Water charges will change our consumption habits, say 68%


Some 86 per cent of people are concerned about the environment, and 68 per cent believe water charges would change their use of the natural resource, a survey has found.

Some 89 per cent said they would try to reduce the amount of food waste produced at home, and one-fifth had changed to a renewable energy supplier in the past five years – with 65 per cent of this group doing so for financial reasons.

Only 10 per cent of respondents believed there was no need to conserve water.

The ConsEnSus (Consumption, Environment and Sustainability) Lifestyle survey published today was conducted by researchers at NUI Galway’s school of geography in conjunction with Trinity College Dublin. The four-year research project is described as the first of its kind to look at sustainable consumption on the island of Ireland. A representative sample of 1,500 households across the island was questioned between 2010 and 2011 on food, water, energy use and mobility or transport.

The survey found that 73 per cent of all respondents would be willing to install insulation in their homes, but only 23 per cent had actually done so in the past five years. Almost one-third of all respondents reported not being well informed about the environmental impact of the products they used. The survey was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Strive research programme.