Big Surprise: Most People Don't Buy Green Products If They Cost More

x ray delta one/CC BY 2.0

This is one of those glass-is-half-full stories; when I first saw the results of an Ipsos study on green shopping, I thought they were pretty depressing. But in fact, they are pretty encouraging:

25% of respondents report that they always proactively take steps to green their home or lifestyle, such as recycling, driving energy efficient vehicles, weatherizing their home, using eco-friendly products. An additional 60% say that they sometimes take these actions, while just 15% say that they never do.

46% say that they are more inclined to buy a product if it is environmentally friendly, though 16% say that they aren’t more likely to buy a product they know is green, and 4% say that they do not buy green products. 34% say that it makes no difference if a product is environmentally friendly. College graduates, Northeasterners and young adults seem to be the most ardent supporters of Green throughout the study.

Rick Santorum was right; send those kids to college and they get all kinds of crazy ideas. Summarized by the Center for Media Research:

  • 3% say that they only buy eco-friendly products
  • 40% say that they buy green, eco-friendly products when they are readily available and there is no big cost difference
  • 51% report that they buy whichever products suit their needs at the time, green or not
  • 6% never buy eco-friendly products
  • 41% would pay a little more for a product or service if they knew it was environmentally friendly
  • 59% of respondents would be unwilling to pay a higher price
  • Women are more likely than are men to buy green products if it is convenient and the price point is right (45% vs. 36%).

There is no tracking over time in this study, so one can't tell if numbers are going up or down. But I sense a green ennui in the stores, what about you? Do you buy green products?


Tags: Shopping

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