Originally Posted by Hands Sandon
This is my opinion:
From what I can see talking to people around me, to my family, friends, and acquaintances; they are all behind renewable, reusable, and "greener" (though they generally dislike that term). They do it because of the benefits they see from it. For example:
Recycling, good for many reasons, but there are definitely selfish benefits. You can recycle for money (cans, bottles, metal, etc...) and of you recycle with your trash company you can put out more trash for the same garbage bill. The difference is you separate out the recycling and basically you get 2 cans of trash for the price of one.
Planting trees, good for shade for their homes. Nice additions to their landscaping. Various other benefits... One place I used to live in Yacolt, WA we had 10 acres and planted over 30 Evergreens. The previous owners had logged the property and had left behind mostly cottonwood trees. The evergreens were nicer to look at and dropped far fewer leaves. They were donated by the forest service as seedlings to anyone who would plant them.
More efficient vehicles: better gas economy makes it cheaper to run your car. They do not buy them saying, "Man, I have to get off of foreign oil!"
Fluorescent bulbs, same deal as the efficient cars, saves money in the long run, and the 4-5 years between bulb changes is a nice bonus. But if like in the beginning those bulbs are not bright enough or take too long to warm up, they usually got replaced with incandescent until a better CF could be found. Of course, now you have to recycle the bulbs and there is next to no places that are easy to find that you can recycle them at.
More efficient flat-panel TV's, well, they just look better, are cheaper to run for power and they are larger. (I still don't have one of these myself, want one though.)
I don't have anyone that comes up to me spouting about going green to save the polar ice caps. They tell me how they bought this thing that saves them money, or time, or is cool because it generates electricity they don't have to pay for... With Americans, it is very much about what can they get out of it. Some will pay simply for the right reasons, but generally they are looking for the personal benefit. Even the "environmentally conscious" ones can be found looking for self promotion of how good they are.
The reasons may not be the ones you are looking for, but so long as the net effect is the same, why is that so bad?
My reasons are similar to some above and different for others, but generally, if there is a cost that does not bring a benefit, I will not be standing in line to do it and will likely resist it until it is either forced on me, or the benefit is explained.
The above is all my opinion, if you have a different opinion I would be interested to hear it.