by Kal Kalim

Challenges & Responsibilities: The younger generation and the climate crisis

One of the biggest challenges the younger generation faces in solvi...
Challenges & Responsibilities: The younger generation and the climate crisis

One of the biggest challenges the younger generation faces in solving the climate crisis is the urgency of the issue clashing with the pace of change. While there is growing awareness and concern about climate change among young people, the scale and complexity of the problem requires coordinated action on a global scale. However, progress is hindered by political inertia, vested interests and short-term economic policies that prioritise profit over sustainability.

The intergenerational nature of the climate crisis also presents a unique challenge. While young people are likely to bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change in the future, they have limited power and influence in decision-making processes compared to the older generation who hold positions of authority and control key institutions. This power imbalance is making it difficult for young people to enact meaningful change and advocate for their interests effectively.


The sheer magnitude of the climate crisis has already been overwhelming for young people leading to feelings of helplessness, anxiety and despair. Addressing climate change requires systemic changes across all sectors of society, which can seem daunting and insurmountable for individuals, especially those who are still in the early stages of their careers or education.

Despite these challenges, young people have shown incredible resilience, creativity, and determination in addressing the climate crisis. Through grassroots activism, advocacy, innovation, and collaboration, they are driving momentum for change and pushing for bold and ambitious climate solutions. By utilising their collective voice and power, young people have the potential to catalyse transformative action and create a more sustainable and equitable future for all.


It is going to take us reframing the conversation away from blame and towards collective action in order to harness our collective efforts and resources to address environmental challenges and create a more sustainable future for generations to come. It's time to focus on solutions, empower changemakers and work together to protect our planet for future generations.

Who is to be blamed for the climate crisis?

Blame and finger-pointing are counterproductive when it comes to addressing environmental issues and climate change. Instead of focusing on assigning blame to individuals or groups for past mistakes, it will definitely be more constructive to shift the conversation towards actionable solutions and empowering those who can make a difference in the future of our planet.

Rather than dwelling on the mistakes of the past, the need of the hour is to acknowledge that we are all interconnected and share a collective responsibility to safeguard the environment for future generations. By moving beyond blame and adopting a forward-thinking approach, we can focus our efforts on creating positive change and building a sustainable future.


One key aspect of this approach is directing our attention towards those who have the power and influence to drive meaningful change. This includes policymakers, government leaders, corporate executives and other decision-makers who have the ability to enact policies, allocate resources and implement sustainable practices on a large scale.

Advocating for policy change and systemic reforms is essential for addressing pressing environmental challenges and mitigating the impacts of climate change. It is possible to influence decision-making processes and hold leaders accountable for their actions by engaging with elected officials, participating in advocacy campaigns and supporting environmentally friendly policies and initiatives. 

In addition to governmental action, the private sector also plays a crucial role in shaping the future of our planet. Businesses and corporations have a responsibility to prioritise sustainability, reduce their environmental footprint and invest in renewable energy and eco-friendly technologies. By supporting companies that are committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability, we as consumers, can drive market demand for greener products and services.


Education and awareness are powerful tools for inspiring action and creating a culture of environmental responsibility. By raising awareness about environmental issues, promoting eco-friendly behaviours and empowering individuals to take action in their own communities, we can create a grassroots movement for positive change.


How should the older generation support the teenagers in this journey?


1. Lead by Example: 

Setting a positive example is powerful. Previous generations must demonstrate sustainable habits and behaviours in their own lives, such as reducing waste, conserving energy and supporting eco-friendly initiatives. By practicing what they preach, they can show teenagers that sustainable living is both achievable and rewarding.


2. Provide Resources and Opportunities: 

Previous generations must provide resources to help teenagers learn more about sustainability and environmental conservation. They can also create opportunities for teenagers to get involved in eco-friendly activities such as volunteering for environmental organisations or participating in community clean-up events. Most of it, in fact, is teenage led at the moment with less participation by the older generation. 


3. Listen and Empower: 

It's important for previous generations to listen to the concerns and ideas of teenagers and empower them to take action. By validating their perspectives and providing encouragement and support, they must help teenagers feel empowered to make a difference in their communities and beyond.


4. Enable Collaboration and Mentorship: 

The older generation can enable collaboration and mentorship opportunities between teenagers and adults who are passionate about sustainability. By working together on projects, sharing experiences, and providing guidance and support, they can help teenagers develop their leadership skills and make a meaningful impact in the sustainability movement.


5. Advocate for Change: 

Previous generations can advocate for policies and initiatives that support sustainability and environmental conservation at local, national and global levels. By using their voices and influence to push for positive change, they can create a better world for future generations.


What does sustainability mean to a teenager or a young adult?

Sustainability for today’s teenagers and young adults is about making choices that align with their values and contribute positively to the well-being of people and the planet, both now and in the future. 


It is going to involve making decisions that minimise harm to the planet and promote a more equitable and sustainable future. This may include adopting eco-friendly habits such as reducing waste, conserving resources and supporting ethical and fair-trade practices. It also includes awareness of issues such as climate change, environmental degradation and social justice, and taking action to address these challenges in their daily lives and communities.


Teenagers and young adults have a vital role to play in tackling the climate crisis and creating a safer, more sustainable future for generations to come. By leveraging digital platforms & social media to raise awareness, and taking action to lead by example, they can contribute to positive change and help protect our planet for future generations.

Teenagers and young adults are playing a crucial role in addressing the climate crisis and contributing to the journey towards making our planet safe. As the future leaders and decision-makers, they have the power to drive positive change and advocate for sustainable practices in their communities and beyond. 

Their role includes:

1. Advocacy and Activism: 

Teenagers and young adults can raise awareness about the urgency of the climate crisis and advocate for policy changes and initiatives that prioritise environmental protection and sustainability. By participating in protests, campaigns and social movements, they can amplify their voices and demand action from governments, businesses and institutions.


2. Education and Awareness: 

They can educate themselves and others about the causes and impacts of climate change, as well as the importance of sustainable living. By sharing information, engaging in discussions and promoting environmental literacy, they can inspire others to take action and make informed choices that reduce their carbon footprint.


3. Sustainable Lifestyle Choices: 

Teenagers and young adults can adopt sustainable lifestyle practices such as reducing waste, conserving energy and water, supporting ethical and eco-friendly brands and opting for plant-based diets. By making conscious consumer choices and adopting environmentally friendly habits, they can minimise their impact on the environment and lead by example.


4. Innovation and Creativity: 

They can utilise their creativity and innovation to develop new solutions and technologies that address environmental challenges and promote sustainability. Whether through entrepreneurship, research or creative arts, they can contribute fresh ideas and perspectives to the fight against climate change.


5. Community Engagement: 

By getting involved in community-based initiatives and projects, teenagers and young adults can collaborate with others to implement local solutions to environmental issues. Whether it's organising clean-up events, starting community gardens, or advocating for sustainable transportation options, they can make a tangible difference in their neighbourhoods and beyond.


What are the 10 everyday things teenagers and young adults can do in their sustainability journey? 


1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: 

Practice the three Rs by reducing waste, reusing items whenever possible, and recycling materials such as paper, plastic, glass and metal.


2. Conserve Energy: 

Turn off lights, electronics, and appliances when not in use, unplug chargers and electronics when fully charged, and use energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances.


3. Save Water: 

Take shorter showers, fix leaks, turn off faucets while brushing teeth or washing dishes, and collect rainwater for watering plants.


4. Use Sustainable Transportation: 

Walk, bike, carpool, or use public transportation whenever possible to reduce carbon emissions from cars and minimise air pollution.


5. Choose Plant-Based Meals: 

Incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet and reduce meat and dairy consumption to lower your carbon footprint and support sustainable agriculture.


6. Shop Responsibly: 

Support ethical and eco-friendly brands that prioritise sustainability, fair labor practices and transparency in their supply chains. Choose products with minimal packaging and opt for reusable items over single-use plastics.


7. Avoid Fast Fashion: 

Invest in quality clothing and accessories made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton, hemp or recycled fibres, and choose timeless styles that last longer and reduce the need for frequent purchases.


8. Practice Mindful Consumption: 

Think critically about your purchases and avoid impulse buying. Consider whether you really need the item, its environmental impact and its lifespan before making a purchase.


9. Participate in Eco-Friendly Activities: 

Get involved in environmental initiatives such as awareness programs, tree planting, beach cleanups, community gardens and conservation projects to make a positive impact in your local community.


10. Educate Yourself and Others: 

Stay informed about environmental issues, climate change, and sustainability practices, and share your knowledge with friends, family and peers to inspire others to take action and make a difference.


What are the 10 best advices that the older generations have for the younger generation having learnt from their mistakes about the planet? 

By reflecting on past mistakes and sharing valuable insights and advice, older generations can empower younger individuals to become stewards of the planet and lead the way towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

10 pieces of advice that older generations can offer to the younger generation based on their lessons learned from past mistakes regarding the planet:


1. Embrace Sustainability: 

Prioritise sustainability in all aspects of your life, from daily habits to long-term decisions. Consider the environmental impact of your actions and strive to minimise your carbon footprint.


2. Educate Yourself: 

Take the time to learn about environmental issues, climate change and sustainability practices. Stay informed through reliable sources and seek out opportunities for ongoing education and awareness.


3. Act Locally, Think Globally: 

Make a difference in your own community by participating in local initiatives, advocating for environmental policies and supporting sustainable businesses. Recognise that individual actions collectively contribute to global change.


4. Preserve Natural Resources: 

Respect and protect our planet's natural resources, including water, air, forests and wildlife. Practice conservation efforts such as reducing waste, conserving energy and supporting biodiversity.


5. Support Renewable Energy: 

Advocate for the transition to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power. Invest in clean energy technologies and support policies that promote renewable energy development.


6. Promote Sustainable Consumption: 

Be mindful of your consumption habits and strive to reduce, reuse and recycle materials whenever possible. Choose products that are ethically produced, eco-friendly and have minimal environmental impact.


7. Encourage Environmental Stewardship: 

Teach younger individuals about the importance of environmental conservation and inspire them to become environmental leaders.


8. Advocate for Policy Change: 

Use your voice to advocate for policies and legislation that address climate change, protect natural habitats and promote sustainable development. Engage with elected officials, participate in advocacy campaigns and support environmental organisations.


9. Lead by Example: 

Demonstrate sustainable practices and behaviours in your own life and encourage others to follow suit. Set an example for others by living in harmony with the environment and making environmentally conscious choices.


10. Collaborate: 

Recognise that addressing environmental challenges requires collective action and collaboration across generations, sectors and nations. Work together to find innovative solutions, share knowledge and build a more sustainable future for all.


Frequently Asked Questions: 


Q: What role do teenagers and young adults play in addressing the climate crisis through fashion?

A: Teenagers and young adults have a significant role to play in addressing the climate crisis through their fashion choices. By advocating for sustainable fashion practices, supporting eco-friendly brands like UNMODA, and promoting ethical consumption habits, they can drive demand for more environmentally responsible clothing options.


Q: How can sustainable streetwear brands like UNMODA help combat the climate crisis?

A: Brands like UNMODA play a crucial role in combating the climate crisis by using eco-friendly materials, ethical production processes and transparent supply chains. By offering stylish and sustainable clothing options, UNMODA encourages consumers to make more environmentally conscious fashion choices.


Q: What are some sustainable materials used by UNMODA in their streetwear collections?

A: UNMODA uses a variety of sustainable materials in their streetwear collections, including organic cotton, recycled polyester, hemp and Tencel. These materials are chosen for their eco-friendly properties, such as reduced water usage, lower carbon emissions and biodegradability.


Q: How can teenagers and young adults support sustainable fashion brands like UNMODA?

A: Teenagers and young adults can support sustainable fashion brands like UNMODA by choosing to purchase their clothing from eco-friendly and ethical brands, spreading awareness about sustainable fashion practices and advocating for greater transparency and accountability in the fashion industry.


Q: What are the environmental benefits of choosing sustainable streetwear brands like UNMODA?

A: Choosing brands like UNMODA has several environmental benefits, including reduced carbon emissions, water conservation and waste reduction. By supporting eco-friendly brands, consumers can contribute to the preservation of natural resources and the mitigation of climate change.


Q: How does UNMODA prioritise ethical production practices in their streetwear collections?

A: UNMODA priorities ethical production practices in their streetwear collections by partnering with suppliers and vendors that adhere to fair labor standards, provide safe working conditions and pay fair wages. This ensures that their clothing is produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.


Q: What steps can teenagers and young adults take to reduce their fashion-related carbon footprint?

A: Teenagers and young adults can reduce their fashion-related carbon footprint by opting for timeless and high-quality clothing items, embracing minimalism and capsule wardrobes, choosing eco-friendly materials and supporting sustainable fashion brands.


Q: How can UNMODA inspire young people to adopt more sustainable fashion practices?

A: UNMODA can inspire young people to adopt more sustainable fashion practices by promoting eco-friendly values, sharing stories of sustainability initiatives and ethical production practices and engaging with their audience through educational content and community events. The most important thing will however remain the design and quality of their products. 


Q: Can sustainable fashion be affordable for teenagers and young adults?

A: Yes, sustainable fashion can be affordable for teenagers and young adults. Brands like UNMODA offer a range of eco-friendly and budget-friendly clothing options making sustainable fashion accessible to a wider audience. 


Q: What are some ways that teenagers and young adults can advocate for sustainable fashion in their communities?

A: Teenagers and young adults can advocate for sustainable fashion in their communities by organising clothing swaps and thrift store challenges, hosting educational workshops and events, supporting local eco-friendly brands and initiatives, and using social media platforms to raise awareness and promote sustainable fashion practices.


Q: How can UNMODA collaborate with influencers and celebrities to promote sustainable fashion?

A: UNMODA can collaborate with influencers and celebrities who align with their values and mission to promote sustainable fashion through social media campaigns, sponsored content and exclusive collaborations. By partnering with teenagers and young adults, UNMODA can reach a younger audience and inspire more people to adopt eco-friendly fashion practices.


Q: How can UNMODA engage with schools and educational institutions to promote sustainability and ethical fashion?

A: UNMODA can engage with schools and educational institutions to promote sustainability and ethical fashion by partnering with student organisations, sponsoring sustainability-focused events and initiatives, providing educational resources and workshops, and offering internship and mentorship opportunities for aspiring fashion professionals.


Q: What are some misconceptions about sustainable fashion that teenagers and young adults should be aware of?

A: Some misconceptions about sustainable fashion include the belief that eco-friendly clothing is less stylish or more expensive than conventional fashion. In reality, sustainable fashion brands like UNMODA offer stylish and affordable options that prioritise both design and environmental responsibility.