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Greendex Study Finds Eco-Friendly Consumer Behavior Increasing Worldwide

5/29/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: greendex, eco-friendly, consumer society, green habits

The surveys have been conducted, the results are in—and things are looking good for green lifestyles around the world. National Geographic and the international polling firm GlobeScan conducted their second annual Greendex study and found that environmentally friendly consumer behavior around the world is increasing. Sadly, though, the United States isn’t keeping up.

The Greendex poll shows that more consumers worldwide are practicing eco-friendly habits. Photo Courtesy National Geographic. 

The greenest consumers live in countries with developing economies, such as India, Brazil and China. The lowest-scoring consumers tend to live in countries with developed economies, such as Australia and European countries. The lowest-scoring countries surveyed were Japan, Canada and the United States.

The Greendex surveys 17,000 consumers in 17 countries and monitors what steps people are taking to preserve the planet. The poll asks about energy use and conservation, food sources, transportation choices, use of green products and more. Of the countries reviewed, 13 experienced an increase in eco-friendly consumer behavior from last year. Here are some of the ways people worldwide are living green this year:

• More consumers are keeping their home heating and cooling settings lower to save energy.

• More consumers are washing laundry in cold water to save energy.

• More consumers are buying secondhand household items rather than new ones.

• More consumers are repairing broken items rather than buying new ones.

• Fewer consumers are drinking bottled water. 

Although the increase can be partially attributed to growing environmental concerns, economic struggles played a major role in changing consumers’ behaviors. In most countries, the people surveyed listed the economy as their number one national concern, and of the people who reduced their energy consumption, 80 percent reported doing so because it would save money.

These simple actions prove that changing to a green lifestyle doesn’t have to be monumental. Whether it’s remodeling your home to make it more eco-friendly or switching to nontoxic cleaners, every little bit counts.

To find out how eco-friendly your life is—and how much you know about the environment—check out National Geographic’s Greendex calculator.

Let’s see if we can’t make a better grade next year.

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