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TerraPass customer survey results: indulgence myth pretty much dead

We completed a large-scale survey of our customer base recently to gauge the attitudes and behaviors of carbon offset purchasers across a fairly wide spectrum of topics. Below are some of the results, and here’s a handy one-pager on some of the key findings.

I pass this along mostly without interpretation, but one thing to note: the notion that TerraPass customers use offsets as an excuse to indulge in other forms of bad behavior is now pretty well laid to rest. The indulgence myth is long-standing, but it’s always floated along in this sort of evidence-free zone, most often as a strawman foil for some easy editorializing.

And now we know why evidence for the indulgence myth is never offered: it doesn’t seem to exist. Unsurprisingly, people who voluntarily spend money to fund greenhouse gas reductions are quite motivated to reduce their impact in other ways as well.

  • 26% of TerraPass customers take public transportation to work. This is more than 5 times the national average.
  • An astonishing 24% of TP customers bike to work, 22 times the national average.
  • 64% of customers have installed compact fluorescent light bulbs. Fully 25% of these people opted to install the bulbs after purchasing their TerraPass, so maybe the conservation tips are working.
  • 16% drive hybrids, about 7 times the national average. Again, 25% of these people switched to a hybrid after purchasing their TerraPass.
  • Here’s an interesting one: 50% of TerraPass customers have contacted an elected representative about climate change. I’m glad to hear this, because exerting political influence is the most important thing we can do to fight climate change.
  • TerraPass customers are also active contributors to other environmental causes. Fully 69% of you support green charities.
  • An astonishing 6% of you have solar panels on your home. This is 200 times the national average.

We may add some more nuggets as we uncover them. But all in all, you folks are a very green group. You should be proud.

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