As more emphasis than ever is focused on environmental issues, it seems here in South Wales we’re more focused on the colour of our money to help save our green planet.

Despite being named TIME Person of the Year 2019 for her climate activism work, Greta Thunberg surprisingly only inspires 1% of people in Cardiff to be more sustainable, according to new research.

  • Greta Thunberg influences just 1% of people in Cardiff to go green
  • The environment is only a key priority for 20% of us
  • Buying fewer plastic-packaged items is our top eco-friendly lifestyle change

The study, from leading savings site VOUCHER CODES, finds that we are far less likely to cite the teen activist as our main inspiration for going green, instead listing a fear for future generations (32%) and hoping it would save money (14%) as our top reasons for making eco-conscious lifestyle changes.

While nearly nine in 10 respondents (86%) expressed concern for the future of the planet, only one in five (20%) consider sustainability to be a key priority in their lives. Almost a quarter of people in Cardiff (23%) admit that they should be doing a lot more to reduce their personal impact on the environment, but many find it too difficult to change their habits. Just over a quarter (27%) claim that living sustainably is too inconvenient, especially from a financial point of view. 

Sometimes it takes the places we use most often to take the lead, enabling us to easily follow, as you can see below.

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However, while just under one in ten people (7%) find adapting to a more eco-conscious lifestyle to be too expensive, others see being green as anything but mean—particularly to their bank accounts. A cheeky 14% of people in Cardiff say they try to be more environmentally friendly, purely because they hope it saves them a few pounds.

Over a quarter of those in Cardiff (29%) believe saving money is a happy by-product of being environmentally-friendly, with people saving an average of £42 each month as a result of their lifestyle changes – totalling £504 over the year.

Across the UK, this attitude resides largely among younger generations, with almost half of 18-24-year olds (46%) agreeing that living sustainably equates to being savvy with your money, compared with only a quarter of those aged 55 and over (23%). 

When it comes to the things that people do in order to reduce their personal impact on the planet, recycling as much as possible is the action most commonly taken in Cardiff (61%).

Top actions people take to be more environmentally friendly:

RankActivityPercentage of us taking action to be greener
1.Recycling as much as possible61%
2.Buying fewer plastic packaged items from supermarkets54%
3.Reducing food waste48%
4.Using reusable shopping bags46%
5.Not using single-use plastic and straws32%

Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at  Voucher Codes told SOUTH WALES LIFE………

“It is clear that the majority of people in Cardiff will openly discuss concerns for the environment, but it is interesting to see that the percentage of those taking regular direct action to reduce their personal impact on the planet is still pretty low.”

Anita Naik – Voucher Codes……

“It’s a shame that more of us can’t see the benefits of living a greener lifestyle, particularly when these changes can also save us money. For example, using our own bags when shopping is a simple, savvy way to reduce our personal impact on the environment, and other easy lifestyle changes like reducing our meat intake and using a reusable coffee cup can make a real difference. We can benefit both the planet, and our bank accounts, by living more sustainably.”

Of course, so much is being done right here in South Wales to have a positive impact on our planet. Our stores are certainly more aware of the plastic situation and our kids too appear to be ‘on the case’. And you only have to drive across the Heads Of The Valley road to see what else is doing doing every minute of the day.

In finishing though, I think this image we had taken, with a drone, above a landfill says it all…………

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