Average American makes a shocking number of eco-friendly decisions every year
The average American makes 2,055 environmentally-conscious decisions per year — equating to about six per day, according to new research.
And results from a survey of 2,000 Americans found millennials were the most likely to report making “green” decisions — by an average of two more per day than baby boomers.
For some respondents, though, that’s not enough: 75% of those surveyed strive to be even more environmentally-conscious in their day-to-day lives.
Many respondents face barriers: the survey found 45% believe environmentally-conscious products cost more money, while 43% feel like environmentally-conscious actions take more time.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of CG Roxane, the survey looked at Americans’ environmentally-conscious decisions — and how knowledgeable they are in different areas of sustainability.
Recycling was revealed to be the area in which respondents felt most knowledgeable overall (83%), though Americans surveyed also felt knowledgeable about reducing their energy usage (73%) and making sustainable shopping choices (71%).
Additionally, the survey revealed Americans are somewhat knowledgeable about recycled materials such as rPET (54%), which stands for recycled polyethylene terephthalate, a durable plastic used to make things including water bottles and food containers.
But knowing about recycling doesn’t mean respondents were infallible — 60% thought if something was plastic, it was automatically recyclable, while less than half knew what is and isn’t recyclable can depend on where someone lives.
Just over half of Americans surveyed (51%) were aware that cleaned-out jars and cans are typically recyclable, while only half knew single-use plastic water bottles were also recyclable — and just 39% were aware that plastic bottle caps can also typically be recycled along with the bottles.
Thirty-seven percent mistakenly believed an average food takeout container could be recycled, while 32% incorrectly thought a styrofoam egg carton was recyclable.
This confusion around recycling highlights what 78% of respondents know: recycling is a simple concept, but not an easy process.
But there’s still a commitment to being green — of the six or so environmentally-conscious decisions respondents make per day, one might be choosing recycled plastic: the survey found 78% prefer to purchase products made in part from recycled plastic, versus virgin plastic.
“Results from the survey confirmed what we’ve seen: people are looking to purchase products from companies who are acting on sustainability from every angle including manufacturing and those forming partnerships with organizations leading the way.
“CG Roxane has long-standing partnerships with both American Forests and California Coastal Cleanup and is the first U.S. beverage company to open an rPET plant to manufacture its own rPET pellets,” said CG Roxane Quality Control Manager Kemi Oba. “We are now able to produce bottles made with a minimum of 50% rPET at our West Coast bottling plants with the goal of using 100% rPET nationally in the near future.”
The survey also asked respondents about COVID-19 and how the pandemic has influenced Americans’ environmentally-conscious decisions.
Sixty-nine percent said they’ve become more environmentally-conscious during COVID-19 with millennials twice as likely as baby boomers to agree (80% vs. 37%).
Even then, many respondents are also turning to more disposable solutions during the pandemic, due to concerns about spreading the virus (67%) — with millennials again more likely to agree (78% vs. 38%).
But when looking for disposable solutions, respondents are still doing their best to ensure they’re environmentally-friendly. Results found 73% said it’s “somewhat” or “very” important disposable packaging can be recycled.
The disposable solutions respondents have most likely purchased are disposable gloves (68%), masks (54%) and single-use water bottles (47%), in a bid to stay safe during this time.
Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed believe all single-use plastic water bottles are the same — but when choosing bottled water, respondents said cost (58%) and the water’s source (50%) were their biggest considerations.
“Our bottled water is captured and bottled directly at the spring source, so it is never blended, trucked or purified, further reducing CG Roxane’s carbon footprint,” said CG Roxane VP of Manufacturing Lionel Ferchaud.
IN WHICH AREAS DO RESPONDENTS FEEL MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT?
● Recycling in general 83%
● Reducing energy usage 74%
● Sustainable shopping choices 71%
● Supporting environmentally-friendly causes 70%
● rPET 54%
WHY DID RESPONDENTS BECOME MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY-CONSCIOUS DURING COVID-19?
● Significant other encouraged them to make environmentally-conscious changes 44%
● COVID-19 made them more aware of our impact on the earth 42%
● Had more time to learn about being environmentally-conscious 38%
● Reusing items already in their own home felt safer than purchasing new items 36%
● Had fewer options and needed to buy environmentally-conscious products 35%
Formula for environmentally-conscious decisions number: 5.63 per day x 365 days in a year = 2,054.95 decisions per year
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