Nationwide Survey Finds: Americans Committed to "Greening In" the New Year

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Nationwide Survey Finds: Americans Committed to "Greening In" the New Year

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  • More than Half Will Make An Environmentally Responsible New Year’s Resolution

  • 8 of 10 Plan to Reduce Energy Consumption, Recycle More;

  • Three Quarters Want to Buy from Environmentally Responsible Companies

  • “Green Guilt” Not a Guy Thing; Women More Likely than Men to Make Green Resolutions

  • 53% Say Individuals are Best Positioned To Have Positive Impact on the Environment

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - 8:00am

CAMPAIGN: 2009 Tiller Social Action Survey

CONTENT: Press Release

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) NEW YORK, NY - Dec. 22, 2009 – When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, there’s “getting leaner” – and now, for many Americans, “getting greener.”

A little more than half – 53% – of all American adults say they will make a green New Year’s resolution this year, according to the results of a poll released here today by Tiller, LLC, one of the nation’s leading consultancies on the design and implementation of advocacy marketing programs.

Two years ago, according to previous Tiller polling, just under half – 49% – of all American adults were resolving to go green in the year to come.

“Like a commitment to dieting, adopting more environmentally friendly living habits has become a primary focus for New Year’s resolutions,” said Rob Densen, CEO of Tiller, LLC.  “It’s clear that safeguarding the environment has become top of mind for many Americans – the hanging question is the degree to which we actually put these good intentions to work. Let’s hope we have more success counting carbons than we have counting carbs.”

The poll of 1,000 adults was conducted on the Internet between Nov. 27 and Dec. 2 by the national polling firm Mathew Greenwald & Associates.  All respondents were at least 21 years of age. The margin of error for the poll is +/-3.1%.

Given a list of environmentally responsible lifestyle changes, 85% said it was at least somewhat likely they would reduce household energy consumption in 2010. It was followed by recycling more (84%) and buying from environmentally responsible companies (76%).  Nearly three quarters (72%) of Americans say it is at least somewhat likely they’ll carry their own bag with them to the grocery store – by comparison, just 42% of Americans resolved to do this two years ago.

Being Green Part of Daily Life

It’s clear, however, that green behavior isn’t just the subject of good intentions; many such behaviors are already entrenched in Americans’ day to day routines.

More than three quarters – 76% – of Americans said they moderated their personal or household use of energy in 2009.  Nearly half – 47% – bought products from a socially or environmentally responsible company, and 50% said they declined to buy a product out of concern for the effects the product or its packaging might have on the environment.

Americans’ environmental concern also is factoring into their evaluation of political candidates.  More than two thirds – 69% – said that a candidate’s support for environmental issues effects their decision whether or not to vote for him or her; 22% said the effect is strong.

Women Tilt More Strongly Toward Green Intentions

The environmental sensitivities of women seem to be more finely tuned than those of men.

About one third (34%) of all Americans say they’ve felt guilty in recent years about not living a more green lifestyle, but women are considerably more likely than men to have “green guilt” – 41% vs. 27%.
Women also are considerably more likely than men to express firm intentions to adopt specific green behaviors, such as recycling more (52% will “very likely” do this in 2010, vs. 33% of men), carrying their own bag to the supermarket (51% vs. 30%), and reducing their household’s energy usage (48% vs. 32%).

“Women are clearly more focused than men on incorporating environmental responsibility into daily household activities,” said Tiller principal James Marren. “That’s encouraging, given that women continue to carry most of the burden of household management. To the extent that women can bring other family members along, perhaps environmentally responsible behaviors will take root even more strongly – with some genuine, enduring benefits to the environment.”

Indeed, most Americans (53%) believe that it’s individuals who are positioned to have the most positive impact on the environment , as opposed to communities (22%), business (17%) or the government (8%).
More than nine of 10 Americans also agree that “doing small things on a regular basis that make the world a better place is just as important as participating in a formal, organized effort.”

“There’s no question that individuals are committed to environmentally responsible behavior in their daily lives,” Marren said.  “But there’s plenty business, government and the media can do to strengthen Americans’ resolve to ‘go green.’  It’s particularly critical to educate the public about the big impact that small, relatively easy green behaviors can have over time and to encourage and facilitate those behaviors along the way.”

New York City-based Tiller, LLC is one of the nation’s leading consultancies in the creation and implementation of advocacy marketing programs for major U.S. corporations. For more information on the 2009 Tiller Social Action Survey or for a list of 10 things you can do now to help the environment, please go to the Tiller website:

Mathew Greenwald & Associates is a premier full service market research firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. 


Keywords: Energy | Green | Mathew Greenwald & Associates | New Year's | Resolution | environment | environmental | environmentally | recycle | rob densen

CAMPAIGN: 2009 Tiller Social Action Survey

CONTENT: Press Release