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Conserving Energy No Sweat,
Says New Poll

by Center for a New American Dream
Environmental News Network, August 28, 2001

TAKOMA PARK, MD -- Conserving Energy No Sweat, Says New Poll

New Program Shows Actual Environmental Benefits of Nine Simple Actions

Takoma Park, MD - As the United States resists international pressure to reduce American energy consumption and global warming emissions, California seems to be doing both without sacrifice. According to a new survey commissioned by the non-profit Center for a New American Dream, a whopping 81% of Californians who took personal action to conserve energy during the recent power crunch report that it has not had a significant negative impact on their quality of life. The poll, conducted in late July, found that 89% of Californians acted to reduce their energy consumption.

"We don't have to shiver in the dark or droop in the heat in order to protect the environment," said Center Executive Director Betsy Taylor. "This is a dramatic rebuke to the myth that Americans have to suffer if they want to conserve resources," Taylor said. Our findings also show that not only can Americans reduce their energy usage without sacrifice - they are in fact more than willing to do so."

New Program Shows Actual Benefits of a Few Simple Actions

In a separate national survey conducted by the Center, almost two-thirds of Americans acknowledge that they would do more to conserve energy if they felt that their actions had a measurable positive impact on the environment. Turn the Tide, a unique new program by the Center for a New American Dream, provides that necessary information. By showing the actual environmental benefits of nine simple everyday actions using a real-time online calculator, Turn the Tide demonstrates to Americans that what they do matters.

Nationwide, according to the survey, almost half of all Americans are willing to reduce their driving by 20 miles a week, and seven in ten would install energy efficient light bulbs, if they felt it would have a measurable positive environmental impact. Using the Turn the Tide website calculations, this would save an astonishing 159 billion pounds of carbon dioxide each year. These two actions alone would prevent the emission of over 150 billion pounds of carbon dioxide per year.

Based on the recommendations of consumer behavior experts and environmental scientists, the Center for the New American Dream compiled nine simple individual actions that would be easy to implement and have a measurable positive impact on the environment. At, visitors are given a personal web page to track individual environmental impact, along with the combined impact of every other person participating in the program. For those without computers, Turn the Tide will provide the same information through the mail.

In just the first month of the program, Turn the Tide participants have already taken personal action that will prevent the emission of almost half a million pounds of carbon dioxide and save over 1 million gallons of water per year.

"Americans care about the planet, and individually they are ready to change their behavior - they just need to know that their actions have a real impact," added Ms. Taylor. "Turn the Tide provides people with compelling evidence that they can make a difference."

To view Turn the Tide video and soundbites, click on

Center for a New American Dream
Conserving Energy No Sweat, Says New Poll
Environmental News Network, August 28, 2001

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