Women are more likely than men to recycle, save water, and turn the heating off when they’re not at home - and it might be because of gender stereotyping, new research suggests.
More Brits are trying to live more ethically than last year but men are lagging behind, with 71% of women are increasing their commitment to ethical living compared with 59% of men, according to research from Mintel.
Women are also more likely to compost food waste than men and to encourage family and friends to adapt a more ethical lifestyle.
Mintel said its research indicated that advertising of eco-friendly products might be having a negative impact by creating an “eco gender gap”.
Jack Duckett, senior consumer lifestyles analyst at Mintel, said its research highlights something of a “eco gender gap” revealing that men are less likely to pursue environmentally-friendly behaviours than their female counterparts.
He said there is a disconnect between men and environmental issues. “Troublingly, [this] could be due to men feeling that caring for the environment somehow undermines their masculinity,” he said.
That “sentiment” risks being reinforced by advertisers because eco-friendly campaigns and product claims are largely aimed at female audiences, he added. “At a time where so many advertisers are exploring what it means to be a man, there are opportunities for brands to create campaigns that will reposition environmentally-friendly behaviours as part of modern masculinity.”
Overall, the research suggests that plastic pollution is considered to be the most important environmental issue in the UK (47%) followed by animal welfare and climate change (37%). There is also strong consumer demand for plastic free and packaging free supermarkets, it said.