Women are more Earth-friendly

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 05:00 23/12/2013

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Kiwi women are more likely to be environmentally friendly than men.

A survey has highlighted the gender differences between women and men's actions when it comes to the environment, with one of the authors saying women are more environmentally conscious as they are naturally more nurturing.

The triennial Public Perceptions of New Zealand's Environment 2013 found more than 70 per cent of respondents bought environmentally friendly products, reduced their electricity and composted or grew their own vegetables, with women more likely to do so.

Report co-author Ken Hughey said: "Females are more nurturing and more connected to the environment. Females are better with electricity and fresh water and they tend to purchase the products."

Cantabrian Shelley Bakker said women tended to be at home more so took care of the day-to-day running of households, including shopping, gardening and recycling.

The mother-of-three reuses as much as possible, composts, grows her own vegetables and fruit and has a worm farm.

"It's for the future generations, for our kids and their kids. Otherwise there will be nothing left."

The survey found 95 per cent of respondents recycled household waste, a 7 per cent increase from the 2002 survey.

The survey of 2200 people, conducted by three Lincoln University lecturers, asked questions across a range of environmental categories including air quality, native plants and biodiversity.

Hughey said people recycled as it was the right thing to do, and had become the "social norm".

"People feel quite good about it. They think it's a solution to an environmental problem."

When the Christchurch City Council first started collecting recycling in 1999 about 12,000 tonnes was processed.

This has steadily increased, with a jump in 2009 when the "yellow wheelie bin" was introduced.

Those on lower incomes were more likely to have reduced or limited their use of electricity, while those on higher incomes were more likely to have visited national parks.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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