Beliefs and attitudes towards the environment Part 2

posted 13.10.2009
Beliefs and attitudes towards the environment

More from the recipro team on environmental beliefs and attitudes. We love these posts!

Respondents were presented with a large number of belief and attitude statements and asked to indicate how strongly they agreed or disagreed with each of these (on a five-point scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree). This section presents findings from responses to these statements, covering a range of beliefs about environmental issues as well as some motivations and barriers to further environmental behaviour, grouped together under three broad themes:

  • Reported barriers and motivations – what motivates people to be environmentally-friendly and what are the barriers preventing people from being environmentally-friendly?



  • Ecological world-view – what are people‟s views on the environment at a global level / on the way we use the Earth‟s resources?



  • Persuading others – to what extent do people discuss environmental issues and try to persuade others to be environmentally-friendly?


Reported barriers and motivations

The survey included 17 statements related to what motivates people to be environmentally-friendly and what barriers prevent people from being environmentally-friendly. Table 2 provides a comparison of the proportion of respondents who agreed and disagreed with each statement between 2007 and 2009. Comparisons are available for all but two of the statements which were new in the 2009 survey

[caption id="attachment_537" align="alignleft" width="433" caption="Attitudes"]Image_33[/caption]

Agreement was highest for the following statements (which were expressed in a broadly positive way towards the environment) – more than half of all respondents agreed with each of these:

It really disappoints me when I see big offices and public buildings with their lights on when the building is empty (83% agreed, with 60% agreeing strongly)

  • If government did more to tackle climate change, I‟d do more too (58% agreed, with 17% agreeing strongly)

  • If business did more to tackle climate change, I would too (58% agreed, with 23% agreeing strongly)

  • I sometimes feel guilty about doing things that harm the environment (55% agreed, with 13% agreeing strongly)

  • I need more information on what I could do to be more environmentally friendly (55% agreed, with 13% agreeing strongly)


In contrast more than half of all respondents disagreed with each of the following statements (which were expressed in a broadly negative way towards the environment):

  • It would embarrass me if my friends thought my lifestyle was purposefully environmentally friendly (74% disagreed, with 45% strongly disagreeing)

  • It's not worth me doing things to help the environment if others don't do the same (65% disagreed, with 29% strongly disagreeing)

  • The effects of climate change are too far in the future to really worry me (64% disagreed, with 30% strongly disagreeing)

  • It's only worth doing environmentally-friendly things if they save you money (61% disagreed, with 25% strongly disagreeing)

  • It's not worth Britain trying to combat climate change, because other countries will just cancel out what we do (55% disagreed, with 26% strongly disagreeing)

  • I find it hard to change my habits to be more environmentally-friendly (54% disagreed, with 19% strongly disagreeing)

  • Being green is an alternative lifestyle it's not for the majority (51% disagreed, with 21% strongly disagreeing)'ve


We wonder if the respondents have ever heard of other phrases like recycling or Builders Exchange!

Category: Uncategorized, general, industry