Two-thirds of Americans care about environment as much as their finances

NEW YORK — Three in five Americans care just as much about saving the environment as they do about saving money, new research suggests. As part of a recent survey into the sustainability habits of 2,000 U.S. residents, 64 percent of those polled said they care about the health of the planet and their wallet in equal measure.

And 66 percent claimed they’d be “willing to try anything that can help save the environment” – although naturally, certain habits proved much more popular than others.

For 75 percent of respondents, it’s as easy as turning off the lights when leaving a room. Similarly, 66 percent make sure to turn off running water whenever possible, and 63 percent choose to shower rather than batheIf given the choice, however, they’re much more likely to prefer showers shorter than ten minutes (60%) over ones with colder water (25%).

How to make your home more sustainable

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Bosch, the survey suggests that being sustainable at home needs to go further than just turning off the lights or taking quicker showers. 

When asked which room in their home is the most sustainable, a quarter of respondents said it was their kitchen (26). In order to make their kitchens as energy-efficient as possible, respondents said it was best to follow sustainable practices like recycling (60%), using reusable water bottles (46%), using energy-efficient kitchen appliances (43%), using biodegradable bags for food storage (34%) and using a high-efficiency dishwasher instead of hand washing dishes (31%).

“People would be really surprised if they knew just how much energy is used throughout their homes,” says senior brand manager at Bosch, Cara Acker, in a statement. “Even if people are turning off their thermostat or lights, there are still items in the home like appliances that need electricity constantly to operate. That’s why it’s so important — both for your utility bill and for the environment — to get ENERGY STAR rated appliances.”

Economy and environment go hand-in-hand

The survey also found that 54 percent of Americans have had their sustainability habits impacted by inflation. Inflation has caused people to spend more on food (69%), utilities (65%) and eco-friendly household items (54%). It’s also resulted in 59 percent being more likely to purchase ENERGY STAR rated appliances that are more energy efficient than alternatives — suggesting people want to get more out of their dollar.

Inflation was also found to impact the grocery shopping habits of 75 percent of Americans. As a result, 41 percent are buying more frozen foods than fresh foods in an attempt to buy things that last longer.

Thirty-nine percent don’t currently monitor the energy use of their home and those who do, rely on reading their own meter (25%) rather than getting information from their energy provider or smartphone apps.

Nearly two in three (63%) said they would consider investing more money upfront on improving their home’s sustainability if it saved them money in the future. This long-term investment in sustainability improvements was further shown when 30 percent admitted being sustainable is more expensive upfront, while 32 percent found it less expensive in the long run. 

“People tend to think that sustainable appliances are too expensive and cost prohibitive,” continues Acker. “But really, it’s the opposite. Sustainable and energy-efficient appliances are one of the best, hidden ways to save money long-term. Investing in an appliance with features that help keep your food fresh for longer means less money wasted on food. You’re also getting something that uses electricity efficiently, meaning less money wasted on over-use of energy. It’s a money-saving win in the end.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 1,500 general population Americans and 500 Hispanic respondents was commissioned by Bosch between September 21 and September 26, 2022. 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).

About the Author

Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds’ Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia is a recent graduate from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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