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New Poll Reveals Majority of Americans Use Cost-Effective Ways to Stay Eco-Friendly

Two in three report being willing to try anything to save the environment
Photo: Shutterstock

New research suggests that three in five Americans care just as much about saving the environment as they do about saving money. Surveying the sustainability habits of 2,000 U.S. residents on behalf of Bosch, market research company OnePoll found that 64 percent of those polled said they care about the health of the planet and their wallet in equal measure. In fact, 66 percent claimed they’d be “willing to try anything that can help save the environment.” Not surprisingly, certain habits proved 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 a shower rather than a bath. If given the choice, however, they’re much more likely to prefer showers shorter than 10 minutes (60 percent) over ones with colder water (25 percent).

The survey suggests that being sustainable at home needs to go beyond 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 percent).

To make their kitchens as energy-efficient as possible, respondents said it was best to follow sustainable practices like recycling (60 percent), using reusable water bottles (46 percent), using energy-efficient kitchen appliances (43 percent), using biodegradable bags for food storage (34 percent) and using a high-efficiency dishwasher instead of hand washing dishes (31 percent).

TOP 8 MOST SUSTAINABLE ROOMS
  1. Kitchen – 26 percent
  2. Bedroom – 21 percent
  3. Living room – 15 percent
  4. Bathroom – 14 percent
  5. Basement – 5 percent
  6. Garage – 5 percent
  7. Laundry room – 5 percent
  8. Attic – 5 percent

“People would be really surprised if they knew just how much energy is used throughout their homes,” says Cara Acker, senior brand manager at Bosch. “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.”

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 percent), utilities (65 percent), and eco-friendly household items (54 percent).

Inflation has 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 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 percent) rather than getting information from their energy provider or smartphone apps.

Nearly two in three (63 percent) 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,” says 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.”

About The Author
Heather-Mikesell-author-1

Heather, co-founder of Well Defined and the former editor-in-chief of American Spa, is an award-winning journalist and content strategist, skilled in writing, copyediting, and media relations. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to Elite Traveler, Islands, Kiwi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Organic Spa, Porthole Cruise, Travel Agent, abcnews.com, jetsetter.com, outside.com, and wellandgood.com, in addition to various custom publications. She is frequently called upon to comment on various spa and wellness trends for various media outlets.