I saw this write up about a survey done in the UK about people’s opinion on the environment. Some important points with regards to awareness and making visible people’s impact are in there.
About a quarter of people agreed with statements such as â€œIt takes too much effort to do things that are environmentally friendlyâ€, and â€œI donâ€™t believe my behaviour and everyday lifestyle contribute to climate changeâ€. However, about half disagreed. Three quarters of people believe that if most people in the UK recycled more, cut down their car use or flew less, it would have a major or medium impact on the UKâ€™s contribution to climate change. However, although 60 per cent of people believe quite a lot of people are willing to recycle more, less than a fifth think a lot of people in the UK are willing to use a car less, or fly less.
It is so hard to give things up. For example, I really want to get a new car but the one I have now gets good mileage and has low emissions so I have resisted the urge and it has been a real struggle. The same goes for only eating farm raised fish. The oceans are in serious trouble and although I love ahi I have stopped eating it. I did give in and get a falt screen, even though my old TV worked fine. Now I think, did I really need HD?
And flying, that is REALLY hard to cut out even though I know it really should be at least reduced.
This very tiny things have taken conscious effort so I imagine this means that real change will take generations.
“It takes too much effort to do things that are environmentally friendly”
Ironically, I think people are asking for it.
A while ago I bought something. I couldn’t remember what it was, but what I remembered was how much effort it took me to get through the layers of packaging to get to that little thing. When I finally see the product, I found my desk fill with junks from the packaging, all of which were useless to me.
So I think people are taking too much effort to be environmental unfriendly.
It is important to note that the majority of people in this survey did say they were either taking action, or desired to take action to be more environmentally friendly. However, the 25% that said they felt they couldn’t do anything is quite substantial.
One positive note I took from the survey is that 75% of britons are using compact fluorescent light bulbs. That’s an amazing stat, if true.
I think what designers and engineers should take from this is that people can change, but we all need to put in an effort to make it happen.
In the world of the consumer, ease trumps quality every time. I have a sailboat (30’) and even though it has roller furling, jiffy reef with full battens (means i can put up and take down the sails in less 3 min) eveybody i talk to says “sailing is so hard and time consuming”. I burn about 5 gallons of fuel in a year, my brethren in a 30’ power boat will burn that in about 15 min and then bitch about how much they are paying for gass.
I was surprised by those statistics from Time magazine. Basically, if we add these numbers up, 80% of Americans think that humans are a factor in global warming. Another line on that blog said that 70% believe the government should take action. It makes me wonder why the environment is such a divisive topic.