Over half of Brits experience 'green guilt' for not doing enough for the environment

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 5:52 pm

More than half of Brits suffer 'green guilt' - because they feel they don't do enough to help the environment.

A study of 2,000 adults revealed 53 per cent have felt guilty for not always doing their bit – with large amounts of food waste the most common thing to feel bad about.

A third feel responsible because they choose to drive a car instead of walk, while 31 per cent feel remorse for using plastic bottles.

On average, adults feel guilty four times a week for not acting as environmentally friendly as they could.

But 19 per cent keep their 'green guilt' a secret, and don't even tell friends and family about their bad habits.

A spokesman from Budweiser, which commissioned the research ahead of Earth Day to highlight how every keg, bottle and can of Budweiser are now brewed using 100 per cent renewable electricity, said: “The pressure to be more environmentally friendly is huge, and people often feel powerless to act."

The study also found that leaving electronics on standby (33 per cent), putting recycling in the general waste bin (29 per cent), and even eating meat (25 per cent) were also among the things people feel most guilty about.

A lack of confidence and knowledge when it comes to being eco-friendly

But while 37 per cent still want to do more to be green, almost a quarter admit to having a lack of knowledge around sustainability.

And one in eight lack confidence in making more environmentally friendly choices.

Despite this, 51 per cent want a brighter future for the planet, with the average adult doing a sustainable act eight times a week.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, showed 34 per cent feel there is a lot of pressure on everyone to be more environmentally friendly.

But almost one in six would be motivated to do more if they were praised for the little changes they make.

Nearly half (46 per cent) still believe that even the smallest of differences have a big impact overall.

It also emerged that two thirds reckon people should be praised for the environmental changes they make rather than being made to feel guilty for what they are not doing, with 44 per cent commending others for doing their little bit.

More efforts to become green

However, despite 46 per cent believing they are more environmentally friendly now than they were five years ago, 37 per cent still want to do more to be green.

Sustainable habits that Brits plan on adopting in the future include buying an electric car, growing their own fruit and veg, purchasing from packaging-free stores, and installing a smart meter.

Budweiser's spokesman added: “As the world’s biggest brewer we have both the ability and the duty to make a real difference, and we’ve started by brewing all of our Budweiser beers with 100 per cent renewable electricity.

"We hope this campaign will help others feel confident and inspired to join us on this journey to a brighter future.”

Professor Green has teamed up with Budweiser to create a ‘Pro Green Guide’, at https://budweiser.co.uk/, to help inspire people about some of the everyday changes they can make to start living more sustainably.

*BUDWISER BILLBOARD*Location Printworks, Manchester City centre, Greater Manchester, April 20 2021.

Professor Green said: “When it comes to living sustainably, I believe we can all be more conscious of the decisions that we make and our impact on the planet.

“We can all take small steps by considering simple things like the beer that we drink, the clothes we buy, the food that we eat, how we wash our clothes and how we travel.

“It’s great to see brands like Budweiser, who are now brewing 100 per cent of their beers in the UK with renewable electricity, calling out others for the progress they’re making and praising their efforts.

“I hope that in doing so, it will encourage other people and other businesses to take steps to become more sustainable and feel good about doing it at the same time.”

To inspire the nation to make every day green changes and help tackle the lack of confidence around sustainability, Budweiser are saying ‘cheers’ to people, cities, sports teams and even competitors who are helping change the fate of the planet through giant pop up surprise messages on Earth Day.

People receiving ‘cheers’ include the cities of Manchester and Glasgow, Wembley stadium and other brewers including Molson Coors and Cerddin Brewery.