Most Americans think we have a better chance to fight climate change now than in recent years
Four in 10 Americans have experienced “eco-anxiety” since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research.
The survey of 2,000 nationally representative Americans revealed half of respondents have experienced this feeling, and 83% of those said they felt it for the first time after March 2020.
In addition to that, results found 75% of respondents who’ve ever experienced eco-anxiety — defined as “a chronic fear of environmental doom” — said they’re currently experiencing it.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Avocado Green Mattress, the survey delved into the top reasons respondents are experiencing eco-anxiety, and how these feelings are following them into 2021.
Sixty-four percent said the top cause of their eco-anxiety is themselves or their loved ones being at risk of climate-related extreme weather like hurricanes, droughts or wildfires.
That was followed by “watching media coverage of climate-related extreme weather” (56%), with “watching people not take environmentally-friendly actions in their day-to-day life” (45%) rounding out the top three.
Unfortunately, this isn’t likely to go away: of those currently experiencing eco-anxiety, 86% said they expect these feelings to increase throughout 2021.
But there is some optimism, too — 65% of respondents believe we have a better chance to fight climate change now than we have in recent years.
And almost the same number (64%) are hopeful we’ll see progress in the fight against climate change in the next four years.
“We’re hopeful that optimism around the climate crisis will lead to action — because the time is now,” said Avocado Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Mark Abrials. “And we all have to do our part, from pressuring our elected officials, to voting with our dollar and choosing companies that support a greener, cleaner future.”
The survey found 69% of respondents believe it’s important to purchase products from environmentally-friendly companies — and 24% said they always research a company to see if they’re environmentally-friendly before making a purchase.
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell whether companies are truly “green,” and 43% believe they’ve seen companies participate in “greenwashing,” where they spread disinformation with the aim of presenting an environmentally-friendly image.
And, of those who’ve seen greenwashing, 72% believe they’ve fallen victim to false claims.
Results revealed 23% of all respondents believe greenwashing is “very common,” and another 36% believe it’s “somewhat” common.
The survey also found 76% believe there should be regulations in place, stopping companies that participate in greenwashing.
“It’s good business to say you’re a ‘green’ company, but when it comes to doing good, action is all that matters,” said Abrials. “To avoid greenwashing, don’t take a company’s word for what they do, look for third-party certifications that validate their claims.
“Organizations like B Corp, Climate Neutral, the Global Organic Textile Standard for the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility, and 1% For the Planet for verified giving in support of these critical issues. It’s up to each of us to do our homework and choose who we support carefully.”
TOP CAUSES OF “ECO-ANXIETY” FOR RESPONDENTS
- Myself or my loved ones being at risk of climate-related extreme weather like hurricanes, droughts or wildfires 64%
- Watching media coverage of climate-related extreme weather 56%
- Watching people not take environmentally-friendly actions in their day to day life 45%
- Watching media coverage of climate protests/summits 44%
- The massive forest fires in places like Australia, California and Oregon in 2020 39%
- Knowing my generation could have done more to prevent climate change 32%
- Hearing about/seeing the trash and pollutants in the ocean 26%
- The introduction of new diseases like COVID-19 26%
- Worried about my generation’s future in an unsustainable world 25%
- The numerous hurricanes in the Southeast during 2020 24%
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