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Americans have come a long way in their commitment to preserve and protect the environment since a groundbreaking survey from 1990 took the pulse of their green attitudes and behavior. Conventional wisdom holds that increased knowledge about the environment leads to more action and empowerment on the part of Americans.
And certainly, their knowledge has risen. Today, 73 percent say they know a lot or a fair amount about environmental issues and problems, up from 50 percent earlier.
So, what does action look like [PDF]? This basic question led to the pioneer study, The Environment: Public Attitudes and Individual Behavior, which I was a part of back in 1990. The study, commissioned by SC Johnson and executed by GfK Roper, was the first, large-scale survey to measure both green attitudes and behaviors. We wanted to understand whether — if equipped with the right tools and knowledge — it is possible to change consumer behavior, or action, for the greener.