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Over 75% of adults greener compared to a decade ago – poll

More than three quarters of Brits claim they are greener than they were 10 years ago.

A poll of 2,000 adults found 61% believe they have a responsibility to live a sustainable lifestyle, while 58% see being environmentally conscious as a ‘badge of honour’.

Households today live much greener lives compared to 10 years ago

Households today live much greener lives compared to 10 years agoCredit: Getty

In fact, the average adult claims to be 29% greener than they were 10 years ago, as they make more sustainable choices than ever before.

Now, the average person typically carries out 369 eco-friendly acts a year – more than one per day – compared to just 286 a year a decade ago.

It also emerged 52% believe it is no longer socially acceptable to turn a blind eye to environmentally issues.

And 54% would be embarrassed to be seen as living unsustainably.

Nearly two thirds (62%) feel they have a better understanding of how to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle than ever before.

A quarter credit social media for motivating them to make a difference, while 27% claim campaign groups such as Extinction Rebellion have convinced them to change their habits.

Recycling, eating less meat and avoiding single-use plastics are among the most common eco-friendly acts carried out today, with 55% proud to ‘do their bit’.

However, the research commissioned by Trainline, identified a limited understanding of which eco-friendly acts have the biggest impact on the environment.

Just 17% of believe swapping one long-distance car or plane journey for train travel would have a significant positive impact on the environment.

While 53% are not aware cars have a higher carbon footprint than trains, and 60% didn’t know travelling by plane can emit seven times more CO2 per passenger kilometre than by train.

As a result, only 19% are currently making efforts to travel by train more often in a bid to save the planet, and just a quarter plan to cut down on non-essential travel in the next 10 years.

Mike Hyde, chief data officer at Trainline, said: “It is fantastic to see that the UK is motivated to take responsibility for improving the environment and this has led to a wide range of lifestyle changes to live more sustainably.

“However, we were shocked so many people are unaware of how beneficial swapping just one long-distance car or plane journey to train would be to the planet.”

The study, carried out through OnePoll, also found 37% said providing a better future for the next generation is their biggest motivator for living a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

And Gen-Z are most likely to be vocal about their desire to protect the environment, with 79% having conversations with friends and family to try to help them to live more sustainably.

But 21% of 18-34-year-olds believe living sustainably is the most important factor in their lifestyle – equal to how much money they have in the bank.

And 41% claim they would ‘happily’ pay more for their clothes and food to be sustainably sourced.

It comes after a separate study of 2,500 adults, by Trainline, found 66% of 18–30-year-olds have changed their lifestyle to reduce their impact on climate in the past year alone.

While 49% have switched to travelling by train instead of another mode of transport at least once during the past 12 months, to reduce their carbon footprint of their journey.

Mike Hyde added: “We know that taking the train instead of driving creates 70% less CO2 on average.

“We want to raise awareness of the impact your travel choices can have on the environment and ensure that we make train travel as easy and accessible as possible, with the aim of encouraging more people to travel by rail.”

10 ‘Green Acts’ people are doing to live sustainably

  • Recycle – 52 per cent (vs 34 per cent 10 years ago)
  • Take reusable bags shopping – 47 per cent (vs 22 per cent 10 years ago)
  • Put on extra layers instead of turning on the heating – 41 per cent (vs 20 per cent 10 years ago)
  • Reusable water bottles – 39 per cent (vs 16 per cent 10 years ago)
  • Use colder washing cycles – 35 per cent (vs 12 per cent 10 years ago)
  • Eat less meat – 32 per cent (vs 13 per cent 10 years ago)
  • Cut down on non-essential travel – 31 per cent (vs 13 per cent 10 years ago)
  • Avoid using single-use plastics – 30 per cent (vs 12 per cent 10 years ago)
  • Take fewer flights – 24 per cent (vs 11 per cent 10 years ago)
  • Travel by train more often – 19 per cent (vs 10 per cent 10 years ago)