorting: 95% of the over-65s use it, compared to 82% of the young. Finally, 82% of older people have adopted the good habit of turning off their electrical appliances instead of leaving them on standby (80% in the rest of the European Union). But it is not only in the small aspects of everyday life that older people are committed to the climate and the protection of the environment. Some even go so far as to devote all of their old age to the environment.
Dedicate your old age to activism
Like Pat, 70, who is taking advantage of his retirement to clean up the beaches. As reported by the Little Brothers of the Poor, an association fighting against the isolation of the elderly, the seven-year-old, originally from Cornwall, has given himself a mission: to clean one beach a week. In 2018, the maker of “The Last Straw”An awareness campaign against plastic pollution has cleaned up no fewer than 52 beaches.
like pat, many elderly people spend their old age on voluntary work† According to the Ministry of Health, 5 million elderly and elderly people are thus invested in the associative environment. While some choose to distribute food baskets to people in precarious situations, others are concerned with other areas. Engagement can then be a novelty in their life as retirees, allowing them to remain active after a lifetime of work. But it can also be a fight that only ends when the strength of the person involved can no longer bear it.
This is how humanity experiences “sensible”, these whistleblowers or whistleblowers whose seniority is an authority in the current media landscape. Example with Raoni Metuktire, 89 years old. He is one of the great leaders of the Kayapo people and the emblematic figure of the struggle for the preservation of the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous tribes. For four decades, the leader has been tirelessly trying to convince world leaders to take action to protect planet Earth’s lungs.
“The forest is bleeding, I feel it in my heart. They pour more poison on the earth than gold. They are like the living dead, covered with golden mud. †
Addressing heads of state, a strategy that is far from isolated.
Elderly people on the Élysée: a strategy to save the planet?
With the Little Brothers of the Poor, several beneficiaries sent letters to presidential candidates. Objective ? Tell them about their concerns, as well as their recommendations regarding various social and… environmental issues!
Nearly a hundred women and men, aged 57 to 97, from all regions of France took part in this large-scale project called ‘Words of Old Voters’. The latter made it possible to identify several requests of this generation in the field of ecology:
- Simplify access to residential energy renovation procedures and support the most modest elderly in performing these procedures.
- Prefer short circuit products for retirement homes and home food delivery.
- Make ecology one of the themes of prevention workshops intended for the elderly.
“We do too much waste. Everything is super packed. †
Marguerite, 91, in temporary winter home
For example, in a letter in which we feel the urgency to act, Edmée, 87, urged the future president to take concrete action: “They should do more about ecology. Let them stop talking, make us promises, but let them actually act. Not for us, it’s too late, but for our children and future generations. † And to insist on the importance for the French government to give substantial resources to the fight against climate change: “There are people who do good things, who go to extremes. Our leaders must help them. †
Because the words of old men and women count, the association of the Little Brothers of the Poor was also able to supervise the invitation of two people it accompanies, Patricia and Raymond, to the Élysée. The two comrades were part of the working group of the Citizen Climate Convention and were able to visit the presidential palace in June 2020 along with 148 other people. “It takes a lot of work because we first had to process a lot of information about all the themes. It is very broad, it goes from everyday consumption to the energy modes of the future”Patricia explained about this “a great adventure as intellectual as it is human”†
Her commitment to the Citizen Climate Convention is important to her. But she is convinced that a mobilization of the entire population is necessary: “If everyone does a little bit, we save the planet for our children and our grandchildren, that’s the most important thing. † Doesn’t the truth also come from the mouth of grandparents?
Know more about these elderly who challenge prejudice and move society † To discover the inspiring portraits of the Little Brothers of the Poor that prove that age is no barrier to convictions †