Richmond, California (EastBayDaily) — A new study published by GFK Roper Consulting shows that influencing mass behavior of Americans towards more environmentally friendly lifestyle is possible. The 2011 survey of over 2000 residents of the continental US shows positive changes in the knowledge and actions of Americans concerning the environment.
“According to the survey results knowledge about environmental issues and problems is on the rise and Americans are less likely to be confused over what is good and bad for the environment. About seven in 10 now say they know a lot or a fair amount about environmental issues and problems, up from about five in 10 during the mid-1990’s,” says in the conclusion of the GFK Roper Green Gauge study.
Government agencies, educational organizations and various other non-profits work hard to provide the public with ever increasing amount of information about the various environmental challenges, and it seems that not only had this knowledge been absorbed by the public, but people are actively changing their behavior and making more sustainable choices in what they consume.
“The survey data also suggests that government, business, and non-profits have a green light to continue to encourage and empower Americans to take small steps towards protecting the environment. Consumers increasingly feel they can at least take small steps to improve the environment.”
According to Campus California, a local non-profit group, an example of a small step that any resident of the San Francisco Bay Area can take (and many already do) is to reuse and recycle any unwanted articles of clothing or any shoes they may have laying around in their closets. Free standing clothing donation boxes like the ones Campus California places in most of the cities around the Bay are a simple and convenient option to dispose of your worn but not worn-out textiles and support a great cause at the same time. This change of habits can only happen when alternative solutions are available, but that increasingly seems to be the case nationwide, and as more and more environment-friendly options become available, the public participation is expected to rise as well:
“Behavior change is possible, and Americans will continue to green up their lifestyles where it makes practical and financial sense. Compared with 1990, twice as many Americans are recycling (58% do so on a regular basis), buying products made from or packaged in recycled materials (29%), and cutting down on their automobile usage by taking mass transit (18%),” concludes the study.
These are some of the encouraging facts coming from the study, but the survey results contain a bit of an advice for the business community as well:
“In spite of rising economic concerns, Americans still want companies to go green, and there is evidence that they give credit to companies that do so. About three in four (74%) agree âa manufacturer that reduces the environmental impact of its production process and products is making a smart business decision.”
This point is likely to apply to more than just manufacturers. Large and smaller retailers and service providers would likely benefit from the more positive sentiment of the customers towards businesses that take steps to become more “green”. According to Jan Sako, the public relations manager for Campus California; there is evidence (not from the study mentioned above) that just a simple thing like supporting a non-profit environmental initiative by hosting a clothing donation box can help increase the visibility and build a base of customers that are more likely to patronize this business again in the future.
About Campus California: A non-profit organizations servicing the largest number of clothing donation boxes in the San Francisco Bay Area. More than one thousand locations are available for the public’s use 24/7 and more are being added all the time. Campus California collects clothing, shoes, books, toys, original CD, DVD, Blu-Ray and other media for its recycle and reuse objectives. The non-profit organization uses the proceeds from the sale of collected clothing to support recruitment and training programs for Development Instructors, dedicated international volunteers who work with sustainable development projects in different parts of the world. Since the start of the program in 2003, this organization has collected over 10,000 tons of donated clothing; in April 2011 a new branch was opened for collecting clothing in the metro area of Phoenix, Arizona.
See the full GFK Roper Green Gauge study here