A study into the home improvement plans of homeowners in the UK has revealed that environmental concerns are becoming more of an issue.
As part of a consumer research exercise by the Utopia Bathroom Group, one of the UK’s leading bathroom manufacturers, 2,000 people were interviewed about their own home improvement plans. Among the consumer insights, there was clear evidence of a growing awareness of environmental issues within the home as well as a desire to reduce wastage.
What were the main findings concerning environmental issues?
4.50% of all respondents were more concerned about making their homes more environmentally friendly. Whilst this figure sounds minimal, when put into context, it reveals that consumer attitudes are changing.
For example, during a time of economic uncertainty, with many homeowners suffering financial difficulties, it was quite telling that for UK home owners more people (4.50%) were concerned about ensuring their home was environmentally friendly than their home being or going into negative equity (4.40%).
It was also more of a concern than those looking to downsize, who either can’t afford a new home (3.00%) or can’t find the right place (2.00%). Indeed, making a home more environmentally friendly was within the top four responses, indicating its prevalence as an issue within society. These included, having no concerns at all, not being able to afford updating a home, not being able to accommodate the whole family, with concerns over making a home more environmentally friendly the fourth biggest concern for UK homeowners.
Demographic breakdown of homeowners concerned about environmental issues
Interestingly, the survey revealed that females were much more likely to be concerned about environmental issues, with 5% placing it as their top priority. Conversely, only 3.6% of male respondents provided the same answer.
When it comes to age, the data indicates that environmental concerns are generally more applicable to older generations. Of those who cited this as a primary issue, 52% were aged 55 and over, while 28% were aged 45-54 and only 18% between the ages of 35 and 44. Those who were concerned by this the least were younger generations, with no one aged 25 – 34 concerned about environmental issues. However, with it being more difficult for younger people to obtain mortgages, this should be factored in when analysing results.
Geographical breakdown of home owners concerned about environmental issues
When the data is further broken down into geographical location, it is fairly mixed across the United Kingdom. Homeowners in London are the most concerned with 20% of respondents, whilst the North West and South West closely follow with 15% each.
In another part of the survey, respondents were asked, ‘What qualities would you look for in a bathroom showroom? If ‘other’ please specify. One of the answers given was telling of the way attitudes are now changing;
“How green can it be and what can be done to make it greener i.e. grey water collection”
In addition, when asked about bathroom usage, 32.80% of total respondents indicated that they would rather take a shower than have a bath. This can be for a variety of reasons, such as time-efficiency and cost-effectiveness, but environmental factors may also play a part.
Making your bathroom greener
For the Utopia Bathroom Group, such data has helped in the design and creation of new bathroom ranges. For the consumer, it is of increasing importance to have a bathroom that not only looks good and functions well, but that the materials used and sourced are friendly to the environment.
Ensuring that your bathroom furniture has been manufactured in a green way is a big concern. For many bathroom designers, having a sustainable policy that will reduce their environmental impact is a top priority. Whether this is the wood they use, the energy they consume, or transport logistics, operating in a responsible way is of paramount importance.
So, for the consumer, ensuring that you behave in a green way means more than simply watching the amount of water you use. While there are a number of ways in which we can all reduce wastage in the bathroom, you too could go one step further by looking at your manufacturer. Some things to consider include:
- Where are the products manufactured?
- Where are the products sourced?
- Are any of the products or their packaging from recyclable materials?
- Does your bathroom manufacturer have environmental management systems in place?
- What is their carbon footprint in relation to delivery and logistics?
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