Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, October 5, 2023


Kelley Dennings, (919) 355-8102,

Survey: Most Americans Support Alternative Economies But Face Barriers

TUCSON, Ariz.— A new national survey released today by the Center for Biological Diversity found that more than 60% of Americans support alternative economy practices like banking at credit unions, shopping at co-ops and giving to mutual aid networks, but face financial and logistical barriers to participation.

It also found that three-fourths of Americans think an economy shaped by major corporations is compatible with a sustainable future, but 84% agree the current economic system needs major reforms to ensure everyone has clean air and water.

“I’m not surprised that Americans understand the flaws of our current economy and want alternatives,” said Kelley Dennings, a campaigner at the Center. “But they’re so busy feeding the beast of capitalism that they don’t have the time or resources to seek them out.”

Additionally, the survey found that more than 90% of Americans are familiar with alternative economy practices like DIY alteration or repair of items, community-supported agriculture and sharing resources in programs like community tool sheds, but only 30% have participated in them.

“When someone grabs a book from a Little Free Library, they may not even realize they’re participating in an alternative economy,” said Dennings. “Just and sustainable economic alternatives to capitalism already exist. We just need more of them in our communities.”

The paid, random online survey asked a representative sample of Americans about their perspectives on the capitalist economy, their knowledge and acceptance of economic alternatives to capitalism, and the role corporations play in shaping a sustainable future.

The current capitalist economic system depends on overconsumption, extraction, endless growth and the exploitation of people and natural resources. The pursuit of limitless profit drives pollution and climate change, threatening the welfare of people and wildlife.

Today’s findings are consistent with a 2021 Pew Research Center survey that found that more than 65% of people in the United States believe that the American political, economic and healthcare systems must be completely reformed or need major changes.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

center locations