A study of 2,000 adults found four in 10 have been shamed by a friend, and 44 per cent by a family member.

While more than a third have faced comments from their partner, a colleague or even a stranger.

But six in 10 believe it makes people reluctant to take action to tackle climate change as a result.

Of those who have been criticised about their approach to sustainability, most were shamed for not recycling properly, using single use plastic and leaving appliances on charge needlessly.

The research was commissioned by renewable electricity provider E.ON Next, which has launched its Positive Speaker Series to encourage people to feel more positive when it comes to sustainability.

Michael Lewis, E.ON UK CEO, said: “We know that tackling climate change can feel daunting, particularly when conversations can feel quite negative.

“That’s why we wanted to see if taking a more positive approach could help, and our research has revealed that almost half of people say that every sustainable action, big or small, should be praised.

“We also found that three quarters of those asked agree that a positive mindset can promote lasting change.

“And most people agree that if we all did our bit to help tackle climate change, collectively we can make a positive difference.

“We hope that our Positive Speaker Series will do just that – helping shift people’s mindsets about sustainability as we all work towards meeting our net zero targets.”

It also emerged that one in 10 of those who were eco-shamed admit that it didn’t make them change their ways.

In fact, more than a third strongly agreed that it’s important to inspire rather than shame people into becoming more sustainable.

And almost four in 10 believe that a more enjoyable attitude around sustainability would help the nation take action to address climate change rather than eco-shaming others.

Self-Development Coach, Roxie Nafousi, who will be taking part in the Positive Speaker Series, said: “Self-development lies at the core of our motivation.

“By cultivating a more positive attitude and channelling this into our day-to-day behaviours, the more able we are to create long-lasting change in our lives.

“This can be applied to everything that we do, including our personal development, careers and our ability to live a more sustainable lifestyle.”


1.            Recycling

2.            Taking their own bags when shopping

3.            Switching lights off when not in use

4.            Minimising food waste

5.            Only using energy efficient light bulbs

6.            Turning off/unplugging appliances when not in use

7.            Using reusable cups and avoiding single use plastic

8.            Walking/cycling instead of driving

9.            Buying energy efficient appliances

10.          Only heating rooms that are in use

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