Generation Y’ers are optimistic, confident, civic-minded, and fully committed to moral and ethical principles, according to the Houston Chronicle. They are also teamwork and task oriented.
The recycling industry is fortunate that Generation Y’ers are ‘on deck’ and in some cases already influential leaders. With some media naysayers recently calling into question the value of recycling, riding the momentum of a generation that’s civic-minded and fully committed to moral and ethical principles is crucial when considering the future of recycling. After all, the future of our industry will depend on younger generations pushing through and proving wrong the negativity brought forth by the naysayers.
It’s widely noted that Generation Y’ers work to live rather than live to work. While older generations might scoff at this and call it a ‘soft’ mindset, Generation Y’ers may have more interest in learning about and spending more time on a civic and environmental-minded activity like recycling.
As Robin Weiner with ISRI recently stated recycling is responsible for almost 480,000 US jobs and over $100 billion in annual economic activity. Not only is it a moral and ethical activity to be involved in, but recycling is a major driver of the US economy. A recent US EPA study showed that municipal recycling and composting reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 186 million tons in 2013, which is equivalent to the annual emissions from 39 million cars. These are the kind of powerful statistics that catch on with mass media, and we all know how in tune younger generations are with mass medias such as social media.
Mid America Paper’s recent hiring trend certainly can vouch for the recycling interest shown by younger generations. And we certainly have interest in hiring people with optimism, motivation, and principles in line with what we do. Of course, if you gave our employees a choice they would probably rather live here with unlimited funds, and sip drinks and lay in the sun (sigh)! However, because most people don’t just get up and move to a tropical island we believe younger generations are and will continue to look for careers that are in line with their interests and principles.
Younger generations have the mindset that sets up well for a successful future for the recycling industry. And everyone knows that a successful future for the recycling industry will directly and positively affect our environment, including the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the sunny beach we lay on.