Soaring energy prices, an increase in global warming, news about the rise in CO2 levels and pollution, and rapid deforestation may explain why 90 percent of Americans are somewhat and very concerned about the future of the environment. This is the finding from the latest GMI Poll, a global survey of 9,000 online consumers in nine countries.
With Earth Day quickly approaching, the good news is that more people in the United States and around the world are embracing alternative energy to reduce the strain on the environment and dependency on fossil fuel, as well as incorporating “green” habits into their daily routine.
Americans worry a “great deal” or “fair amount” about a number of environmental issues, including global warming, the loss of natural habitat for wildlife and the loss of tropical rain forests; however, the poll finds that the most significant concerns are the following:
- Pollution of lakes, rivers and reservoirs (85%)
- Air pollution (82%)
- Using up the country's natural resources (79%)
- Contamination of soil and water by toxic waste (78%)
As most of the United States' drinking water comes from lakes and reservoirs, it is not a surprise that Americans are worried about pollution in this area. Nearly 56 percent of respondents are somewhat or very concerned about the possibility of running out of clean, drinkable water in their lifetime.
”Although it's unlikely that most Americans will face a shortage of clean water, it's a serious problem for 20 percent of the world's population,” says Hunter Lovins, a professor of sustainable management at Presidio School of Management (San Francisco) and president of Natural Capitalism Inc., a non-profit organization that consults with companies on profitable ways to protect the environment.
It's Easy Being GreenAccording to the GMI Poll, Americans are willing to spend more money on “green” products. The poll shows that in the past 12 months, nearly half (49%) of respondents bought toilet paper or kitchen towels made from recycled paper a fair or great amount, while close to 70 percent use lower energy light bulbs a fair or great amount despite the higher cost.
Additionally, respondents indicate that they incorporate other green practices in the home on a regular basis:
- 67 percent purposely cut down on the amount of electricity/gas their household uses
- 53 percent cut down on the use of water
The nine countries polled for this study were the United States, Australia, Canada, the UK, Germany, Brazil, France, China and Russia. For more information on GMI Poll, visit www.gmipoll.com.