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Retirees make going green a part of senior living

May 14, 2012

As the importance of being eco-friendly becomes more and more clear, many members of the younger generations are finding ways to go green. But while many people assume older adults may not be as eco-conscious, a number of residents at retirement communities across the country are helping reshape the public perception, The Boston Globe reports.

The emphasis retirees place on conservation is typified by Peggy McKibben, who lives in a Massachusetts retirement community. Her son Bill is a well-known environmental activist, and has encouraged his mother to spread the tenets of green living throughout her community, and it has certainly paid off. As a way to help, McKibben and a number of fellow seniors participated in Connect the Dots, an event put on by Bill's initiative, which mapped out areas of the world affected by climate change.

As a result of the program, McKibben and others began work on planting cherry tomatoes in the garden, which added to the composting program that has been operating since 2010. In addition to bringing attention to the issue, McKibben hopes her efforts leave a better world for future generations.

"Most of us have children and grandchildren. One of us even has great-grandchildren," she told the newspaper. "As I see it, our most important challenge is to leave a world our descendants can live in happily. I feel so guilty when I think of the world that we're likely to give them."

McKibben and her fellow residents' efforts are indicative of a nationwide trend. A 2008 Harris Interactive study found that 81 percent of baby boomers are concerned about the environmental legacy they will leave for their children, while 94 percent took steps in the previous six months to go green.