New research reveals we don’t take everyday action to protect the planet
69 per cent of Brits would like to be more environmentally friendly - but still don’t do the little, everyday things that can help make a difference, according to new research from Future Friendly, P&G’s consumer education programme. Together with leading sustainability experts the Energy Saving Trust, Waste Watch and Waterwise, it seeks to inspire and enable people around the country to contribute to a better tomorrow. A quarter of UK homes still leave their appliances on standby (26 per cent) – in fact, almost half of children do not switch off at the mains (45 per cent). Just one fifth of the population rides a bike instead of uses a car (19 per cent), while only four in ten makes a conscious effort to eat local produce (39 per cent). Only 41 per cent of the nation chooses to buy environmentally friendly household products.
A third of the population is currently put off by the belief that it is expensive and time consuming to be sustainable in their everyday lives (34 per cent). More than three quarters would only be encouraged to go green if it was cheap and easy to do (77 per cent).
However, the research also recognises that considerable efforts are being made around the country to help protect the environment. These UK cities were revealed as taking the following eco actions most effectively:
• Edinburgh has bags of energy: 85 per cent of people in Edinburgh use a bag for life to carry their shopping home (nationally: 74 per cent)
• Nottingham lets it all hang out: a further 85 per cent of Nottingham residents dry their clothes on the washing line versus 70 per cent nationally
• Cardiff doesn’t waste water: an impressive 97 per cent of Cardiff consumers say they shower for less time to save water compared to 50 per cent nationally
• Grow your own: Birmingham and Bristol are the top cities for leading the ‘good life’ – a staggering 51 per cent of people grow their own vegetables in both (nationally: 37 per cent)
• Liverpool has got it covered: 91 per cent of Liverpudlians have installed loft insulation compared to 76 per cent nationally
• Bristol keeps cool: 74 per cent of Bristolians turn down to 30 degrees when clothes washing (nationally: 63 per cent)
• Manchester monitors: a third of Mancunians use an energy monitor to save energy and money (38 per cent) versus 22 per cent nationally
• Leeds knows not to hose: two thirds of those surveyed in Leeds avoid using a hosepipe (63 per cent) compared to 48 per cent nationally
The research also reveals the importance of encouraging the next generation to go green. A quarter of parents surveyed felt that their children were currently the greenest member of the family (28 per cent), whilst 81 per cent said they would like their children to be more eco-friendly.
Meanwhile, over a quarter of children (aged 14-16) are currently involved with a local school or community group to help protect the environment (27 per cent) and are taking action to be more sustainable: 75 per cent both recycle their books and clothes and also avoid leaving the tap running; 47 per cent shower for less time, using less water; and 30 per cent even grow their own vegetables.
TV presenter and green mum Gabby Logan said: “Being Future Friendly is about encouraging everyone to take those small steps towards sustainable living – because the little things really do go a long way. Choosing household products which use less energy or packaging, taking fewer car journeys and recycling waste are just some of the inspired little acts we can all do to save resources. These actions will also help us save money and are easy to do. Collectively we can create big benefits for the planet, now and for generations to come.”
Future Friendly wants to encourage every household in the UK to do ‘inspired little acts’ so they can save resources and money and also appreciate how small, everyday changes in the home can turn into a united wave of sustainable change from street to town to region. Using P&G’s trusted brands - Ariel, Lenor, Fairy, Flash and Pampers - can help consumers become more Future Friendly by reducing their environmental impact by saving energy or water or reducing waste by up to 50%.
Visit www.futurefriendly.co.uk for further information on how to make a difference.
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For further information, please contact:
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Research methodology: a survey of 1,000 parents and children (aged 14-16) across the UK was conducted by Lightspeed Research during August and September 2011
The Energy Saving Trust is the independent organisation providing advice for all householders in the UK to help reduce their energy use in the home. Founded in 1992 it exists to help people reduce their energy consumption and live a greener lifestyle in a bid to curb the harmful carbon dioxide emissions that cause climate change. It provides a consumer advice service that is tailored, free and impartial and available to everyone across the UK through its nationwide network of 21 advice centres. One of its biggest challenges is to ‘normalise’ energy saving behaviour, so people just do it as a matter of course. The Energy Saving Trust is proud to support Future Friendly. For more information visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
Waste Watch works to change the way people use the world's natural resources. Their vision is of a world in which people use resources effectively, live sustainably and make a positive contribution to the environment. Through their programmes in schools, communities and businesses Waste Watch has persuaded millions of people to ‘waste less and live more’.
Waste Watch aims to champion the case for sustainable resource use at every point, including extraction, production, consumption, recycling and beyond. They show that by being more sustainable we can all benefit environmentally, economically and socially. By making changes to our daily lives and by changing the world around us – at home, in school, and in the workplace – we can collectively make a big difference. Waste Watch exists to show everyone how they can make that difference. To find out more visit www.wastewatch.org.uk
Waterwise is the leading authority on water efficiency and is focused on reducing the amount of water we all waste at home and at work. Waterwise believes the key to water efficiency is reducing waste not restricting use. It is working together with Future Friendly to help people adopt positive changes to lead a more sustainable life. Waterwise is an independent, not-for-profit non-governmental organisation. It is committed to sustainable development and works with key partners in water companies, governments (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and local), manufacturers, retailers, NGOs, environmentalists, regulators, agriculture, business, domestic consumers and the media. For more information visit www.waterwise.org.uk
About Procter & Gamble in the UK and Ireland
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