Poll: Respondents Not Measuring Carbon Footprint

A new national poll by the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute found that just 7.1 percent of all 800 respondents have tried to measure their own personal or household carbon footprint. Of this group, 88.1 percent suggested the information was very (47.5 percent) or somewhat (40.7 percent) helpful in understanding how their own lifestyle impacted the environment.

Overall, 31.8 percent of all Americans surveyed suggested they were aware of the term "carbon calculator." However, of this group, 43.3 percent indicated they understood how it works. A larger percent, 65 percent said they were aware of the term "carbon footprint" with 69.6 percent suggesting they understood the term.

Nearly two-thirds of all respondents, 61.9 percent, indicated they believed that global warming was due to a combination of human activity as well as natural cycling. Others believed global warming was entirely due to human activity or entirely due to natural cycling—20.1 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively.

A strong majority of respondents, 80.1 percent, said they were completely or mostly convinced that global warming was occurring today. Some, 17.5 percent suggested they were not so convinced or not at all convinced.

"The survey provides evidence that the population at large is accepting that global warming is an environmental threat. Just over 80 percent of the respondents report being 'completely convinced' or 'mostly convinced' that global warming is occurring now while over two-thirds of the respondents worry about the environmental consequences. This view could also be endorsed by over three-quarters of the respondents supporting the EPA's decision to regulate carbon emissions," stated Enda McGovern, Ph.D., associate professor of Marketing at Sacred Heart University's John F. Welch College of Business.

Nearly all respondents, 94 percent said they were very or somewhat willing to change their own lifestyle to reduce the impact of climate change. And, 95.1 percent believed there were things they could be doing to use energy more wisely.

According to McGovern, "In order to take the corrective action necessary to reduce the effects of global warming, the public needs to accept their role in regard to the lifestyle choices they make on a daily basis. This survey provides evidence that this is clearly occurring."

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