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India has least eco-unfriendly impact but feels guilty: study

WASHINGTON -- Indian consumers feel the most guilty about their environmental impact even though they have a smaller average footprint than consumers in wealthy countries, a survey said Thursday.

The 17-nation study by the Washington-based National Geographic Society found a “major disconnect” as consumers in rich nations had the least sustainable lifestyles but also felt the least guilty about their impact.

The “Greendex” found that Indians had the most sustainable behavior, followed by Chinese and Brazilians. Americans ranked the worst, with Canadians coming second to last. The French ranked last in Europe.

Despite coming out on top, 45 percent of Indians — more than any other nationality surveyed — said they felt guilty about their impact on the environment. They were followed by Mexicans and Chinese, with 42 percent of consumers in each country expressing guilt.

“Consumers in these large emerging economies are the most likely to report that environmental problems are having a negative impact on their health today,” the study said.

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