According to a recent poll conducted by Trulia, an online residential real estate site for home buyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals, “By a wide margin, most Americans consider themselves to be environmentally conscious. But when it comes to walking the walk, some are more environmentally responsible than others.”

In a survey conducted in March of this year by Harris Poll on behalf of Trulia, over 2,000 Americans were asked about what they considered the best ways to be green and the results were encouraging with a few surprises mixed in.

The great news for the environment is that 79 percent of Americans consider themselves environmentally conscious, and only 6 percent of the people surveyed strongly disagree with that statement.

Surprisingly, the Millennials (18 to 34 year olds) that were polled were the most polarized on the issue than any other generation with the highest agreeing and disagreeing that they are environmentally conscious and, more surprising, the Millennials and Gen X’ers were not the most environmentally conscious generations. More Americans aged 65 and older (84 percent) considered themselves to be environmentally conscious compared to the Millennials at 76 percent and the Gen X’ers (aged 35 to 54 year olds) at 78 percent.

Aside from age, education also plays a big part in who is living green. According to the poll, “Americans with a college degree are more likely to say that they consider themselves environmentally conscious (84 percent) compared with those with a high school education or less (75 percent). Among this more educated group of Americans, more believe driving a hybrid or electric vehicle (22 percent) is among the best ways for someone to be environmentally responsible than their less educated peers who have a high school education or less (16 percent).”

If we break it down based on political parties, an encouraging majority of both Democrats and Republicans consider themselves environmentally conscious (85 percent of Democrats and 74% of Republicans) but Democrats were more likely to live sustainably (94 percent) than their Republican counterparts (88 percent).

According to the poll, regardless of the degree to which Americans consider themselves environmentally conscious, many agree that the top three ways for someone to act environmentally responsibly are to buy energy efficient appliances for their home (56 percent), make energy efficient upgrades to their home (55 percent) and bike, walk, or take public transportation to frequented destinations (38 percent).

Another surprise is the actions that seem easier, less expensive and higher impact like living in a smaller home (16 percent) and buying renewable electricity from a utility provider (10 percent) are not as high on the list of ways to be environmentally responsible as things like buying energy efficient appliances for the home (51 percent) and making energy efficient home upgrades (51 percent).

Based on the survey findings, Trulia found that most people really want to do what is best for the environment, but they have found that there are “clear time, convenience, and cost limitations that are also evident from responses.”

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