EnviroMedia commissioned Opinion Research Corporation to survey 1,022 people in the United States November 5-8, 2010, by telephone in a random digit-dial sample. The margin of error is +/- 3.2 percent.
Results: Power-ful Confusion
- When asked “Is coal a renewable energy source?” 25 percent of Americans said yes and another 15 percent said they didn’t know.
- The 60 percent of Americans who correctly said coal is not a renewable energy source skewed toward males, household incomes of more than $100,000, and a college education.
- The survey also asked Americans, “When you turn on a light switch at home, what fuel is the source of your electricity?” Nearly two-thirds of Americans didn’t even name a fuel source like coal, natural gas, or wind, with 45 percent saying the fuel source is “electricity” or “the electric company.” Another 19 percent said they didn’t know.
- Forty-three percent of Americans disagreed and 49 percent agreed with the statement, “My personal energy use affects the health and living conditions of people in poor, developing countries.”
- The study shows nearly three out of five Republicans (58 percent) disagree their personal energy use affects poor countries, while slightly more than one out of three (37 percent) express responsibility for the effects of personal energy use. This contrasts sharply with Democrats’ views, where 28 percent disagree and almost two out of three (64 percent) acknowledge responsibility.
Results: Green Still Buying Green
- Buying green could be recession-proof, with 81 percent of Americans saying they continue to buy green products despite the economy.
- According to the survey, 48 percent of consumers are buying the same amount of green products, while 15 percent are buying even more. Eighteen percent of respondents are buying fewer green products, but they’re still buying some.
- Reputation matters: Eighteen percent of all consumers surveyed said a product’s reputation is the biggest factor determining their purchasing decision to buy green, followed by word of mouth (15 percent) and brand loyalty (12 percent). At 9 percent each are advertising and manufacturers’ labels.
- Women and men buy green for different reasons: More women (19 percent) than men (12 percent) said word of mouth is the biggest influence on their decision about buying green. More men (16 percent) than women (9 percent) said their biggest influence when buying green is loyalty to the brand.
About EnviroMedia Social Marketing
EnviroMedia formed in 1997 as the nation’s first full-service marketing firm focused solely on creating authentic public education campaigns for environmental and public health clients. Offices include headquarters in Austin, Texas, and a West Coast branch in Portland, Oregon. In 2009, preceding the United Nations climate change talks in Copenhagen, EnviroMedia launched GreenDetectives.net to help consumers understand and decode complex climate change issues and terms. For more information, visit EnviroMedia.com or GreenDetectives.net. Follow us on Twitter @enviromedia.