Half of all U.S. consumers think about environmental impacts at least occasionally when deciding whether or not to buy a product, according to a new poll of attitudes toward climate change conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.
However, the number of Americans taking a variety of energy-saving actions at home and on the road has remained relatively stable during the past five years, according to the survey.
Asked if the next time they make a purchase they intend to buy specific energy-efficient items, majorities of those polled said they will buy an energy-efficient kitchen appliance (75%), water heater (71%), air conditioner (68%) or home furnace (67%).
Six in 10 say the next time they buy a car, it will average 30 miles or more per gallon.
Eight in 10 told pollsters that they intend to buy locally grown or produced food, and six in 10 intend to buy organic food in the next 12 months.
Nearly three in 10 respondents said that, in the past 12 months, they have rewarded companies taking steps to reduce global warming by buying their products. One in five also said that in the past 12 months they have punished companies that oppose steps to reduce global warming by not purchasing their products.
One in four of those surveyed said that in the past year, they discussed what they see as a company’s irresponsible environmental behavior with friends or family. One in 10 has spread information about offending companies via the Internet.
The survey, conducted in April, included 1,045 adult respondents. The research was funded by the Surdna Foundation, the 11th Hour Project, the Grantham Foundation and the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation.