How Environmentally Aware Are You?
Sustainability is a trending topic. It proliferates across the news and social media, and is something that is currently at the forefront of many big business strategies and decisions. But how do global citizens really feel about sustainability?
A study by Southern Cross University on the impact on human behaviours on the environment has revealed how Americans and Australians are engaged with and interested in sustainability. The study spans across a range of 913 people from both countries, across multiple generations.
The facts and figures are very interesting:
- Out of the entire 913 participants, 93% showed a general concern for the environment.
- 43% of the participants that fell into the generation X category said that plastic pollution was their top environmental concern.
- For millennials, the top concern was extinction of plant and animal species.
- Over 79% of respondents expected their respective government to act on environmental issues.
- Encouragingly, 87% of respondents said they made an effort to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.
- Nearly 77% of eco-conscious consumers were satisfied with their life, compared to 54.8% of consumers who weren’t eco-conscious.
- Although plastic pollution was the number one concern amongst participants, only 45.2% of respondents avoided single-use plastics.
- Almost 83% of people saw the high costs of eco-friendly products as a barrier to a greener lifestyle.
- 85% of participants said they would make a conscious effort to buy from eco-friendly brands in the future.
- Sixty-one percent of respondents had a bag they brought with them to the grocery store.
- Most commonly, 61.6% of people believed an eco-friendly lifestyle was more expensive.
- 77% of individuals wanting to learn more about sustainable lifestyles.
This study reveals how people really feel about climate change. It appears that the younger generations are most concerned, which makes sense as they will be the ones who will be most affected by climate change. Most people are concerned about the state of the environment, but believe it is the responsibility of the government to do something about it, or are put off by the cost of living a more eco-friendly life. It also seems that is difficult for people to cut out single-use plastics. People see it as an important issue, but not many practice a sustainable approach when it comes to plastics – indicating that changes need to be made by businesses and manufacturers to make it easier for individuals to cut down on their plastic usage in day to day life. Another issue that needs to be tackled is the expense of eco-friendly products – if living sustainably was a cheaper option, far more people would be likely to adopt this way of life.
The most positive statistic to come out of this study is the fact that a whopping 77% of individuals want to learn more about living a more sustainable lifestyle.
This shows that the majority of people are genuinely worried about the way in which we are currently treating the planet, and are willing to learn more about how they can make changes that will make a difference. Yet 73% believe that major corporations have a responsibility to take action on environmental issues – yet again showing that big businesses need to step up in order to pave the way for global sustainability measures.
In order to help more people engage with sustainability, tips and changes need to be simple, and cheap. People don’t want £12 eco soaps, or £35 reusable water bottles, they want cheap, simple and effective measures and products that they can use to help make a difference. Some simple, effective ways you can improve how sustainably you live your life are:
- Taking a reusable bag to the grocery store – at Supreme Creations we manufacture ethical and sustainable totes that are perfect for your groceries
- Reusing jam jars and glass pots for packed lunches or storing bulk-bought food
- Composting any food waste and using it to grow fresh vegetables – saving landfill waste and saving grocery store, plastic wrapped fruit
- Using a reusable water bottle and coffee cup when out and about
- Save any packaging from food you buy when out until you find a recycling bin instead of just throwing it into a general waste bin
These tips are all very simple, and are just a few from hundreds of different things that you can do to make a difference – the more people making small changes, the bigger the overall effect. For more tips check out our Instagram @bagsofethics, where we post daily ideas for things that you can do to live more sustainably.
Daisy from Bags of EthicsTM