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Yale University Survey Points Out Concerns About the Environment

July 26, 2005
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BLOOMINGTON, IN-July 26, 2005-A majority of Americans, 52 percent, believe the environment in the United States is getting worse, while just 15 percent think it is getting better, according to a wide-ranging, just-released survey by the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.*

The survey also reported that while women (56 percent) and Democrats (70 percent) were most downbeat regarding the environment, a third of Republicans also believe things are getting worse.

Along with asking Americans whether they believe the U.S. environment is getting better or worse, the survey also asked about environmental leadership in this country and whether we can protect the environment and still have economic growth.

Among the findings:

  • Only 4 percent of respondents say this country's environment-which includes such things as air and water quality, forest preservation, childhood asthma, and global warming-is "excellent." Sixty percent say it is "only fair" or poor.
  • Sixty-eight percent of respondents say the U.S. federal government overall "does not do enough and should do more" to protect the environment.
  • Forty-nine percent indicate the federal government specifically "should do more," and 63 percent believe the president "does not do enough and should do more."

    "Overall, the survey reveals an overwhelming public desire for a new direction in the United States," says Stephen Ashkin of the Ashkin Group, Bloomington, IN, the leading advocate for the use of environmentally preferable cleaning products in the jansan industry. "It appears the American people are very concerned about a number of environmental issues and would like a greater focus on them, including more leadership from our government."

    The study also found that there has been a shift in thinking regarding protecting the environment and its impact on industry and the U.S. economy.

    "One of the early concerns about implementing environmental practices including Green Cleaning was that it was not economically feasible," says Ashkin. "Most people no longer believe this, and we now have reports indicating many facilities actually save money when they incorporate Greener operations and Green Cleaning."

    The Yale study validated Ashkin's comments, finding most Americans see no conflict between protecting the environment and strengthening the economy. In fact, 76 of those polled believe "We don't have to sacrifice economic growth to protect the environment."

    "This study proves that the jansan industry is on the right track by adopting Green Cleaning," says Ashkin. "We should be proud of ourselves because in many aspects, we are at the forefront in protecting the health of cleaning workers, building occupants, and our environment, and we have done this on our own, without government rules, intervention, or regulation."

    *The survey was conducted on behalf of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies by Global Strategy Group from May 15 to 22, 2005. The survey was conducted using professional phone interviewers. The nationwide sample was drawn from a random digit dial (RDD) process. Respondents were screened on the basis of age, i.e., to be over the age of 18. The survey has an overall margin of error of ±3.1% at the 95% confidence level. The survey questions and full results can be found at the website of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy: www.yale.edu/envirocenter.

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