A poll of 2,000 adults found they feel remorse for something around 20 times per week, adding up to a whopping 1018 shameful occasions each year.
Some of the top reasons Brits feel guilty every day include cancelling plans at the last minute (30%), failing to recycle properly (30%) or talking about someone behind their back (25%).
And another 31% feel guilty for passing a homeless person on the street and not giving them any money.
Others admitted to feeling shameful after buying something in a plastic bottle or fruit and veg in a plastic bag.
Publishing the results today, Sue Moore of Bright & Beautiful, said: “Guilt is a strange feeling that makes us do strange things. Some things we end up feeling guilty about are really no big deal, while others can have bigger repercussions. Our study found lots of people feel guilty about the way they treat the environment – which is one step towards making lifestyle changes for the better.”
Other top guilt-triggers for Brits include 25% who stress out over putting the heating on. Three in 10 confess to forgetting special occasions like anniversaries or birthdays and 40% can’t stand wasting food.
Nearly three in five adults, however, believe they’re likely to make changes to their lifestyle if the guilt gets too strong.
And 38% feel the same way after they’ve been late to meet someone and 27% for procrastinating too much and putting off an important task.
Another tenth admit they secretly snack on chocolate that’s meant to be for their kids – only to be consumed with guilt afterwards.
Two in five feel guilty about their lack of action when it comes to being environmentally friendly.
Furthermore, 80% believe everybody needs to do more to cut back on plastic usage in all areas of their lives.
So far, 73% of adults have pledged to do just this, according to the OnePoll research.
Sue Moore of Bright & Beautiful added: “It’s easy to use things like non-recyclable plastic because it’s so easily available.
“As much as consumers should be trying to reduce the amount of plastic they use, it would be good to see more big companies make changes themselves.
“As a professional domestic housekeeping business, we pride ourselves on doing good for the planet by reducing our plastic use and using non-toxic chemicals where possible.
“If everyone does their bit, together we can make the world’s resources last much longer.”
TOP 20 THINGS BRITS FEEL GUILTY ABOUT
- 1 Wasting food
- 2 Being late
- 3 Forgetting a special occasion such as birthday or anniversary
- 4 Being impatient
- 5 Passing a homeless person but not giving them any money
- 6 Cancelling last minute on friends
- 7 Not recycling properly
- 8 Buying something in a plastic bottle
- 9 Running the tap for longer than needed
- 10 Leaving the lights on in a room when you aren’t in there
- 11 Putting / keeping the heating on
- 12 Procrastinating
- 13 Talking about someone behind their back
- 14 Buy fruit and veg packaged in plastic
- 15 Buying chocolate
- 16 Driving somewhere you could easily have walked
- 17 Putting the washing machine on half full
- 18 Lying in at the weekend
- 19 Taking the biggest slice of cake
- 20 Eating your children’s chocolate
Click here to download the Bright & Beautiful Guilt-o-Meter.
*The research of 2,000 British adults was carried out via an online survey by OnePoll on 24/10/19.