Litterers worse than tax cheats?

The message of a recent survey seems to be: Don't get caught littering.

Forbes magazine reports that the Shelton Group, a green marketing firm based in Knoxville, Tenn., had 1,105 Americans complete online surveys in an effort to find out what kind of messages will make them adopt more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient products and behaviors.

Toward the end of the survey, the respondents were asked: "How embarrassed would you be if someone you knew found out that you …," followed by a list of presumably undesirable behaviors, in randomized order.

The highest percentage of respondents - 87 percent - said they would be "very embarrassed" or "somewhat embarrassed" if someone they admired found out they were shoplifting.

The list continued with 82 percent for driving under the influence, 80 percent for throwing trash out the window of a moving car and 78 percent for cheating on their taxes.

The conclusion: Americans apparently consider cheating on their taxes more socially acceptable than shoplifting, drunk driving or littering.

"Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. But I'd like to add a third certainty: trash. And while some in this room might want to discuss reducing taxes, I want to talk about reducing trash." - Ruth Ann Minner, first female governor of Delaware

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