Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We're all green now...

According to the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), being 'green' is now a socially acceptable norm. The 2007 Attitudes and Behaviour Toward the Environment survey polled 3,600 people in England on topics including general attitudes toward the environment, energy, water efficiency, and recycling.

Apparently the main motivation for an environmentally friendly lifestyle is guilt about harming the environment. So maybe we should stop all this "save the planet and save money" stuff that misses the point and ignores the dreaded rebound effect.

What did worry me was the following paragraph:

"Out of nine specific behaviours, the change that most people thought would have a major impact on reducing climate change was recycling more, followed by changes to car usage, and cutting down on the use of electricity and gas in the home. At least half thought each of these would have a major impact. Between half and two fifths felt the same about taking fewer flights, improving or installing insulation at home, and cutting down on water usage at home. Least often seen as important were behaviours to do with food – wasting less and buying locally – thought to have a major impact by less than one in three people."

This is almost completely the wrong way round - food is probably the biggest individual issue, then flying, then driving/home energy and recycling comes last.

Looks as if the message is getting through, but in a garbled form...

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