More than one-third (36%) of Americans say that “cost,” is the biggest impediment to being more environmentally friendly, but women are more likely to spend more on and use more “green” products than men, according to results from the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Living Green Consumer Survey.
The survey, which was conducted at home shows in 15 cities across the country to gauge consumer environmental practices, found other factors keeping all survey respondents from being greener included convenience (22%), lack of knowledge about how-to (18%) and lack of time (17%).
However, despite the premium they must often pay for green products, half of respondents say they have paid more for an energy efficient product in the past 12 months and many others report engaging in “eco-friendly” or “green” acts in the past six months, including recycling (73%), replacing incandescent lights with CFLs (69%), conserving water (57%), adjusting the thermostat (51%) and purchasing energy efficient appliances (30%).
Women are significantly more likely to spend more and use more environmentally friendly products, the study found. In the past six months, 72% of female survey respondents changed their light bulbs to CFLs, 59% claim to have used less water for their daily activities (showering, washing dishes etc.) and 75% recycled. Among men, the numbers were lower, at 65%, 53% and 70%, respectively.
On how “green” respondents said they and their family are on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is not at all green and 10 is very green:
Homeowners Will Spend to Increase Resale Value
When it comes to their homes, one in three homeowners (30%) say they would be willing to spend $5,000 or more on green improvements to increase their home’s resale value and appeal to potential buyers.
Women and men are prepared to spend similar amounts, the survey found.? Some 18% of men said that they are prepared to invest $1,000 to $2,500 while 17% of women agreed. More women (17%) say they are prepared to invest $2,500 to $5,000 to increase their chances of resale, compared with only 15% of men. On spending $5,000 or more, 26% of women and 27% of men consider it a good investment if spending that amount on green home improvements helped increase their chances of selling their existing home faster.
Additional survey findings reveal that 82% of respondents think they are informed when it comes to issues pertaining to the environment:
When preparing to buy or sell a home, more than half of those surveyed (51%) believe in the importance of working with a green certified real estate agent. In the cities of Hartford, CT, Greenville, SC, and San Francisco, two out of three respondents indicate that working with a green agent is important. In terms of gender differences, 54% of women said it was very or somewhat important, and 48% of men said the same.
Green US Cities
When respondents were asked to quantify their city as green, where 1 is not at all green and 10 is very green, respondents rate their cities according to the chart below. The mean score for all cities on the tour was 3.73:
“As their environmental awareness grows, American homeowners are beginning to take action on green issues and are willing to spend their money accordingly,” explained Sherry Chris, president and CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. “These survey results confirm homeowners are identifying greater value in green and when the time comes to sell their homes, they will look to convert high consumer awareness levels on the green issue into a market differentiator.”
About the survey: LeadDog Marketing was commissioned to conduct intercept surveys at a series of home shows on behalf of Better Homes and Gardens Living Green Tour. A survey of? 16 questions was programmed onto handheld PDA devices. The staff interviewed 2,312 people and each intercept survey took approximately 3 minutes to complete. Data collection was conducted at 15 Living Green Tour stops between Feb. 29, 2008 and Oct. 31, 2008. The Living Green Tour and Exhibit included stops in Hartford, CT; Greenville, SC, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston, Miami, Nashville, TN, Boston, Washington, DC, Jacksonville, FL, Atlanta, and New York.