The UK is a nation of “armchair ecologists” who are concerned about the environment but unwilling to do too much about saving the planet themselves.

That is the conclusion of a new study into our attitudes towards the environmental issues affecting modern society.

It suggests that installing energy-saving light bulbs, turning off electrical appliances when they are not in use and recycling more represents the limit of most people’s efforts to be adopt a greener lifestyle.

The report, commissioned by Hyder Consulting, states that few of us are willing to embrace other ideas – from saving water to using public transport.

And a second study released today finds that only 29% of UK adults would support a green tax.

Some maintain that the two reports explode the myth that we are becoming a more ecology aware and environmentally conscious nation, prepared to embrace ethical consumerism and reduce our own personal impact on the planet.

Yet surely the report shows that we are willing to take steps if the right incentives are in place, plus we feel that we are not acting in isolation?

Too often we have to endure a “do as we say, don’t do as we do” attitude from political leaders regarding environmental issues.

If we felt that our decision-makers were taking a positive lead and setting the right example, the chances are we would be more supportive of extra taxes and other environmental initiatives.

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