Are we getting greener?
Last month's newsletter survey asked readers about how green they thought they were. This research went towards an investigation into people's attitudes towards green living and how this has changed recently.
Results from our last mini poll show that out of around 150 respondents, 60 per cent of people claimed to make a real effort at saving energy. Thirty three per cent said they were keen on being green but thought they could do better with 4 per cent truly living the green life.
Nationally, attitudes towards climate change were measured in a 'Eurobarometer' survey in January of this year and although people held poverty and the economic downturn as more serious, climate change still came up as number three on the list of most serious issues affecting the world today.
'Eco' for economy not ecology
However the Europe-wide survey illustrated a shift in the perceived importance of climate change in that there were fewer people who held it as the most serious thing affecting the world today. This shift in opinion was shown to be strong amongst UK respondents with 11 per cent fewer people regarding climate change as the most serious problem we face globally. Mentions of the global economy as the most important issue was 30 per cent higher than at the same point in 2008.
We've found after speaking to tradespeople, that there seems to be fewer people enquiring about more advanced green solutions as people reassess what they spend their money on.
Mark Dicker, heating engineer of Home Heating Ltd said:
"We offer solar panel heating to our customers and will often mention it when working on other jobs but we've recently noticed that people aren't taking us up on it so much at the moment."
Small but positive changes
Fewer are thinking getting solar panels installed but there are small and fairly inexpensive improvements you can make to advance your home's efficiency.
When speaking to George Clarke, of Channel 4's 'The Home Show' at the Home Improvement Show recently, he said that it's important for people to focus on the easier and cheaper solutions:
"In one respect it's encouraging that people are less interested in the more advanced green technologies as there are still a great deal of houses out there that are in need of good insulation. If everyone in the UK installed the correct level of insulation in their homes, we would significantly cut national carbon emissions."
A change in our attitudes towards tradespeople could also help. A series of surveys carried out by the Energy Saving Trust earlier this year revealed that just one in six British householders would trust the eco advice of a tradesperson.
As a way to help this the Energy Saving Trust says it is important to ask your tradesperson the right questions about green improvements and create a more open dialogue about energy efficiency when you have work done on your home. If you are thinking of improving your home's efficiency, you can save money by getting your tradesman to do the work at the same time as other jobs around the house.
So the economy has shifted people's opinions about climate change but we still regard it as important and although not splashing the cash on expensive measures, act in an eco-friendly way where possible.