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Nearly Two Thirds of U.S. Teens Feel Their Generation Can Do More to Help the Environment
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Nearly Two Thirds of U.S. Teens Feel Their Generation Can Do More to Help the Environment

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Canon U.S.A., Inc., has released survey results revealing that 63 percent of 14- to 18-year-old teenagers agree that kids their age are not taking enough action to help solve current environmental problems.

The survey, commissioned by Canon U.S.A. and conducted online by Harris Interactive, polled 563 teenagers across the United States to investigate their understanding of, and interest in, environmental activities.

The survey also helps kick off the 25th anniversary of the Envirothon where more than 270 students from across the United States and Canada are participating in a Canon-sponsored, five-day competition this week at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa. to test their knowledge on a variety of environmental issues.

According to the survey, teenagers frequently look for new ways to help preserve the environment while at the same time they also expressed the need to go beyond the classroom to satisfy their environmental curiosity. The results did, however, reveal that a majority of students are willing to do more, from volunteering to clean up public areas (56 percent) to recycling (85 percent) and reducing energy usage, such as turning off unnecessary lights (85 percent).

How Teens Get Their Environmental News:

-- Older teens (16- to 18-year-olds) are more likely than younger teens (14- to 15-year-olds) to actively seek out information on environmental issues through websites or blogs (49 percent vs. 39 percent) and newspapers or magazines (47 percent vs. 32 percent)

-- Three out of four (76 percent) teens in grades six to 12 reported there are infrequent opportunities to learn about environmental conservation at their schools or in their classrooms

-- More than two-thirds (67 percent) of 14- to 18-year-olds turn to television programming and commercials to receive information about the environment

-- Only 56 percent report their school classes are a source of information about environmental issues

"It is very encouraging that students across the country have such a strong desire to learn more about the environment and assist in the development and implementation of sustainable practices," said Bunji Yano, senior director and general manager, Corporate Communications, Canon U.S.A. "Through programs like the Canon Envirothon, Canon U.S.A. is supporting students and inspiring a whole new generation of environmental leaders and innovators."

Additional survey findings reveal:

-- Teens are split on whether or not they would vote for a president based on their views on environmental issues; 49 percent agree that they would and 51 percent disagree.

-- Three in four 14- to 18-year-olds (75 percent) believe that humans have had a major impact on climate change, such as changes in temperature and rising sea levels.

-- The top three environmental changes that many teens fear will impact the quality of life in their future are poor air quality (66 percent), global warming (61 percent), and poor management of garbage (59 percent).

-- About half of 14- to 18-year-olds also think that de-forestation (52 percent), possible water shortages (51 percent), and not having enough energy available for electricity (47 percent) will impact their lives in the future. Rising sea levels are the least of their concerns; less than a third (31 percent) feel this will impact their quality of life in the future.

-- The majority of 14- to 18-year-olds are willing to recycle (85 percent) and turn off unnecessary lights (85 percent) to help with environmental conservation, while nearly three in five would also be willing to spend less time in the shower (57 percent) and volunteer to help clean up public areas, such as a beach or a park (56 percent).

-- Around half or fewer would be willing to lower their usage of heat (49 percent), carpool to school (49 percent), lower their usage of air conditioning (44 percent), or take public transportation to school (40 percent). A third or less of 14-to 18-year-olds would be willing to ride a bike to school (33 percent) or lower their usage of a computer (28 percent).

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive between June 13 and June 20, 2012 among 563 teenagers, aged 14- to 18-years-old. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, parental education, urbanicity and region were weighted where necessary to bring the overall sample into line with their actual proportions in the population of U.S. 14- to 18- year-olds.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100 percent response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. 14- to 18-year-old population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Harris Interactive Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant and consumer package goods. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us--and our clients--stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com .

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