A poll of 2,000 people by Bright & Beautiful found that they feel remorse for something around 21 times per week, adding up to a whopping 1,102 shameful occasions each year, according to a new survey published today.
In contrast, those in the capital have 29% more guilt per month that North Westerners, who ranked second in the UK. Yorkshire and the Humber and the South West followed closely behind with only 76 and 74 guilty thoughts a month respectively.
Some of the top reasons people in the North West feel guilty every day include being late (45%), cancelling plans at the last minute (31%) and failing to recycle properly (27%).
And another 31% feel guilty for passing a homeless person on the street and not giving them any money.
Others admitted to feeling remorseful after buying something in a plastic bottle or fruit and veg in a plastic bag.
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 the North Westerners include 30% who stress out over putting the heating on.
Three in 10 confess to forgetting special occasions like anniversaries or birthdays and 41% 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 31% feel the same way after leaving the lights on when they’re not in the room.
Over a tenth admit they secretly snack on chocolate that’s meant to be for their kids – only to be consumed with guilt afterwards.
Just under four in 10 also feel guilty about their lack of action when it comes to being environmentally friendly.
Furthermore, 73% believe everybody needs to do more to cut back on plastic usage in all areas of their lives.
So far, 80% of adults in the North West have pledged to do just this, according to the OnePoll research.
Sue Moore 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 people from the north west feel guilty about
- Being late – 45%
- Wasting food – 41%
- Passing a homeless person but not giving them any money – 31%
- Leaving the lights on in a room when you aren’t in there – 31%
- Being impatient – 30%
- Running the tap for longer than needed – 30%
- Cancelling last minute on friends – 30%
- Putting/ keeping the heating on – 30%
- Forgetting a special occasion such as birthday or anniversary – 29%
- Talking about someone behind their back- 27%
- Not recycling properly – 27%
- Buying chocolate – 26%
- Driving somewhere you could easily have walked – 23%
- Procrastinating – 23%
- Buying something in a plastic bottle – 20%
- Buy fruit and veg packaged in plastic- 20%
- Putting the washing machine on half full – 17%
- Taking the biggest slice of cake -16%
- Eating your children’s chocolate – 14%
- Borrowing’ money from my child’s money box – 12%