Green stagnation

Americans’ eco-friendly habits haven’t changed much

With the huge amount of national media coverage on environmental policy and the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, one might think that Americans are doing more than ever to be green.

Truth is, Americans are about as environmentally friendly as they were a full decade ago. According to a recent survey, folks are recycling at the exact same rate as during the turn of the century, while other sustainability efforts edged up slightly. The good news is that—despite no major growth in these areas—the poll indicates that at least three in four people are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints. Here are the percentages of people who share common eco-friendly habits:

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  2000 2003 2007 2010 Recycled newspapers, glass, aluminum, motor oil or other items 90% 89% 89% 90% Reduced household energy use 83% 80% 85% 85% Bought products because they are better for the environment 73% 72% 70% 76%