Top 30 Green tasks Brits most enjoy – Recycling tops list

Brits actually enjoy being green and get satisfaction from flattening old cardboard boxes for recycling, using a bag for life when shopping and upcycling.

That’s according to a new study of 2,000 adults which found 64 per cent of us feel happy when doing something good for the planet – including rinsing out the recycling and walking or cycling instead of driving.

These green tasks along with others like shopping ethically, all feature in a YouTube video revealing a handful of eco-friendly activities which give the public pleasure – see below. 

Other actions identified in the research include taking part in litter picks, batch cooking to reduce food waste, turning off unused lights and growing fruit and veg at home.

It also emerged the typical consumer does something positive for the environment as often as 10 times a week.

Carried out ahead of International Day of Happiness [March 20 2021], the study also found using a reusable water bottle brings joy to those polled, as does buying second-hand items such as clothes.

It also emerged 36 per cent feel being eco-friendly has become more of a priority since the pandemic began – but there is room for improvement.

Of those polled, 81 per cent admitted they could do even more to be ‘green’.

This includes wasting less water (30 per cent), reducing food waste (27 per cent), and monitoring energy use more closely (24 per cent).

Says Andy Barnetson of cardboard packaging company Beyond the Box which commissioned the survey:

“We all know the positive impact environmentally friendly behaviour can have on the planet.

“So it’s great to see there is evidence being ‘green’ can help to boost our mood too – particularly during a year that’s been very challenging for so many people.

“It’s brilliant to see that so many people enjoy doing their bit for the planet – and why shouldn’t they?

“Seemingly small actions, like recycling cardboard packaging, really do make a difference, so we all deserve a pat on the back for our efforts.”


1. Taking the recycling out – 36 per cent
2. Turning off lights which aren’t in use – 36 per cent
3. Remembering to take a reusable bag with you when shopping – 35 per cent
4. Flattening old cardboard boxes – 32 per cent
5. Sorting out the recycling into the right box – 32 per cent
6. Using a reusable water bottle – 31 per cent
7. Turning things off at the socket when not in use – 28 per cent
8. Only filling the kettle with as much water as needed – 28 per cent
9. Cycling or walking instead of driving – 27 per cent
10. Avoiding single use items – 27 per cent
11. Rinsing out the recycling – 26 per cent
12. Washing clothes at 30 degrees – 23 per cent
13. Upcycling household items – 23 per cent
14. Batch cooking to reduce food waste – 22 per cent
15. Growing your own fruit and veg – 22 per cent
16. Putting leftover food into a compost bin – 22 per cent
17. Shopping for plastic packaging-free fruit and/or veg – 22 per cent
18. Taking lunch into work instead of buying things – 21 per cent
19. Monitoring heating usage – 21 per cent
20. Using a reusable coffee cup – 20 per cent
21. Using eco-friendly cleaning products – 19 per cent
22. Buying second-hand clothing and other items – 17 per cent
23. Taking shorter showers – 16 per cent
24. Encouraging others to make a positive impact on the environment – 16 per cent
25. Picking up litter/taking part in litter picks – 16 per cent
26. Using soap and/or shampoo bars to reduce plastic bottles – 15 per cent
27. Finding and cooking with new vegetarian or vegan foods – 15 per cent
28. Using public transport – 13 per cent
29. Driving an electric vehicle – six per cent
30. Paying for carbon offsetting when holidaying – six per cent


Chris Price


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