Tuesday, 02 March 2010 11:57

Survey Shows Americans Can Improve Conservation Habits

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A national survey released by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities shows that there is a disconnect between Americans’ conservation attitudes and their actual behaviors.   The survey showed that a large majority of Americans have a positive attitude towards conservation efforts such as turning off unnecessary lights, opting for public transportation or carpooling, and lowering the thermostat.  However, despite the optimistic outlook, many individuals are not following through with their behaviors. • 72 percent of Americans say it is important to use public transportation or carpool, but only 10 percent say they "often" or "always" do; • 88 percent of Americans say it is important to recycle at home, but only 51 percent "often" or "always" do; • 81 percent say it is important to use re-usable shopping bags, but only 33 percent "often" or "always" do; The survey also illustrated that when combating global warming, Americans are more likely to show their support through their consumer purchases.  In the past year, approximately 1 in 3 Americans have rewarded companies that are taking steps to reduce global warming by buying their products. “There is plenty of room to improve,” admits Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change. “At the same time, each behavior has its own set of barriers...Lowering these barriers will make it much easier for people to act in ways consistent with their values."
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