Ever wonder if Americans are really serious about going green? At The Green Workplace we decided to find out. We developed the Green Lifestyle Survey and sent it out during early April of 2010. To our pleasant surprise, it was completed by 1,050 people. Respondents were all ages, primarily college educated, all from the United States, all Facebook users, and primarily progressive or independent in terms of their political view (though roughly 7% of responses are from Republicans and Libertarians, which turns out to be a helpful point of comparison).
The focus of the survey was to "take the eco-pulse" of America and determine how much Americans are concerned about, and willing to take action to protect the environment. The questions address: Are people truly as green as they say they are? Do they engage in green activities on a regular basis? Do they use environmental sensitivity as a means for evaluating an employer (or a date)? What current habits would they be willing to "give up" to avoid climate change / global warming?
Below is a quick summary of some of the more interesting findings:
- 85% of total respondents said they were "moderately concerned" or "very concerned" "about climate change
- When asked about their personal habits, the most common answer was that repspondents "always" recycle paper, cans and plastic, and they "never" recycle batteries, compost, carpool, bike or walk to work
- 47% of total respondents claim that commitment to green/environmental issues is a "moderately important" or "very important" factor in choosing an employer (this factor was twice as important for Democrats than Republicans or Libertarians)
- 49% of total respondents claim that they would be willing to take a pay cut to work for a more green/ environmentally conscious organization (even higher for Greens and Independents)
- 93% of total respondents claim they would be willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly product (all other things being equal); 63% say they would be willing to spend 10% more on a product; 5% claim they would pay "double or more" for a greener product
- 33% of women (15% of men) claimed that they would not go on a date with someone who did not recycle
- 17% of total respondents would be willing to give up salary for "one year or more" if they could stop climate change (7% would be willing to do so forever)
- 21% of total respondents would be willing to give up sex for "one year or more" if they could stop climate change (10% of women would be willing to do so forever vs. 3% of men)
- 15% of respondents would be willing to give up their spouse for "one year or more" and 11% would be willing to do so forever