November 17, 2016

Two ‘Varietals’ of Green-Oriented Americans

A new Pew Research Center survey finds some 36% of Americans are deeply concerned about the issue of global climate change. Additionally, two-in-ten Americans try to live out their concern for the environment “all the time.”

[sub_heading heading="% of U.S. adults in each group"]

Climate-engaged

Everyday environmentalists

Those who care a great deal about the issue of climate change

Those who try to live in ways that protect the environment all of the time

 

 

36%

20%

Climate-

engaged

Everyday

environmentalists

Those who care a great

deal about the issue of

climate change

 

Those who try to live in

ways that protect the

environment all of the time

 

36%

20%

Climate-

engaged

Everyday

environmentalists

Those who care a

great deal about the

issue of climate

change

 

Those who try to live

in ways that protect

the environment all

of the time

 

36%

20%

Climate-

engaged

Everyday

environ-

mentalists

Those who care a

great deal about

the issue of

climate change

 

Those who try

to live in ways

that protect the

environment all

of the time

 

36%

20%

 
 

And while some Americans are both “climate engaged” and “everyday environmentalists,” each group has a distinctive profile.

[sub_heading heading="% of U.S. adults in each group"]

Both

Climate-engaged

 

Everyday environmentalists

 

24%

8%

12%

Everyday

environmentalists

Climate-engaged

 

Both

24%

8%

12%

Everyday

environ-

mentalists

Climate-

engaged

Both

24%

8%

12%

 

Most climate-engaged Americans believe the Earth is warming due to human activity. By contrast, everyday environmentalists’ beliefs closely match those of the U.S. population as a whole.

[sub_heading heading="% of U.S. adults who say the Earth is mostly warming due to human activity"]

76%

51

48

Climate- engaged

 

Everyday

environ-

mentalists

U.S. adults

76%

51

48

U.S. adults

Climate- engaged

 

Everyday

environ-

mentalists

76%

51

48

U.S.

adults

Climate-

engaged

 

Everyday

environ-

mentalists

 
 

Americans who care a great deal about climate change are predominantly Democrats or independents who lean toward the Democratic Party, while everyday environmentalists include a mix of Republicans and Democrats that aligns with the share in the overall population.

[sub_heading heading="% of U.S. adults in each group"]

Climate-

engaged

Everyday

environmentalists

U.S. adults

72%

53

52

44

41

24%

Dem

Rep

Dem

Rep

Dem

Rep

Climate-

engaged

Everyday

environmentalists

U.S. adults

72%

53

52

44

41

24%

Dem

Rep

Dem

Rep

Dem

Rep

Climate-

engaged

Everyday

environ-

mentalists

U.S.

adults

72%

53

52

44

41

24%

Dem

Rep

Dem

Rep

Dem

Rep

 
 

The climate-engaged also skew younger, while everyday environmentalists are disproportionately older.

[sub_heading heading="% of U.S. adults in each age group"]

Climate-engaged

Everyday

environmentalists

U.S. adults

63

44%

44

35%

30

26

21%

20

16

Millennial

Boomer

or older

Millennial

Boomer

or older

Millennial

Boomer

or older

Gen

X

Gen

X

Gen

X

Climate-

engaged

Everyday

environmentalists

U.S. adults

63

44%

44

35%

30

26

21%

20

16

Mill.

Gen

X

Boom.

or

older

Mill.

Gen

X

Boom.

or

older

Mill.

Gen

X

Boom.

or

older

Climate-

engaged

Everyday

environ-

mentalists

U.S.

adults

63

44

44

35%

30

26

21

20

16

Millennial

Gen X

Boomer or older

Millennial

Gen X

Boomer or older

Millennial

Gen X

Boomer or older

 

Both tend to have like-minded friends and family. About half (53%) of those who always try to live in ways that protect the environment all the time and 40% of those who care a great deal about climate change say that most of their close friends and family always try to help the environment. By comparison, 26% of all U.S. adults say the same.

[sub_heading heading="% who say __ of their close friends and family always try to live in ways that help the environment"]

36

Some

40%

45

53

Most

40%

26

Climate-

engaged

 

Everyday

environ-

mentalists

U.S.

adults

36

40%

Some

45

53

40%

Most

26

Climate-

engaged

 

Everyday

environ-

mentalists

U.S.

adults

36

40%

Some

45

53

40%

Most

26

Climate-

engaged

 

Everyday

environ-

mentalists

U.S.

adults

 

Despite these differences, both groups of Americans are equally likely as the general public to have spent time hiking, camping, hunting or fishing in the past year; they are also about equally likely to have spent time tending to plants in public parks or other public spaces. And while everyday environmentalists are modestly more likely to have participated in a park clean-up day, they are no more likely than the climate-engaged or other Americans to reduce and reuse at home by composting, having a rain barrel or growing their own vegetables.

[sub_heading heading="% of U.S. adults who have done the following in the past year"]

Everyday

environmentalists

Climate-engaged

 

U.S. adults

Taken a hike in a park or outdoor setting

56%

52%

50%

Tended a vegetable garden

36

32

34

Been hunting or fishing

19

19

21

Been camping overnight

18

14

16

Participated in a clean-up day

14

23

14

Tended public space planting

12

13

10

Climate-engaged

56%

Taken a hike in a park

or outdoor setting

Everyday environmentalists

52%

U.S. adults

50%

36

Tended a vegetable

garden

32

34

19

Been hunting or

fishing

19

21

18

Been camping

overnight

14

16

14

Participated in a

clean-up day

23

14

12

Tended public space

planting

13

10

Climate-engaged

Everyday environmentalists

U.S. adults

Taken a hike in a

park or outdoor

setting

56%

52%

50%

36

Tended a

vegetable garden

32

34

19

Been hunting or

fishing

19

21

18

Been camping

overnight

14

16

14

Participated in a

clean-up day

23

14

12

Tended public

space planting

13

10

Climate-engaged

Everyday

environmentalists

U.S. adults

Taken a hike in

a park or

outdoor setting

56%

52%

50%

36

Tended a

vegetable

garden

32

34

19

Been hunting

or fishing

19

21

18

Been camping

overnight

14

16

Participated

in a clean-up

day

14

23

14

12

Tended

public space

planting

13

10

Report: The Politics of Climate