A survey has found New Zealanders are suffering "green fatigue" through constant warnings of an approaching environmental armageddon.

Researchers questioned 1000 people and in their findings noted: "We know global warming is a problem. But incessantly remind us that we'll ruin a perfectly good planet if we don't half-flush, ride to work, or recycle and - guess what - there's a real danger we'll just zone out."

While 97 per cent said they were doing their bit for the planet, only 3 per cent claimed to be "totally committed".

The vast majority used plastic bags (with 23 per cent getting a rebellious thrill from the practice), took long showers and drove gas guzzling cars when they could have walked, bused or caught a train.

Reader's Digest, which commissioned the survey, spoke with an advertising executive who said "Green" was a "damaged brand" and media saturation had led to "green fatigue".

While men appeared to be less concerned about the environment, one woman's comment summed up the mood of many respondents.

"I'd like not to be made to feel guilty for making my life easier."

Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty agreed people could easily become "burned out with a sense of catastrophe and powerlessness".

"I think inspiration rather than blame is what encourages people to feel they can make a difference and care for the planet," she said.

- NZPA