Survey reveals how green the wealthy really are

by WOHe

Forty years after the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households reveal the extent of their commitment to a “green” lifestyle in a new survey by the American Affluence Research Center.

Top 10 findings:

  • 90% recycle regularly
  • 56% believe they are doing their part to help the environment
  • About 3 in 10 feel they should be doing more to help the environment
  • 70% report using energy efficient light bulbs and/or other products to reduce energy consumption
  • 30% purchase organic foods whenever they are an option. Only 6% buy fashions that use organic materials
  • A third of the respondents currently own none of the 7 eco friendly products listed
  • Most commonly owned “green” items are compact fluorescent light bulbs (45%), low flow toilets or faucets (44%), and EnergyStar appliances (40%). Green cleaning products (27%) was the only other item owned by more than 10% of the respondents
  • Half of the respondents do not expect to buy any of the 7 listed “green” products during the next five years. The most frequently anticipated purchases are a hybrid automobile (24%) and EnergyStar appliances (22%)
  • Two-thirds have done none of the 3 listed eco friendly activities during the past 5 years. The most frequently mentioned (31%) activity was the purchase of hormone-free meat, dairy, or produce.
  • Almost 8 of 10 respondents do not anticipate doing any of the 3 listed activities during the next 5 years. The most frequently anticipated activity (15%) is an eco friendly vacation or resort.

This is the 17th in our series of twice yearly surveys of the wealthiest 10% of US households that account for about 50% of total consumer spending and a third of gross domestic product.

It is not an online survey of people who are compensated for responding to regular and frequent surveys, and it includes only respondents who qualify to be among the wealthiest 10% of US households, based on net worth.

Similar to the Consumer Confidence survey of The Conference Board, our survey is conducted by mail and is sent to a randomly selected sample.

Highlights of the survey are at: affluenceresearch.org/highlights.html

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