Nearly half of UK adults have defeatist attitude to personal climate impact, poll claims

Majority polled report feeling guilt when failing to recycle

Richard Jenkins
Friday 25 October 2019 18:51
Comments

Nearly half of UK adults have a defeatist attitude regarding their own personal impact on climate change, according to a new poll.

The survey of 2,000 people found 40 per cent of respondents confessed to having an “I’ll do it tomorrow” approach to being more eco-friendly.

A total of 17 per cent of respondents said they forgot to turn the lights off at their house, and 23 per cent drove short distances they could easily walk.

Around one in four confessed to still buying carrier bags from the supermarket rather than using bags for life, while more than a quarter throw food waste straight into the bin, rather than composting it or putting it into food waste.

More than a quarter also put their washing on at 40 degrees or higher.

The majority admitted to feelings of guilt when binning something that could have been recycled, while a third said they believe there is more they could do when it comes to recycling in their household.

A total of 37 per cent said they had installed a smart meter to monitor their energy usage, with a view to reducing how much they use, while four in 10 said they do more now than they did a year ago, in a bid to help the environment.

But while the same percentage say it’s because they care about their own futures, 48 per cent did it to make the planet better for their kids in years to come.

But nearly a fifth of respondents said they weren’t convinced that climate change is a real problem, and three in 10 said the importance of it has been over-exaggerated.

To highlight the positive impact that one person acting now can have on the future of the environment, Smart Energy GB commissioned the survey and launched a new partnership with the National Trust. At six National Trust sites across the UK, augmented reality installations will offer a look at what the natural world could be like in 30 years’ time.

Visitors will be shown a projection of the year 2050, highlighting what could happen to well-loved places if the nation fails to take steps to become more sustainable.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

“This study clearly indicates many Brits don’t realise that the small steps they can take will have a positive effect on the environment, but the good news is we all have the power to make a difference,” said Sacha Deshmukh, Smart Energy's chief executive.

“Visitors to the National Trust will see first-hand what could happen if we don’t all take action now.”

The National Trust hopes the venture will demonstrate its commitment to tackle the climate emergency by using less energy and protecting the environment, by capturing the energy of mountain streams, installing solar panels and smart meters in historic houses, and looking after woodlands.

SWNS

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in