Greendex, an annual study implemented by the National Geographic Society and GlobeScan, recently listed the United States dead last for sustainable behavior. The survey, in which 17,000 consumers from 17 different countries participated, asked participants about such behavior as energy use and conservation, transportation choices, food sources, the relative use of green products versus conventional products, attitudes toward the environment and sustainability, and knowledge of environmental issues.
The disconnect between optimism and actual behavior may be due to the fact that U.S. consumers are hardly ever forced to see or pay the price for their wasteful behaviors. The study results show that consumers who practice environmentally-friendly behaviors has increased in only five of 17 countries surveyed since 2010. The report also indicates that consumers in developing nations like India, China, and Brazil outpace industrialized nations in their demonstration of sustainable behaviors.
American consumers’ behavior still ranks as the least sustainable of all countries surveyed since the inception of the study, followed by Canadian, Japanese and French consumers.