An Australian Bureau of Statistics report, prepared for the 2006 Australian State of the Environment Committee, says Australians are less concerned about the environment than they have been in the past despite the fact that more people are undertaking environmental of “green” activities.
The report looks at trends occurring over the last decade with particular emphasis on the level of environmental concern and people’s involvement in environmental activities.
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- In 1992, three quarters of all Australian adults, or 8.6 million people aged 18 years or older, stated they were concerned about environmental problems. By 2004 the proportion of people concerned had declined to 57%.
- Although concern about the environment has continued to decrease across all groups between 1992 and 2004, the most pronounced decline has occurred in the younger Australians, especially those aged 18-24 years, with concern declining from 79% in 1992 to 48% in 2004.
- While people may state they are concerned about the environment, a more valuable measure of their concern may be what they have done about their worries. In 2004, 7% of Australian aged 18 and over registered their concern by writing letters, telephoning, participating in a demonstration, signing a petition or making some other source of official expression.
- The main reason stated for non-involvement in environmental actions has remained constant over the years as “no time for involvement”.
- 95% of households undertake in some form of recycling.
- In 2004, almost nine in ten households in Australia (89%) reported purchasing environmentally friendly products (EFPs).