A new poll by the Huffington Post finds that Americans are less concerned about the environment today than they were in 1971 when Earth Day began.
The poll, conducted by Huffington Post’s polling partner YouGov, found that just 39% of Americans felt it was “very important” to work to restore and enhance the national environment versus 63% who responded affirmatively in 1971.
When asked whether the federal government should increase or decrease government spending on the environment, just 29% said that it should be increased; 33% said the government should decrease the amount of money it spends on the environment.
The poll found that more Americans are taking personal responsibility for their own environmental impact:
Half of Americans in 2013, compared to only a fifth in 1971, said they had cut down on electricity use, and Americans were more likely to say that they had eaten organic food in 2013 than in 1971. Although only 16 percent of Americans now say that they’ve stopped using disposable paper and plastic products, that’s double the 8 percent who said they had done so in 1971.
The Huffington Post/YouGov poll was based on a sample of 1,000 adults.