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Do People Care Less About the Environment Than They Did in the Past? — Survey of the Day

emagic, Flickr

Earth Day was Sunday, but given the lack of fanfare, it’s not surprising how few people knew about it. In fact, consumers overall now seem less concerned about the environment than in years past.

A new Harris Poll of almost 2,500 adults showed that just a third of Americans are worried about the planet they’re leaving behind for future generations, compared to the 43 percent who said the same thing three years ago.

There’s also been a drop in the number of people who describe themselves as “environmentally conscious” and those who say they “care a great deal about the current state, and future, of the environment.”

In addition, fewer Americans report planet-friendly behavior like re-using things they have instead of throwing them away or buying new items, using less water, buying food in bulk, or purchasing all-natural and organic products.

But it isn’t all bad news — more people now use terms like “conservationist,” “green” and “environmentalist” to describe themselves.

And the trick to making everyone care more about Mother Earth seems to be tying that concern to our pocketbooks. Another survey showed three-quarters of us saved money by implementing green practices like turning off lights when leaving a room, setting programmable thermostats to efficiently cool and heat our homes, and buying Energy Star-rated appliances.


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