The "Greenest" Consumers
"National Geographic writes on the survey design: "This quantitative consumer study of 17,000 consumers in a total of 17 countries (14 in 2008) asked about such behavior as energy use and conservation, transportation choices, food sources, the relative use of green products versus traditional products, attitudes towards the environment and sustainability, and knowledge of environmental issues. A group of international experts helped us determine the behaviors that were most critical to investigate."
National Geographic and Globescan conclude that some consumers act consciously out of enviromental concerns, whereas others seek to cut costs, which has the effect of providing an enviromental benefit. "The results suggest that both cost considerations and environmental concerns may have motivated consumers to adopt more environmentally sustainable behavior over the past year. For example, consumers in 11 of the 14 countries surveyed in 2008 and 2009 are more likely this year to report that they keep their heating and cooling settings in their households lower to save energy. The practice of washing laundry in cold water rather than hot to save energy has also become more widespread in nine countries surveyed in both years. Preference for buying second-hand rather than new household items has become more widespread, as has as the preference for repairing broken items to extend their useful lives.""