According to the study, 72% of Americans say they know a lot or a fair amount about environmental issues and problems (up 7 points from 2007) and 28% often seek out environmental information (up 5 points).
While the most common green actions are those that are helping Americans save money in their day-to-day lives, such as energy efficient light bulbs or energy saving appliances, there is some good news for the household and personal care market. Consumers are purchasing green household cleaning products (64%) and environmentally safe laundry detergent (57%) despite the fact that they cost more.
The majority of consumers continue to agree there must be a balance between economic growth and protecting the environment (78% in 2008 and 75% in 2007). However, among these consumers, those who say the environment is a greater concern than the economy has dropped from 69% in 2007 to 55% in 2008, potentially a result of the economic downturn.
When asked who should take the lead in addressing environmental problems, consumers ranked the federal government first (46% down 4 points from 2007), followed by individual Americans (39% up 4 points) and corporate America (32% down 3 points).
While Americans aren’t expecting businesses to take the lead, the majority (70%) say companies aren’t fulfilling their environmental responsibilities. But even when corporate America takes action, many individuals remain skeptical about their motives—68% said these steps are taken to help the company image and only 29% said they are done for the good of the environment. At the same time, companies that aren’t taking green action are running the risk of a potential backlash. GfK reports that 30% of consumers make an effort to avoid buying products from corporations they don’t feel are environmentally responsible and 22% boycott those that are harming natural resources.
More info: www.gfkamerica.com