Two in three Americans say they could grow produce if grocery stores closed

AMERICANS believe they are prepared to live off the land as two in three say they could grow their own produce if grocery stores closed.

A new survey of 2,000 adults – with half living in urban/suburban areas and the rest in rural communities – asked them how they viewed their environmental habits throughout the pandemic and found that two-thirds of all respondents have made an effort to live more sustainably.

More Americans are turning to sustainable living


More Americans are turning to sustainable living

More than two in three added they wouldn’t have any problem growing their own produce if all the grocery stores shut down, with those in urban/suburban areas feeling more confident than rural dwellers.

Sixty-two percent of respondents even admitted they could “live off the land” if they had to, and a third of them predicted they could last more than a year.

This drastic change may even come sooner than later, as 53 percent see themselves living a more sustainable lifestyle within the next decade.

Urban and suburban residents are more interested in learning about obtaining a sustainable lifestyle than their rural counterparts.

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And 49 percent of people have taken measures to be more sustainable by reducing food waste, while 47 percent are using reusable household materials, and 46 percent are using paper alternatives instead of plastic.

Interestingly, eight in 10 believe having a green thumb is a necessary survival skill, which is why 42 percent of Americans began growing their own produce, and 31 percent are interested in raising livestock.

Commissioned by Tractor Supply Co. in partnership with OnePoll for Earth Day, the survey also revealed nearly one in five people who lived in urban or suburban areas had moved to rural communities during the pandemic.

Sixty-nine percent of urban/suburban respondents said they’d prefer living in rural settings because it’s more peaceful, less stressful, or because the cost of living is lower.

Regardless of whether they’ve made a drastic move, 52 percent of people shared that they’ve started their own sustainable hobbies, but around 40 percent found it difficult because of costs, 38 percent thought it was too much work, and 38 percent didn’t know where to begin.

More than half think it’s expensive to live sustainably, with the average person estimating the lifestyle costs $11,000 more a year.

Seven in 10 Americans also believe that having a large yard space is mandatory to live sustainably and most wish their home’s yard space were bigger.

“You don’t have to have a lot of money to live sustainably. Imagine keeping chickens in your backyard or growing herbs right on your countertop! It’s okay to start small – simple changes can make a big impact,” said Christi Korzekwa, chief marketing officer at Tractor Supply.

“Choosing to live a sustainable lifestyle is all about raising, recycling and repurposing. By choosing to live more sustainably, you can find creative ways to become more efficient, eliminate waste or reduce your impact on the environment, all while having fun raising chicks or growing tomatoes right in your backyard.”

While the grass may seem greener where there’s more of it, 65 percent of respondents who live in rural neighborhoods also long for larger yard spaces.

Nearly half of the respondents said they would be interested in starting their own hobby farm if they had the time, space, and resources.

Overall, 77 percent believe in making sustainable choices for themselves and creating a better environment for the next generation.

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“Our study shows that people have made an effort to live more sustainably over the last two years, and we can see this trend will be here to stay,” said Seth Estep, executive vice president, and chief merchandising officer at Tractor Supply.

“Making positive changes means that we are helping our planet, which is important for our children and future generations so that they will have the same opportunities that we enjoy today. It’s never too late to live more sustainably.”

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