Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2015


Edward Van Buren

Second Advisor

Marc Conte


Environmentalism and sustainable lifestyles have steadily increased in popularity in recent years in the United States, especially among the 18-33 year old age group “Millennials, ” also known as Generation Y. Vegetarianism and veganism, involvement in environmental advocacy groups, and the popularity of green products are at record highs. However, research shows that the prevalence of young people living and promoting a sustainable lifestyle online rarely translates into tangible action, a phenomenon known as ‘slacktivism,’ and Generation Y also shows reluctance to identify as environmentalists or activists due to a perceived stigma associated with the term. Through the use of environmental economics, social psychology, politics, and communications and media, this thesis examines the motivations behind millennial pop-culture environmentalism and recommends ways to solve the apparent action rut.