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'Green' Consumers Out to Save Money

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

'Green' Consumers Out to Save Money

www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/direct/e3i08b5226bcb8cd0c4d32fd9a97a091e61

So here's an interesting look at the "green consumer." (The word "consumer" really irks me, btw). The survey was conducted by the Shelton Group using Earthsense data.

What most stands out to me is the lack of knowledge about the regulation of terms, which also explains why it is so easy to greenwash. Call it "natural" and a lot of people will believe you without even checking the ingredient list.

It seems that green is in, but there may not be as much true awareness about the effect these toxic chemicals have on us and our planet as one would like.

Then again, I suppose we need to take these studies with a grain of salt.

Quote:
Green consumers are more concerned about saving money than saving the planet, according to new research from advertising agency the Shelton Group.

The study found that while 59 percent of green consumers identify the economy as their top concern in making purchases, a mere 8 percent consider the environment.

Here's a breakdown of the stats:

  • 73 percent of consumers said they lessen energy consumption to reduce bills/control costs.
  • 26 percent said they would reduce energy consumption to lessen impact on the environment.
  • 54 percent said they try to balance energy conservation and their personal comfort.
  • 72 percent of respondents found the idea of owning or renting an energy-efficient home appealing.
  • 47 percent felt the same about a green home.
  • 21 percent believe that “natural” is a regulated term.
  • 38 percent correctly identify the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the regulating body for determining what is “organic.”
post #2 of 5
i think i'm crying a little inside.... :( well actually, i'm not suprised- at all. I explain on a fairly regular basis what's regulated, what's not, where usda is faulty or worthless, what terms mean jack squat (most of them) and etc... i've gotten to the point i have copy and paste answers saved in links so i just find the applicable responce and post it in the thread. so theose last two results especialy really seem just about right to me, if not more people honestly believing that above what these results showed. that's really sad about only a fourth would do it for the earth :( I'll just take that one wit a big grain of salt :)
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I know, it is sad. It may just come down to the idea that some people believe what they want to believe. Maybe we can repeat that "natural" is not a regulated term, but if people don't want to hear it they won't. That may the danger of something like "green" being in style. It becomes superficial. It may just mean that we have to keep repeating and repeating why choosing to be eco-conscious is the healthier and more sustainable option for everyone.

Sometimes I get discouraged seeing that it takes really high gas prices to get people to trade in their gas-guzzling vehicles or to use the car less. Once prices go down, many people go back to their old habits.

Maybe studies like this can be used to see how to really reach the consumer. If we know that the pocketbook comes first - even before the Earth - perhaps that's how we need to get people to make ecological choices. So many people have the idea that being green is elitist. This shows us that maybe it's not about making green cool as much as it is making it affordable. We can hope that later generations have a more in-depth understanding of the environment and our effect on it.
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by green-bohemia View Post

I know, it is sad. It may just come down to the idea that some people believe what they want to believe. Maybe we can repeat that "natural" is not a regulated term, but if people don't want to hear it they won't. That may the danger of something like "green" being in style. It becomes superficial. It may just mean that we have to keep repeating and repeating why choosing to be eco-conscious is the healthier and more sustainable option for everyone.

Sometimes I get discouraged seeing that it takes really high gas prices to get people to trade in their gas-guzzling vehicles or to use the car less. Once prices go down, many people go back to their old habits.

Maybe studies like this can be used to see how to really reach the consumer. If we know that the pocketbook comes first - even before the Earth - perhaps that's how we need to get people to make ecological choices. So many people have the idea that being green is elitist. This shows us that maybe it's not about making green cool as much as it is making it affordable. We can hope that later generations have a more in-depth understanding of the environment and our effect on it.

I think you are probably very right on that one ^
post #5 of 5
It is sad. But maybe we need to put it in perspective. I mean, if you do the same survey and ask about politics in this country, or any other major topic - you'll be surprised how many people are not involved/ don't want to get involved/ care less/ and so on.

In every subject from the world's matters, the 80-20 rule unfortunately applies. 20% of the people are doing what 80% of the people should do. How many people do you think actually care about recycling? even if they live in a city that by law make you recycle? How many people actually read the labels on the products they buy? How many people read about the company they buy from, before a major purchase?
The answer to all the above is - not so many.

The whole idea is to make new and green products that can substitute the old and polluting ones. It is very hard to teach new tricks to an old dog - if you try to educate the consumers, you'll fail. IUnless you manage to show the market you brought them something - more valuable (for the same price) / more respectable / function better /etc - the majority won't buy your product. It's the silly wisdom of the crowds.

People who believe and care about the environment are still far from being the majority in this world. We must keep forwarding the message.

Here's an old Chinese proverb, as a food for thought, about how you can make things better by teaching/explaining/showing others :

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
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