The Eco Gender Gap: Are Women Greener Than Men?

While nowadays consumers are increasingly interested in topics like ethics and sustainability, it seems that men are lagging behind women when it comes to maintaining good environmental habits.

A survey held in 2018 by the market research firm, Mintel, said that 71% of women try to live more ethically, compared to 59% of men. For good measure, 65% also encourage friends and family to adopt a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, while only 59% of men do.

The result of this survey is what the market research firm Mintel has termed an Eco Gender Gap

What Is the Eco-Gender Gap?

The Eco Gender Gap is the disparity between the ethical choices made by men and women. Referring to the research from Mintel in 2018, This term reveals that men are less likely to pursue environmentally-friendly behaviours than their female counterparts.

The Eco Gender Gap research by Mintel conducted in April 2018.

Why Does It Exist? 

There are several reasons why men seem to be less inclined to live more ethically and trigger the emergence of The Eco-Gender Gap as follows: 

  1. The fear of being feminine

The 2019 study by The Sex Roles journal found that men are in fear of being percevived as gay or effeminate when they carry reusable shopping bag or doing any environmentally-friendly activity. 

There is a continual fear of being feminine attached to being conscientious as men think that it’s a female trait that will undermine their masculinity. Sadly, since childhood, we’re often taught to identify empathy as a feminine trait, which is why it can fuel toxic masculinity when it comes to ethical living.

  1. The constant idea that running the household is woman’s charge

Jack Duckett, the senior consumer lifestyles analyst, said that women still tend and are associated to take charge of running the household with laundry, cleaning, and recycling. In addition, most eco-friendly campaigns and products claims are also largely aimed at female audiences which make this idea even more perpetuated. 

We are not stopping here,  the Journal of Consumer Research 2016 found that men may be motivated to avoid or even oppose green behaviours in order to safeguard their gender identity. 

  1. The ethical living discourse often led by women

Greta Tunberg and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are two highest-profile climate campaigners as examples of the ethical living discourse led by women. Unfortunately, this type of movement is in contrast with conservative white men who tend to shout them down as they become denial to the climate change issue as well. 

Rachel Howell, a lecturer in sustainable development from the University of Edinburgh, said that women tend to have less trust in institutions, technology, and government to address the issues that face us. On the other side, as men have been historically well served by the status quo, they tend to believe that if there’s a problem, then somebody or technology will solve it and no need to change their lifestyle. 

How Can We Help? 

In order to help, we can reverse and stop this gender stereotyping towards ethical living, as it’s a human issue we need to address as such. Saving the earth by doing good environmental habits can be done by all genders. The future of our planet affects the future of us all.

You can also invite and educate you surroundings to manage waste wisely, despite what the gender is. Your company can also take steps in managing waste wisely with Waste4Change through Reduce Waste to Landfill service. We will help your company and business to drastically reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the landfills, as well as help to increase the waste segregation rate. Find out more at


The eco gender gap: 71% of women try to live more ethically, compared to 59% of men

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