We’re not trying to fuel the gender wars, honest. It actually comes down to fact: There’s a wide body of research demonstrating that women out-green men in attitudes and actions.
But rather than get down on the guys, let’s celebrate the gals. In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8 (hey, it’s as good an excuse as any), we take a look at the top ways women especially help to improve the environment.
1. Women recycle more.
About two-thirds of households that regularly recycle credit the woman of the house as the “recycling enforcer,” according to a 2009 survey. That’s a big deal since women continue to shoulder most of the housework, experts say.
2. Women are more keen to be green.
About 41 percent of women compared to 27 percent of men cite eco-friendly living as a daily goal, a national survey finds. The same study showed that more women than men want to use reusable shopping bags and reduce their household’s energy use.
3. Women eat less meat.
Men consume more meat and processed foods than women, conclude two recent European studies — two categories of food that are especially resource-intensive. Women eat more fruits and vegetables, which use up less land, water and CO2, for example.
4. Women take shorter trips.
Is it because they ask for directions and take a direct route? We’d like to think so, but no: Men drive and fly longer distances for their jobs, the European studies show. Women use more public transportation, too, which lessens their carbon footprint.
5. Women save gas.
Aggressive driving lowers gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway, says the U.S. Department of Energy, and studies repeatedly show that women are less likely to speed than men. (That’s reflected in insurance premiums, too.)
6. Women are eco-fashion forward.
The lack of eco-friendly menswear isn’t a big surprise since designers overwhelmingly focus on women’s apparel, but because women also buy more clothes, they have a greater influence on the industry as a whole.
7. Women make more eco-purchases.
Beyond fashion, women are more likely than men to buy eco-oriented or recyclable products, according to an international study. Again, that’s potential for a big impact since women make at least 75 percent of home purchase decisions, researchers attest.