Interpreted from the Green Gauge Report, here are the four main factors that influence Americans’ (not so) green behaviors:
1) Lack of actionable information, with half of consumers who claim they,
- do not have the information to be personally involved in increasing their green behavior
- aren’t sure which products and packaging materials are recyclable
- would do more for the environment if they only knew how
- they have questions about the true impact of green products
2) Lack of convenient solutions to accommodate people’s increasingly busy lifestyles, with half admitting they know they should make the green lifestyle changes but are too busy
3) Cost of green products compared to traditional alternatives
4) Need to protect personal/family health is cited by an equal number of consumers (52%) as looking to personally protect the environment, as reason why they seek environmental information.
Sounds fair enough!
Lots of blame has been placed on the American consumer for resisting the green wave. Maybe policy makers, influencers, and green marketers ought to show some more empathy towards themselves and others, and make sure they deliver on the following seven green marketing promises:
- Clear, simple ‘how to’ green messages, asking people to do one thing at a time
- Information support structures to help people navigate the green landscape, truly designed to make their lives easier, not burden them with more
- More visible and clear recycling directions on product packaging
- Trusted sustainability standards for all products
- Provide green solutions that are at least as easy and convenient as traditional products and services
- Lower costs so that cost does not become a barrier to adoption, including creative financing solutions for higher ticket items, eg, community purchase plans
- Whenever possible tie in personal/family health into the environmental equation.
I would like to end by commenting on my use of the word marketing. I have noticed ‘marketing’ is getting a bad rap in some of the more pure green circles. That is unfortunate. Marketing, like any powerful tools, can be used for either positive, or negative means. According to the American Marketing Association,
Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.
The larger organization at stake is the world, and its stakeholders are all the people on the planet. The value to be created is a sustainable, healthier, greener world.