Is “green” the new sexy? According to new research, 62% of Americans consider it a turn-off if somebody doesn’t recycle.

The statistic emerged in a new study of 2,000 Americans examining the country’s relationship with recycling and found that you may want to add “I recycle” to your dating profile bio.

It seems to be a growing trend, too, as the younger generation is the most likely to say they’d be turned off if they saw somebody being wasteful.

The new survey, conducted by The Recycling Partnership, also found that not only is recycling now a dating factor – it’s also influencing where we choose to spend our paychecks.

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For example, 74% of Americans said they’d rather shop and spend money at a “green business,” or a business that makes every effort to recycle and reuse materials, than a non-green business.

In fact, the average American would happily spend an extra $151 every month if it meant all their purchases went to supporting green businesses.

When split by age it appears the younger generation is the most ready to switch completely to green companies.

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Those aged 18 to 34 would spend an extra $219 a month – or $2,628 a year – if it meant everything they bought came from companies that make every effort to recycle.

Those aged 55 and up, on the other hand, are a bit less concerned – they would only commit to an extra $37 a month to those companies.

“This study reinforces what we’re hearing from cities big and small. Americans value recycling and expect that companies producing products should make sure that their products are one, recyclable and then two, actually recycled,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership. “It begs the question, however, of what U.S. companies are doing to create that reality. Over the past 15 years corporate giving has declined by over 50%, with consumers now out-giving corporations 14 to one to charitable causes. Corporate America needs to see that in the new generation, giving more means getting more.”

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So Americans obviously expect the most out of the businesses they choose to shop at when it comes to recycling, but how are those same Americans at recycling themselves?

According to the results, we need to step up our game.

For example, nearly half of Americans (42%) readily admit they don’t recycle as often they should, with the average American says they will throw away five recyclable items in the trash every week.


  1. I don’t have enough space in my home to recycle – 36%
  2. Recycling is inconvenient – 30%
  3. There’s no financial compensation – 19%
  4. I forget – 17%
  5. I don’t know what’s recyclable and what isn’t – 13%

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Almost half of Americans (46%) feel that recycling exactly properly proves to be quite difficult, but that could be because only 27% feel they’re very knowledgeable when it comes to the subject.

“The Recycling Partnership is transforming recycling for good by making sure every American can recycle, and recycles all that they can,” continued Harrison. “This study makes it clear that our younger generations are a galvanized bunch when it comes to recycling, clearly selecting companies that fund the protection of our planet. Now let’s see which companies will open their wallets to boldly lead the way.”

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