Millions of Brits don’t think their personal actions will make a difference to climate change, a study has revealed.
More than a third (35 percent) consider global warming to be the biggest issue facing the world today – ahead of the Covid pandemic (18 percent) and poverty (15 percent).
However, 80 percent of the population is not aware. “care” about environmental issues, 46 percent don’t feel equipped to reduce their impact.
And even if they did, one in ten of the 2,000 adults polled don’t think their actions would make a difference.
It also emerged that 30 percent don’t believe politicians care enough about the issue of climate change to implement and vote for laws which will tackle the problem.
Hannah Rouch was hired by Gumtree UK to conduct the research for its launch. “Waste-less Winter” campaign, said: “It’s clear that big businesses and the Government need to take the issue of climate change more seriously.
“It can be hard to see how your personal efforts will make a difference when they see pollution and waste on such a huge scale, so people are looking to large corporations to set an example.
“But it’s also important to realise that all actions, however small, can make a difference – it soon becomes a big action if millions of people join together to do the same thing.”
The study found that almost half (51%) of those surveyed believe recent events like COP26 and launch of the Government Net Zero Strategy made them more aware of climate change and have made them think about it.
However, one in seven (14 percent) admitted the opposite is true, while nearly one in ten said they weren’t sure what COP26 even was.
38 percent of polled respondents consider deforestation the main cause of climate and environmental problems. They are followed by plastic pollution (35%), and dependence on fossil fuels (35%).
28% believe the climate crisis is due to excessive consumption and over-buying.
OnePoll polled 61% of those surveyed to express concern over Christmas consumption.
However, only 41% plan to curb their overconsumption. They will need to plan what presents they buy, avoid panic buying, and set a spending limit.
79% will shop for something new this holiday season, either to buy it themselves or to gift as a gift.
However, while most people will recycle or donate their unwanted items, 37% admit that they will be thrown out.
Hannah Rouch, Gumtree, added: “Participating more in the circular economy, which aims to ensure no resource is wasted, and buying second-hand is one of the best ways individuals can try to tackle overconsumption.
“We’ve found that people do truly care about climate and environmental issues –however, there’s a disparity between this and their actions.
“This festive season, we’re calling on the UK to consider whether they can swap the bin for re-commerce and list the things they don’t want for free, so that someone else can enjoy their pre-loved item instead of it heading to landfill or contributing further to emissions by incineration.”
Gumtree launched a petition to change the way bulky household items are handled by local authorities in order to reduce the amount sent to landfill. You can sign it Here.