Protecting the environment is very important to most Americans

April 22, 2017

Three Quarters Feel They Can Personally Do Something to Help Save the Planet

SAN FRANCISCO – April 20, 2017 – Cool Effect™, the innovative online platform crowdfunding for the highest-quality carbon reducing projects around the globe, announced today the findings of a nationwide third-party online survey conducted by Ipsos that evaluated consumer sentiment and reasons regarding preserving the health and vitality of our planet. The survey was conducted among individuals 18 and older who believe climate change is caused by humans.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • Nearly everyone surveyed (98%) believe that protecting the environment is important, with seven-in-ten going so far as to indicate very important.
  • Three quarters believe that there is something they can do personally to fight climate change. Millennials (79%, 18-34), parents (81%), the more educated (81%) and married folks (79%) are especially optimistic.
  • While this sense of personal ownership and empowerment is encouraging, surprisingly only 40 percent of respondents have taken action by supporting an organization that is fighting climate change or advocating for climate policy – nearly half of whom are millennials (48%).

“We believe that everyone can be a part of the solution through simple and tangible action,” said Cool Effect COO Marisa de Belloy. “Cool Effect’s platform provides an easy and affordable way for people to do more to help the planet through crowdfunding for a variety of verifiable greenhouse gas reducing projects.”

The survey went on to explore people’s varying motivations for wanting to combat climate change. When asked to rank four potential motivators for preventing climate change from most to least important, the results came out as follows.

Saving the earth for future generations of my family took top billing at 48 percent – and was seen to be especially important among men (51%), older adults (54%, 55+), parents (54%), and married adults (52%).

  • Preventing the increased spread of disease (21%) and protecting places on earth like the Great Barrier Reef, rainforests and national parks (20%) were neck-and-neck.
  • Saving animals from extinction turned out to be the least important motivator, coming in at a 11 percent.

When asked to share some of their meaningful and personal reasons for wanting to save the planet, most people included something related to the environment (67%). Clean air (17%, or 1 in 5), climate change/ drastic weather events (11%), protecting the environment/ planet (10%), fresh, clean water (8%), and wanting to save the planet because we live here (8%) are the answers that came up most frequently.

Just under half of those surveyed bring up humankind (46%) when asked why they want to save the planet, including 34 percent who specifically mention future generations/ family/ friends. Nature-inspired reasons for wanting to save the planet are brought up by nearly as many (44%), with wildlife animals (24%) among the most mentioned.

A third say that they want to save the planet for the sake of activities (33%) such as traveling/ exploring/ vacations (10%) and hiking/ walking/ running (8%).

Everyone has their own unique reason for wanting to prevent climate change and Cool Effect champions them all. The organization is kicking off its #TonOfReasons campaign to encourage and empower all who care about preserving the future of our planet to take action by visiting Individuals can contribute to a project that verifiably reduces greenhouse gas emissions, learn about the incredible work each project is doing, and be inspired by other people’s ton of reasons to fight climate change. The full report finding can be viewed here.


Cool Effect is a San Francisco Bay Area 501(c)(3) nonprofit that allows individuals to create a tangible impact on climate change through a digital platform, providing consistent funding to the highest-quality carbon reducing projects around the world.

Cool Effect was founded on the passionate belief that individual support of projects will create a cumulative effect that will reduce and prevent carbon pollution. Like the Butterfly Effect, The Ripple Effect, and others, a single action can have global impact. The organization’s mission is to ignite planet sized change. To learn more, please visit or follow Cool Effect on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


These are the findings from an Ipsos poll conducted April 3-5, 2017. For the survey, a sample of 1,406 adults over the age of 18 from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. In order to qualify for the survey, respondents had to report believing that both the climate is changing (i.e., getting warmer, more storms, etc.) and that climate change is caused by humans.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, region, race/ethnicity and income.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.0 percentage points for all respondents (see link below for more info on Ipsos online polling “Credibility Intervals”). Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,406, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=4.5).

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.