Forget the Joneses – eco-conscious Brits are now ‘keeping up with the Greens’ by trying to outdo friends and neighbours in the environmental stakes.

Research has revealed more than two-thirds (70 per cent) of adults view man-made climate change and ocean pollution as the biggest threat to humanity.

And while one-upmanship was traditionally confined to competitions over who has the flashiest gadgets or the tidiest front garden, things are taking a shift towards being green.

A survey found 22 per cent have tried to outdo their peers when it comes to recycling and reducing their carbon footprint.

One in five said they have fallen out with a friend or neighbour because they thought they were harming the environment.

And 15 per cent admitted they judge their neighbours for their lack of recycling.

The survey by Hyundai revealed four in 10 adults actively inform friends and family if they have bought an eco-friendly product.

More than half (58 per cent) admitted they get annoyed at neighbours who put recyclable items in with general waste.

To make a point, one in 13 made a habit of ensuring their neighbours could see how much recycling they putting out on bin day.

The research also found 80 per cent of adults take pleasure in recycling while 70 per cent have tried to be more energy efficient over the past two years.

A third of adults said they have considered or are considering cutting back on beef and dairy consumption.

And when it comes to car buying, a vehicle’s green credentials are four times as important as its acceleration and top speed.

Nearly 60 percent would consider owning an electric or hybrid vehicle instead of a petrol or diesel – to cut down on their carbon emissions.

However, cost (58 per cent) was the biggest concern for Brits considering an eco-friendly car, followed by worries about enough charging points (54 per cent).

The time it takes to charge a car and range anxiety (both 46 per cent) were other concerns.

Hyundai commissioned OnePoll to carry out the research to highlight its range of eco-friendly vehicles.

It is the only car company in the UK which sells battery electric models, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell cars.

A spokesperson for Hyundai said: “The findings show how important the environment is to people living in the United Kingdom.

“Seventy per cent of respondents regard man-made climate change and pollution as the biggest issue facing humanity.

“Hyundai is committed to accelerating the transition to clean mobility and is investing heavily into alternative-fuel vehicles.

“We already have zero emission models like the Kona Electric and the NEXO fuel cell which actually cleans the air as it’s driven.

“By the middle of next year nearly 80 per cent of our line-up will be available as an electrified version.

“This will give motorists a wide range of choice and allow them to make the switch to a more environmentally-friendly car that will still suit their needs.”

The firm has just added the new zero-emission IONIQ Electric family saloon to the range, which has a range of up to 194 miles, and is also available in hybrid and plugin hybrid powertrains.

As well as the new Kona Hybrid crossover, which joins the zero-emission Kona Electric offering a range of up to 279 miles.

Londoners are most likely to try and outdo their friends and family when it comes to recycling and reducing their carbon footprint (33 per cent), while those in East Anglia (14 per cent) are the least competitive.

Those in the capital (32 per cent) are also most likely to buy an eco-friendly product after being influenced by a neighbour or friend, while residents in the North-West are least likely (16 per cent).

And people in the South West are most likely to regard themselves as environmentally conscious (86 per cent), beating Londoners to stop spot (85 per cent).

Making up the top five were Scotland, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.


South West
West Midlands
Yorkshire and the Humber
East Midlands
East Anglia
Northern Ireland


Walking more
Cutting back on beef and dairy consumption
Switching to a renewable energy supplier
Buy secondhand clothes over new clothes
Buy secondhand furniture over new furniture
Reducing air travel
Buy or rent a more energy efficient home
Reducing plastic usage
Switching of lights and appliances when not using them
Growing their own fruit and veg
Purchased a hybrid or electric car


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