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Average family has this many arguments a week about being green

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Little African-American boy and container with trash in kitchen. Concept of recycling
(Maples Images via Shutterstock)

By Mustafa Mirreh, 72Point via SWNS

The average family has three arguments a week about being green - including leaving the lights on, forgetting to switch the TV off and putting trash in the wrong bin.

A study of 2,000 adults, who live with a partner or children, found rows about putting too much water in the kettle and taking longer showers are also common.

While families frequently argue about devices being left on all night, leaving the fridge door open and only half filling the dishwasher or washing machine before putting it on.

But more than three in 10 adults admitted they have been "green shamed" by their kids or partner, leading to disagreements about not being eco-friendly enough.

Chen Sun, from the British International Education Association, which commissioned the study to launch its competition, inviting children to submit their planet-saving ideas, said: “We all have our priorities - but for some, being green is not one of them.

“While the pressures of everyday life might discourage some grown-ups from being greener, it is encouraging to see children being more vocal about the environment and having open discussions with their parents on being sustainable and ensuring everyone acts in saving the planet.”

The research also found two fifths of adults argue with their partner about environmental issues, while 13 percent will debate with their children.

And 15 percent of those with kids admitted their youngsters are more passionate about the environment than their grandparents, friends, and work colleagues.

But 30 percent felt guilty about how little they do to help the environment - with affordability being the biggest reason.

Lack of time, confusion over what actions to take and, struggling to give up common habits, also means many struggle to be eco-friendly.

And one in 10 have found it harder to do things which help the planet in the last 12 months.

As a result, a quarter of parents have been told off by their children for doing something which is bad for the environment, such as eating meat and dairy, traveling by plane to go abroad, and using soap in a plastic bottle.

However, 58 percent are seeking advice to better their actions, with 48 percent relying on websites and blogs online to educate themselves.

TV documentaries, scientific reports and social media are also reliable sources for adults learn about becoming more sustainable, according to the OnePoll data.

But a third of adults admit their partner or children have inspired them to be greener, with 46 percent increasing their efforts as a result.

And 15 percent said their kids’ awareness of protecting the planet has grown following lessons at school.

Chen Sun added: “Despite adults feeling guilty, it is great to see them trying to improve their everyday habits and take inspiration from those closest to them.

“That is why we are encouraging young people, between the ages of six and 18, to come up with ideas to help make cities and communities more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

“Our winning teams of students will get the opportunity to visit Chongqing in China to present their ideas to the city’s decision makers.

“Chongqing was once known as ‘fog city’ because of its heavy air pollution.

"Now it has made environmental protection a priority to help improve the conditions of the 32 million people that live there.”


1. Leaving the lights on when you leave the room
2. Leaving the TV on when no one is watching it
3. Leaving the plug socket on when not in use
4. Putting things in the wrong recycling bin
5. Over-boiling or over-filling the kettle
6. Taking longer showers
7. Leaving devices on at night
8. Leaving the fridge door open
9. Leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth
10. Buying clothes you never wear
11. Washing clothes all the time
12. Using plastic shopping bags instead of reusable bags
13. Only half filling the washing machine or dishwasher before starting it
14. Buying things that use more plastic – like multi packs of crisps over a big sharing bag
15. Buying lunch at work instead of making it at home
16. Pre-rinsing dishes when using a dishwasher
17. Keeping the heating on overnight
18. Leaving the car engine running unnecessarily
19. Using a car to travel everywhere
20. Using dishwashers instead of handwashing
21. Using single-use wipes instead of reusable washcloths
22. Using bar soaps instead of liquid bottles
23. Using paper towels instead of cloths
24. Buying new toys for kids instead of second hand
25. Eating dairy

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