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Environment Takes Back Seat To Comfort, Convenience

shelton622091Most Americans wouldn’t give up their iPod, microwave oven, air conditioning, cell phone or computer, even if they thought it harmed the environment, according to a new survey by The Shelton Group.

The survey, which polled 1,006 consumers across the country, found 60 percent of Americans are looking for greener products. However, given a choice between their comfort, convenience or the environment, 38 percent of respondents said they’d choose their convenience, 35 percent said they’d choose comfort and 26 percent said they’d choose the environment, the survey found.

Makers of green products must make green products just as simple to buy and use as regular products, and to show upfront how it helps to save money, according to The Shelton Group.

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5 thoughts on “Environment Takes Back Seat To Comfort, Convenience

  1. Sure, this may come across as bad news at first, but this is America, the most pro-consumption country in the world! It’s not like it’s Japan or China with country-wide mandates. That’s the only way to get an overwhelming response (which proves that the US is not the Socialist bastion that some assume to make themselves feel better). But look again… 2 out of 5 people would give up their iPod or dishwasher! Almost 1 in 4 people would give up their cell phones! These are not trivial numbers. Try asking folks in Singapore or Korea about giving up their mp3 players and cell phones and see what kind of response you get. The environmental movement is getting traction, and aligns with LOHAS ratios pretty well.

  2. This kind of poll is silly at best, and quite possibly harmful. It doesn’t provide any context within which anyone can make a realistic or meaningful response. Specifically how much harm to the environment is being contemplated? Are we talking about one-foot or twenty-foot sea level rises; the price of water going up 5 percent a year, or 20 percent per year price rises plus mandatory water restrictions including letting all lawns die; little change in the weather or massive increases in wild fires in California, tornadoes in the mid-West and hurricanes in the Gulf? Respondents aren’t given any numerical data to compare how much energy they’ll save or greenhouse gases they’ll reduce by giving up their microwave versus giving up their car. Nor are they given any idea of what the alternatives will be for cooking and transport respectively. And, of course, other options for reducing energy consumption/GHG emissions such as reducing energy used in heating and cooling our homes, redesigning our urban environments so we have to travel less, and reducing air travel aren’t on the list. Simplistic survey questions just aren’t a useful tool for evaluating what Americans might prefer to do to deal with climate change or limits to conventional oil and gas supplies. Of course we don’t want to give up our conveniences and comforts if we’re not given good reasons for doing so. Responses to this survey probably would just correlate best with ownership and use levels of the respective appliances. These survey results come across as a PR effort by The Shelton Group and not a meaningful contribution to insight into what will persuade Americans to start to deal substantively with the climate change issue.

  3. I must be one of the rare few… I would give up my T.V. , Microwave, Car, and even my dishwasher and laptop! Of course i use a little common sense and i would get rid of all my harmful junk “recycled of course” and get the greener options. Like I’m 20 and i own a bicycle not a car, i’m getting a mac not toshiba with windows, i’m getting a dishwasher installed because i know for a fact that in my case a dishwasher saves more water that the sink would. I got rid of my microwave a week ago and i have never looked back. I bought a ipod nano because i don’t have to ever get a power sucking stereo etc. Just make smarter choices, it’s just more convenient in the long run..

  4. Ok…let’s see…..a sampling of 1,006 out of 300 million becomes “most Americans”? What is the statiscal validity here? I agree with Rick….”silly at best”. Someone has way too much time on their hands. 16% would give up air conditioning? I’ll betcha the 16% does not live in the South. Geez….

  5. Enviornament does not mean that we leave our comforts,it is getting the same comfort with less energy,attitudnol changes and use of efficient green products

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