Seventy percent of Brits dream to be green

New research reveals we don’t take everyday action to protect the planet

The consumer education branch of P&G, Future Friendly, has just released figures that say nearly 70% of people in the UK are trying to act in a more environmentally friendly manner. The study also showed, however, that people are not making changes to the everyday things that can really make a difference to the environment. The company is now working together with the Energy Saving Trust and other bodies to inspire people to take action that will lead to more environmentally healthy planet.

In the home, research has revealed that half of children do not switch appliances off at the wall when they have finished using them. Around a quarter of people are still leaving their appliances on standby instead of turning them off completely. When people are actually looking to buy appliances for the home less than half go for those that are environmentally friendly. With regards to transport, only one in every five people choose to ride a bike instead of drive.

Many people are put off by the belief that caring for the environment is expensive and takes a great deal of time, around a third say this. Data has also revealed that if being environmentally friendly was cheap and easy, three quarters of people would be more inclined to be more friendly.

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.