ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — November 15 is National Recycling Day. A new survey by Essity shows how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected sustainability efforts in the United States, as well as in other countries.
Overall, the survey showed that sustainability behaviors have increased since the pandemic began. About 40% of respondents said they have lived a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Respondents said they spend an average of 48 minutes each week doing something that benefits the environment and 84% said they will continue living a more sustainable lifestyle after the pandemic restrictions ease.
Respondents became more sustainable by:
- 57% recycled more
- 48% have driven or flown less
- 46% reduced food waste
- 41% cycled or walked more
Woman were found to buy more products with environmentally friendly packaging than men. Younger respondents (ages 18 to 25) are more likely than older respondents (ages 41 to 60) to be optimistic that they can have a positive impact on the environment and help slow global warming.
The survey also found that consumer’s purchasing decisions are influenced by a company’s environmental practices. When asked how important, respondents said:
- 59% find it somewhat or very important in a health care facility
- 53% find it somewhat or very important in restaurants
- 49% find it somewhat or very important in retail outlets or stores
- 48% find it somewhat or very important in hotels
- 44% find it somewhat or very important in theaters
- 43% find it somewhat or very important in stadiums
- 43% find it somewhat or very important in museums
- 40% find it somewhat or very important in fitness centers
Essity surveyed 10,000 people across 10 countries, including 1,000 U.S. residents, between July 1 and July 13, 2021. More information on the survey can be found on the Essity website.