Convenience Is the Mother of Conservation for Most

Would the average American want to mulch this article after reading it? Maybe so, judging by the results of Rasmussen Reports polling conducted just prior to last month’s Earth Day. Seventy percent of respondents said their household “actively” participates in recycling programs where they live. Then again, this may not entail an extraordinary effort on their part, as 65 percent answered affirmatively when asked whether their locality “makes it easy for your family to participate in recycling.”
People’s fealty to the environment is tested when there’s a potential trade-off between helping the planet and helping themselves as consumers. One indication of this emerges in the responses to another Rasmussen query: “Which is more important, finding new sources of energy or reducing the amount of energy Americans now consume?” Sixty-three percent of those polled said finding new energy sources is more important; 29 percent said reducing energy consumption matters more; the rest weren’t sure one way or another.
While one school of thought holds that saving the planet will be an economic boon, the polling indicates that many people have their doubts. When asked whether there’s “a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection,” 40 percent of respondents said there is, 31 percent said there isn’t and the rest were uncertain.