Environmental Concerns Hit Home with Parents
It's your turn to carpool, and it's almost pick-up time. You fill a reusable water bottle from the tap, snap off the kitchen lights, and grab an old grocery bag full of newspapers and catalogs to ferry to a recycling bin in the garage, which--next year--will house a hybrid mini-SUV.
Sound familiar? The fact is, green scenes like this are more and more common in American households, say the results of a recent online survey on attitudes toward the environment.
Disney Family.com polled more than 8,000 parents and found that nine out of 10 see the environment as a high-priority issue. Nearly half of these parents gave protecting Mother Earth a 10--most important--on a 1 to 10 scale of personal importance, citing clean air and water, reducing waste, and energy efficiency as their top concerns. Many families say thinking green is as important to them as the U.S. economy, world peace, and affordable housing.
At the root of these earth-friendly attitudes, parents are concerned for family health and their children's futures. And nearly 40 percent of parents think it's up to each of us to do our part.
They're doing just that, by adjusting their habits in a number of ways, from installing energy-efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs to eating more locally sourced meals. Interestingly, while just a few parents--4 percent--currently own a hybrid car, a full 31 percent said they plan to make their next car a hybrid. Hybrid automobiles appeal to them for the benefits they offer to the environmental cause--but saving money on gas was nearly as important.
Most often, parents are pitching in with these earth-friendly habits:
- Reusing paper and plastic bags
- Installing compact fluorescent light bulbs
- Switching off lights when no one's in the room
- Recycling at home
- Turning off the water while brushing teeth
More than half of the parents surveyed are also concerned about protecting animals and their natural habitats, and feel that it is their personal responsibility to protect the earth. Many parents are now striving toward green changes like:
- Bicycling and walking instead of driving
- Using stairs instead of escalators and elevators
- Printing on both sides of paper
- Using recycled paper products
- Using air dryers instead of paper towels at public restrooms
- Learning about environmental issues and passing the knowledge on to their children
Our new It's Great to Be Green section aims to help make it even easier to go green. Geared specifically to families, It's Great to Be Green offers a variety of tips and ideas to help you and your children tread more lightly on the planet. You might start with "How Green Am I?" a quiz that calculates your carbon footprint when you answer a few simple questions about your daily habits. Or jump right in with information on inspiring books, movies, and music; natural, non-toxic power cleaners you already have at home; 13 ways to turn a cardboard box into a child's treasure; 50 simple ways you can help the earth today; and packing a green school lunch. Discover how fun and simple it is to build eco-friendly habits and help your kids grow up green!