When it comes to being green, most of us are a bunch of liers. For the real scoop, here is a very interesting study, that was just quoted in the Telegraph:
A study by Norwich Union discovered that seven in 10 regard appearing to be green as the new way of “keeping up with the Joneses”. Although more than half consider unethical living as much of a social taboo as drink driving, nine in 10 admit that they tell “little green lies” to exaggerate their commitment to saving the planet. More than 50 per cent say they are unlikely to alter their way of life despite pressure from the media, politicians and their children to be greener. Corinne Sweet, a psychologist, said: “We want to be good but often are too busy, or it seems too complicated, so we cut corners, or forget altogether and then feel guilty. “This can lead people to lie about their environmental actions, or even to give up trying altogether, as it all seems too much to pack into our already too busy 24/7 lives. “People then feel guilty when friends, family and neighbours seem so much better at being green. “Spending money is a traditional way of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ and is something most of us know how to do,” Miss Sweet added. “But being green, that’s a lot harder to work out and people are feeling a great deal of anxiety, irritation and fear that what they are doing is not enough or is wrong. Their anger can lead them to give up altogether and then be racked with green guilt.” Three-quarters of people feel most guilty about driving gas-guzzling 4x4s, while six in 10 rue wasting energy at home. More than half are ashamed of using plastic bags and the same number feel bad about not having a recycling bin, the survey found. Despite feeling sheepish, 40 per cent admit they are unlikely to check whether food and clothes are ethically produced, and admit to leaving electrical products on standby rather than switching them off. One in five say they have no idea how to be more green.
Shouln’t environmental organizations, be mulling over these numbers? Personal psychology plays such a huge role in the current climate crisis. I am reminded of my days as an advertising woman, when part of my job was to figure out “The Consumer”. We went to such great lengths to understand the motivations behind consumers’ attitudes and behaviors. Great advertising stories all start with this basic effort of getting into the consumers’ minds. Something to learn here.