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Study shows environment is not top priority for Americans

By Jerry Najera, Multimedia Journalist
Published On: Apr 23 2014 06:16:22 PM CDT

A recent Gallup poll shows the quality of the environment comes at the bottom of a list for Americans.

EL PASO, Texas -

"Earth-Day" first celebrated in 1970 is meant to raise awareness about our impact on the environment.

Nowadays, you hear a lot of talk about "going green," but is the environment really important to Americans?

UTEP Environmental Science graduate Kevin Floyd was working with freshman students, taking samples of the water from Rio Grande Tuesday afternoon.

Floyd feels environmental awareness is on the decline.

"The environment is something that I don't think people don't pay enough attention too because it does impact their lives, just not necessarily in way that they can see," said Floyd.

Student Jasmine Rodriguez says its an out of sight out of mind attitude.

"I think people heard about it and cared about it, but people stopped hearing about it so they just went to not caring about it," said Rodriguez.

Gallup found "the quality of the environment" near the very bottom of a long list of issues Americans are concerned about.

First on the list is the economy.

"People are busy. We went into tough economic times and when people are worried about how their going to pay their mortgage or food their less concerned about what's going to happen to the environment 10, 15, 20 years down the line," said Floyd.

Companies like Sun Metro on the other hand, are showing a continuing interest in environmental quality.

"Sun Metro is definitely looking out for the environment, for our community. We want to be around here for a long time and we want our community to breath clean air, " said spokesperson Laura Cruz Acosta.

Acosta says their new bus facility expected to be open in the coming months will be environmentally friendly.
"recycling pieces are being used in the facility," said Acosta.

The facility will also have it's own natural gas line.

"That means less emissions in transporting that gasoline," said Acosta.

Acosta says being green is cost saving for Sun Metro.

Floyd says you don't have to think big to bring change.

"If you're worried about I can't sell my car, I can't take public transit everywhere, I can't get rid of my phone, you don't have to do that. There are things you can do that will make a difference," said Floyd.

Floyd says even the smallest actions like going to the farmers market instead of big supermarkets can make a difference and reduce emissions from 18-wheelers driving produce along highways.

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