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76% of older millennials are worried about climate change?and it’s impacting how they spend their money

76% of older millennials are worried about climate change—and it’s impacting how they spend their money

As millennials begin to turn 40 in 2021, CNBC Make It has launched Middle-Aged Millennials, a series exploring how the oldest members of this generation have grown into adulthood amid the backdrop of the Great Recession and the Covid-19 pandemic, student loans, stagnant wages and rising costs of living.

Around five years ago, dissatisfied with lives spent “chasing the dollar,” Kelli and Charlie Compton quit their jobs as a salon owner and a manager at an equipment rental company, respectively, in North Carolina, sold most of their belongings, and hit the open road in an Airstream travel trailer.

Working as seasonal campground hosts at sites in California, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and other states, Kelli, 35, and Charlie, 36, have become distinctly aware of how climate change is disrupting different types of ecosystems and habitats across the U.S. Escalating wildfires in California over the past few years and the Rocky Mountain National Park area in 2020 were particularly devastating to them, according to Kelli, and brought climate change “to the forefront of our minds.”

As a result, they do as much as they can to minimize their carbon footprint, Kelli tells CNBC Make It. That includes cooking most of their meals, wearing clothes to tatters and using a composting toilet, which doesn’t require water to flush, in their 30-foot trailer. The couple has decided not to have children due to climate concerns. “The earth is groaning,” she says.

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