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Washingtonians care deeply about water usage, poll reveals

Data shows older citizens conserve the most

April 22, 2011

SEATTLE – Though the Pacific Northwest’s constant rainfall would suggest it has no shortage of water, the latest PEMCO poll reveals that Washingtonians care deeply about water usage and conservation.

The poll asked 606 Washington residents their opinions about the importance of having a clean water supply and the strategies they use to conserve water.

The majority of those polled, 83 percent, put at least some effort into saving water.

"Washington residents take pride in being ‘green,’" said PEMCO Insurance spokesperson Jon Osterberg. "When it comes to water cleanliness and conservation, our ‘Evergreen State’ nickname fits."

The data also showed that older Washingtonians were more likely to make the greatest efforts to conserve water. Only 16 percent of residents under 35 reported taking "a great deal of effort" to minimize water usage, while 30 percent of residents over 55 made the same claim.

"We were surprised to learn that it’s older residents who say they take the biggest steps to conserve water," Osterberg said. "We assumed younger people would be the most concerned with water conservation."

PEMCO celebrates the spirit of this older generation of environmentalists with Northwest Profile #88, "Fremont ’60s Holdout," the eco-conscious individuals who preached peace and free love in Seattle’s eccentric Fremont community in the 1960s.

Nowadays, the PEMCO Poll reveals that the Northwest "Fremont ‘60s Holdout" generation continues its eco-conscious efforts at home. Poll respondents chose from a list of water-saving activities, which included washing dishes only when the load is full; using low-flow shower heads, faucets or toilets; and avoiding watering the lawn.

The poll also asked residents about water cleanliness. According to the poll, 48 percent of citizens believe it’s extremely important for elected officials to work on keeping Washington’s water clean, and 34 percent said it was very important. Only 3 percent said that water cleanliness was an unimportant issue.

Once again, the older generation led other age groups in taking steps to keep our water supply clean. Residents over age 55 were more likely to recycle motor oil, use a professional car wash, use phosphate-free detergents, and avoid putting fats or grease down their drains to keep water supplies clean.

About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll

PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey that asked Washington drivers several questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 606 respondents, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than +/- 4.1 percent.

About PEMCO Insurance

PEMCO Insurance, established in 1949, is a Seattle-based provider of auto, home, boat, life, and umbrella insurance to Washington state residents. PEMCO Insurance is sold by community agents throughout the state and through PEMCO offices. For more information, visit www.pemco.com.

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