The environment or the economy – what drives the Poles? – lifestyle

According to the report, “The climate is made by people – the environmental behavior of the Poles”[1]Developed as part of the Ministry of Climate and Environment’s information and education campaign “Our Climate,” up to 81% of respondents assessed their environmental situation as good or somewhat good. However, let’s take a look at the details that Poles pay attention to in their everyday shopping choices. The environment, the economy or perhaps other places?

Energy consumption

One of the issues examined in the report was the approach to electricity consumption – based on equipping homes with energy-efficient LED lights and disconnecting unused chargers from the power source. Although LED lamps are more expensive than conventional lamps, in fact they bring significant savings, thanks to which they are gaining popularity. Almost all Poles now have LED lights in their homes, and almost half of the respondents stated that they had them fitted to all the lighting in their homes. Interestingly, parents of 0-14-year-olds report a greater association with energy-efficient lighting. On the other hand, young people (18-24 years old), although more oriented towards environmental solutions, less often than 35-54 year olds declare that all lighting in their homes is equipped with LEDs. People of this age often live in rented apartments or with their parents, which means they have less influence on the lighting used in the buildings in which they live.

Economic considerations also have a big influence on other Poles’ decisions – up to 61% of respondents cited financial issues as the main driver for disconnecting unused chargers. As with LED lighting, environmental performance depends on age. People aged 25-34, the elderly, and residents of small towns disconnect chargers more often. People aged 35-44 and city-dwellers over 500,000 years attach less importance to this form of energy saving. It may be related to a stable financial position in this group of respondents.

shopping pole

Economic issues also play a large role in Polish grocery shopping. 61% of respondents said that when buying food products, they mainly focus on the current promotion or low price. Composition came second (59%), and product shelf life (55%) came third. The financial side is especially important for young people – about 80% of them admitted that when buying food, they primarily care about price, and other factors fall into the background. In turn, residents of large cities (more than 500,000) pay less attention to prices and promotions.

Across all surveyed groups, the majority of people report using solutions to prevent food waste in the kitchen, regardless of their financial situation – 61% adjust dishes so they can eat them in the following days, and 55% freeze or keep unused food. Interestingly, specialists in the zero-waste approach in the kitchen can be called parents, who are often more concerned than the rest of the Poles not to waste food. This may be due to the need for better organization of food purchases as well as more thoughtful meal planning when there are children in the house.

Ecology in the background

When it comes to choosing chemicals and cleaning products, the motives may come as a surprise. According to the report, the Poles are not guided by the environment or the economy in this regard. When buying so-called household chemicals, respondents primarily focus on the effectiveness of products in removing specific dirt (62%), then their efficiency (58%), and only in third place they indicate a low price (43%). The effectiveness and efficiency of products are especially important for parents, but also for young people. This may result not only from concern for the household budget, but also from the need to organize time well, which parents and young adults entering adulthood do not have.

When buying cosmetics, Poles rarely pay attention to environmental issues – almost 40% of respondents stated that they do not care about them at all. Interestingly, parents are an exception in this matter – 35% of them admitted to using eco-cosmetics due to their environmental impact, but a large group also, 36%, appreciated their natural properties. This shows that when making consumer decisions, parents care about the health of their children. Questions about the choice of cosmetics also showed that women, people aged 35-44, and residents of large cities have a greater purchase awareness and sensitivity to the environment.

The findings presented in the research show that pro-environmental consumer choices for Poles are closely related to financial issues. While awareness of environmental issues continues to grow, it is not a major factor in purchasing decisions. A large percentage of Poles try to introduce environmental habits into their daily lives, especially if they do not reduce the family budget or even have a positive effect on it, as in the case of saving electricity or preventing food waste.

The full report and detailed data are available at the link: Environmental Behavior of Poles – Climate Report Created by People – Environmental Education – Gov.pl website (www.gov.pl).


[1] Quantitative research was performed using the CAWI technique on a representative group of Poles and the group of parents of children aged 0-14. The study was conducted by research and development company Zymetria in March 2022.

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