Brits go green to save money, not the planet, says Legal & General

29 October 2008 / by Rachel Mason
Despite the fact that 98 per cent of Brits say they are taking steps to make their homes more environmentally friendly, almost half have admitted adopting their green ways to save money, not the planet.

According to research by Legal & General, 41 per cent of Brits say they have told their friends they are recycling and cutting down on their energy consumption to be environmentally friendly, but the real reason is because it's cheaper.

Back in May, Legal & General's research revealed that a massive 98 per cent of people were doing their bit for the environment, but now it seems that financial pressures have become a bigger priority than saving the planet, as almost half admit cutting costs is their main objective.

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The research showed that women are feeling the most guilty about their carbon footprint, with 27 per cent saying that their green efforts are purely to be environmentally friendly compared to just 17 per cent of men.

But women are also the ones most likely to mislead their friends into thinking they have eco-friendly intentions while actually trying to save themselves a few quid, with 45 per cent admitting their green efforts are actually in a bid to save cash compared to 36 per cent of men.

Legal & General has found that the top three environmentally friendly measures Brits take to secretly save money are turning off the heating at home (26 per cent), recycling and reusing plastic bags (22 per cent), and cutting down on ready-made meals (15 per cent).

"The research shows that economic climate and environment issues are having an impact on the way we live," said Garry Skelton, marketing director at Legal & General’s general insurance business.

"With the colder weather approaching, people are likely to resist turning on their heating to save money, but we would advise Brits to conduct some checks on their property to ensure that they are safe, as well as energy efficient.

"For example, checking that the loft insulation is at the recommended thickness of 250mm; that pipes that may freeze in cold weather are lagged and repairing any leaks or drafts. These are all measures that can help the environment but also help Brits to save money during the autumn and winter months."

Mr Skelton also urges homeowners to keep up general maintenance on their homes, which not only gives peace of mind but also helps meet the conditions set out by many home insurance policies.

"Most home insurance policies require their customers to ensure that their property is maintained in a sound condition and kept in good repair.” he said.

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