Since the summer of 2009, the Harris Poll has been tracking Americans' attitudes toward the environment as well as their engagement in various environmentally-friendly, or "green," behaviors. The latest installment finds that many green behaviors, including those capable of saving consumers money, continue to decline. And perhaps more alarming, considerably fewer U.S. adults now express concern for, and awareness of, environmental issues.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,451 U.S. adults (ages 18 and over), surveyed online between March 12 and March 19, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

Since these questions were first asked in 2009 there has been a decline in some green behaviors. In 2012, U.S. adults are now less likely to do each of the following in their daily life (FBP has emphasized the packaging-related items)
  • Buy food in bulk (33% 2009 vs. 30% 2012);
  • Purchase all-natural products (18% 2009 vs. 16% 2012); and
  • Purchase organic products (17% 2009 vs. 15% 2010 and 2012).

They are also less likely to espouse certain green attitudes – fewer Americans describe themselves as "environmentally-conscious" (27% 2012 vs. 30% 2009), or say they personally care a great deal about the current state, and future, of the environment (31% 2012 vs. 36% 2009 and 34% 2010).

At the same time, however, a minority of Americans – more so than in 2009 – continue to describe themselves as:
  • Conservationist (20% 2012 and 2010 vs. 17% 2009);
  • "Green" (17% 2012 and 18% 2010 vs. 13% 2009); and
  • Environmentalist (16% 2012 and 2010 vs. 13% 2009).

So what?

Over the past few years, more pressing issues such as health care reform, economic recovery, and the upcoming presidential election have eclipsed discussions about the environment, so perhaps it is not very surprising that these latest Harris Poll results continue to show a decline in "green" attitudes and behaviors.

Unfortunately for consumers, some of the "green" behaviors they fail to adopt – such as buying food in bulk – could be saving them money, while others – such as recycling – could help us leave behind a cleaner, more sustainable future for our grandchildren. There may be a silver lining though, if the group of Americans who express the strongest commitment to the environment is a vocal and highly engaged minority.   

To read the article, click here.

Source: PR Newswire