British adults think sustainable living is too expensive

Rising National Insurance Contributions, UK energy The crisis and annual inflation on food and drink mean millions of Britons believe they cannot afford to live sustainably, new findings show.

A survey of 2,000 adults found that 64% want to be environmentally friendly but fear the rising cost of living will make such a thing impossible.

Up to six in ten people fear paying basic bills and household items, while 26% say more expensive organic or ethical options will now be low on the shopping list.

This contrasts with data from just three months ago, which suggested that the British would be happy to pay a premium for goods that benefited the environment.

The Green Response report, created by the hygiene and health company Essity to analyze how attitudes and behaviors towards the environment have changed since the start of the pandemic, previously found that 45% of adults were ready to spend more money to live ecologically. way of life.

The average person was happy to spend 12% more on hygiene and health products, 11% more on groceries, and 10% more on beauty and personal care products.

But more recent statistics revealed by Essity illustrate a marked shift in attitude – at a time when experts predict the average household may need to part with around £ 125 more per month in living expenses, 62% do are not sure they can make ends meet.

Expensive purchases and savings on a sustainable lifestyle are cited as the two biggest sacrifices people will have to make if bills go up as expected.

A spokesperson for Essity, who wrote a detailed white paper detailing the country’s attitudes towards sustainability, said: “In the space of just three months, a number of announcements have left the majority of people uncomfortable being able to get necessities such as gasoline, electricity, food, drink, etc.

“So it’s no big surprise to learn that even at a time when people want to do their best for the planet, they feel like they can’t.

“The reassuring news is that 49% of those polled say they are now living a greener lifestyle compared to before the pandemic, and 91% of those living more sustainably intend to continue.

“However, the impact of increases in national insurance, energy, fuel, etc. is not yet fully felt, which could affect these good intentions.”

More than a fifth of those surveyed have already thought about selling personal items through auction sites or garage sales to cover the cost of price hikes, while 18% have resigned themselves to working more hours.

An extra £ 125 per month salary will also lead to 11% of getting a second job, while one in 20 adults are really worried about having to sell their property.

Geographically, those who live in Belfast estimate that they will be the least likely to pursue an eco-friendly lifestyle when the rise in the cost of living really hits, with 64% of them believing they won’t. will not be able to afford an additional expense.

Residents of Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cambridge also say they can no longer afford to live sustainably.

An interactive mapping tool has been created to illustrate exactly where in the country is likely to suffer the most when national insurance premiums rise 1.25%, and the full effect of the energy crisis is felt – and how it will affect an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

This is because research, conducted through OnePoll, shows adults worry that some of the steps they should take to be more environmentally friendly are too expensive.

Switching to an electric vehicle is considered too expensive by 52% of adults, while 45% say it is more difficult to buy food and drink from sustainable sources.

Installing solar panels, installing a more energy efficient boiler and using a green energy supplier are also things the British would be hard pressed to afford.

Although many believe they will still be able to purchase things like reusable diapers and reusable vintage products.

And it is reassuring to note that two-thirds of adults say that regardless of the increase in the cost of living, they will try to keep their good sustainability habits as much as possible, even though 51% say they will be looking for the cheapest way to do it. .

The Essity spokesperson said: “The good news is that people are desperate to do the right thing for the planet.

“And while it seems to be getting harder than ever over the next few months, there are ways to cut costs.

“We’ve teamed up with environmental activist Ella Daish to bring together resources and advice on exactly how to live a sustainable lifestyle at a fraction of the cost. “

Ella Daish said, “There are many small steps employers can take to make the workplace a better space for staff and give it a positive atmosphere.

“Steps like making sure all dietary requirements are taken into account in canteens and at events, providing free period products in washrooms, and letting workers make suggestions on what changes they would like.” seeing in the workplace go a long way.

“It’s important that we make workplaces as inclusive as possible and in doing so everyone will feel seen and heard. “


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