Today concern about the environment is a priority among Chileans. In fact, the study “Environment and climate change: The perception, knowledge and green habits of Chileans” conducted by the Universidad Andrés Bello (UNAB), revealed that 98% of the people in the sample surveyed believe in the existence of climate change and perceive it as a global problem.
Of these, 82% consider that environmental protection is very important and 50% believe that their daily life is strongly affected by ecological problems.
The survey, presented on 19 April 2010 by UNAB professors Marcelo Mena, PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Alex Godoy, PhD in Engineering Sciences, was based on a poll of the opinion and habits of Chileans on aspects such as perception, behavior and policies concerning the environment.
Thus, 599 persons over 21 years’ old, inhabitants of Santiago and Valparaíso, were surveyed to provide the Chilean perspective on matters affecting the ecology.
The study also revealed that a majority of Chileans believes that the State plays a fundamental role in the implementation, regulation, monitoring and funding of anti-pollution measures.
It also noted that a majority of those surveyed reflects their concern about the environment through actions such as being careful with water and electricity consumption and favoring the use of other types of more ecological transportation over private cars.
Thus, 91% state that they are careful about water andenergy, and act upon it by turning off lights and unplugging appliances when they are not in use. Fifty-four percent choose to use public transportation instead of the car. And 52% state that they manifest their awareness of the environment by traveling on foot or on a bicycle.
Moreover, the idea of recycling is beginning to gain strength in the minds of Chileans, because 36.5% of the surveyed sample members have practiced this habit. It should be mentioned that there are currently several organizations in the country that are concerned with this issue. One example is yoreciclo.cl, a site that provides useful tips for those beginning to practice recycling.