As Environmentalists, Most Parents Fall Short

It looks like green is the new color of parental guilt.

According to a new survey by iVillage and, a huge number of parents admit they could do more to help the environment, but don’t have enough money to go greener, inducing “green guilt.”

The survey found 94 percent of parents want to do more to help the environment, but almost half (43 percent) say lack of money keeps them from being their greener selves.  For the record, we would buy everything organic at Whole Foods if we could, right? It’s just that all those sweet peas and pesticide-free artichokes really add up.

The biggest guilt-inducing item was the ubiquitous enemy of the planet: the plastic bag. Two-thirds of parents said they believe they can stop using them.

The study also revealed that parents are generally happy with the environmental lessons their children learn in school, with nearly half grading an “A” and just 10 percent calling it “alarmist.”

The survey polled 1,000 parents with children under 18 living at home and was conducted between March 27 and March 29.

One company that’s trying to appeal to the eco-consciousness of parents and others abroad is Unilever which has announced a consumer campaign launch in the U.K. that’s the latest stage in the company’s decade-long “Sustainable Living Plan.” The plan’s goal is to make sustainability part of the corporate brand. The plan launched in 2011.

“I don’t want people to have to worry about whether this product has a better sustainability profile than another, I want people to know that Unilever is leading edge in this area and if you see the Unilever ‘U’ logo on an ad or on a product, that gives you the reassurance that we’ve done our homework,” said CMO Keith Weed. Actions speak louder than words. But if all goes well on this campaign, it would be great if they bring a little of that Stateside.

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