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(Credit: Leah Kelley from Pexels)

NEW YORK — From believing the Grand Canyon is in Colorado to thinking Niagara Falls is in Iceland, some Americans are a little confused about their national geography. However, as a new survey of 2,000 respondents reveals, they’re also much more confident in their skills than they probably should be.

Although 64 percent think they feel knowledgeable about the locations of these natural landmarks, only half the poll (51%) correctly identified that the Redwood Forest is located in California. Another 35 percent correctly said that Shawnee National Forest is in Illinois, but 18 percent incorrectly selected Ireland.

Fewer than four in 10 (38%) know that the Grand Canyon is in Arizona, with Colorado being the most common incorrect answer (19%). Another 22 percent believe Niagara Falls is in Iceland, not on the New York/Canadian border — which only 32 percent answered correctly!

A responsibility to give back to Mother Nature

sustainabilityThe survey, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Charmin, also went beyond geography and asked respondents about their feelings on sustainability. While Americans may not know where all these natural treasures are, 71 percent do believe in the importance of protecting the great outdoors.

Moreover, respondents agree everyone should work together to protect Mother Nature. In fact, two in three people believe individuals have a responsibility toward the outdoors and the same number think it’s necessary for companies to use responsibly-sourced materials.

When asked to list the moral obligations they believe companies should have, replacing and replenishing the habitats they take resources from comes in as the top answer among 54 percent of respondents. In fact, seven in 10 think paper companies should only source materials from responsibly managed forests. Another 44 percent feel companies are morally obligated to research more eco-friendly methods of production. The same number believe they also have an obligation to donate to environmental charities.

“It’s not surprising to see how many respondents believe companies have a moral obligation to protect our natural resources,” says Rob Reinerman, Charmin Vice President, Procter and Gamble, in a statement.

Knowing how to spot an eco-friendly label

Nearly half of respondents (48%) try to learn about a company’s sustainability practices before buying their product. Unfortunately, while six in 10 (62%) say they actively try to purchase sustainable products, they’re not always sure what to look for. For example, four in 10 are unfamiliar with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC); after seeing a photo of the label, only 40 percent knew that it meant the product was sourced from a sustainably managed forest.

“Purchasing products with the Forest Stewardship Council label is an easy way for all Americans to help protect forests,” adds Reinerman. “The FSC standards ensure that we are protecting wildlife and contributing to thriving local communities.”


  1. Replace and replenish the habitats they take resources from – 54%
  2. Research more eco-friendly methods of production – 44%
  3. Give monetary donations to charitable organizations – 44%
  4. Offset their carbon footprint as much as possible – 41%
  5. Create a plan to lessen their carbon footprint by a certain date – 32%

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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