The majority of adults across the UK experience guilt about the ‘extensive environmental impacts’ they generate as a result of modern life.
New research shows almost half of the country have also felt judged for not acting sustainably enough – employee engagement tool Perkbox Insights found 89% of adults suffer from ‘green guilt’ when they know they ‘could and should’ be doing more to care for the planet.
Its poll of 1,864 adults revealed 83% believe they are ‘conscious’ or ‘very conscious’ about their environmental impact.
Despite this, only 64% said they are ‘active’ or ‘very active’ in trying to reduce their impact, while 36% admitted they are not actively making an effort to live more sustainably.
Around 47% noted they have felt judged by others for actions that may not have been the most sustainable choice, with price and availability cited as the two most common barriers to making a green choice.
In terms of what worries them the most, 78% of people said they feel guilty for unnecessary use of plastic, 72% for wasting food and 57% for wasting products – only 25% feel guilty about unsustainable shopping, while just a third feel guilty about high travel emissions.
The report found those between the ages of 18-24 are most likely to regularly experience green guilt, while 61% of adults said they felt guilty for how the industry they work in impacts the environment, with nearly a tenth having considered changing their job as a result.