NEW YORK — Living sustainably requires more effort than you might think. Careful care must be taken to reduce waste and make environmentally friendly purchases. While many are making strides to do so, there is still plenty of work to be done. In fact, seven in 10 Americans admit that they treat their own home better than they treat the planet.
However, there is hope as people are trying to reduce their carbon footprints by taking steps like installing energy-efficient appliances (55%), cutting down on single-use plastics (47%), and buying locally sourced and organic produce (44%), according to a survey of 2,000 Americans.
Gen Z expressed the most concern for the future of the planet (78%), followed by Millennials (67%), and found this concern to be the top motivator for making environmentally conscious choices.
The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Beko Home Appliances, found that eight in 10 believe small sustainable actions can make a big impact on the planet and that this starts at home. Nearly half (48%) agree that the kitchen generates the most waste, followed by the bathroom (18%) and the living room (17%).
Fifty-seven percent of Gen Z and 49 percent of Millennials admit to throwing away food a few times a week. After throwing food away, they generally felt wasteful (32%) and disheartened (12%). Eighty-eight percent wish they could keep fruits and vegetables fresher for longer, and almost that many (81%) believe they would eat healthier if they did.
Respondents also expressed a willingness to take concrete steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle, such as switching out their appliances for those that help reduce food waste (69%) and composting food waste (58%).
Seven in 10 respondents would invest in a smart refrigerator with crisper drawers that preserve vitamin content in produce, while 54 percent would invest in a freezer with a deep freeze compartment, and 50 percent would consider a vacuum sealer for storing food.
“We’re optimistic that Americans understand the seriousness of food waste and need for greater food preservation, and are willing to change their behavior and even their buying habits to help solve the problem,” says vice president of marketing for Beko, Justin Reinke, in a statement. “It’s especially encouraging that so many respondents want to extend the life of produce and produce vitamin content – and believe that doing so will give them a healthier, more sustainable life.”
With the advancement of technology comes new ways to transform people’s homes which many people are staying on top of. Eighty-seven percent know what Net Zero means – the idea that your home can generate as much or more energy onsite through solar and other renewable resources as it consumes in a year.
Seven in 10 said they would be willing to pay extra to buy or build a Net Zero home if it helped protect the environment.
“The good news is that the majority of Americans still believe that by taking small sustainable actions in the kitchen and throughout the house, we can create a future where we produce and conserve as much energy as we use,” adds Reinke. “For those of us concerned about the planet we are leaving the next generation, this is music to our ears.”
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by BEKO between March 27 and March 30, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).