Consumerism is a movement that seeks to protect and inform consumers by requiring practices like packaging, advertising, product guarantees, and safety standards. In theory it is also the outcome of producing greater consumption of goods for the benefit of the economy. Since we have become a society that is concerned with the state of our environment, consumerism has become eco-friendly. Green consumerism is a new movement that is concerned about products and services that are considered ethically made. This means with minimal harm to or exploitation of humans, animals, and/or the natural environment.
Green consumerism is interesting in that it focuses on us buying green products. Well how beneficial are green products to the environment if we don’t use them properly. An article written by Jacquie Ottman titled “The Next Frontier in Green Marketing is Responsible Consumption” pinpoints this issue spot on. The article provides an example: how is an eco-friendly light bulb eco-friendly if the light remains on after everyone leaves the room? They contradict each other. We may feel good about doing our part if we buy green products, but we need to focus more on the behaviors we conduct when we use them. It defeats the purpose of buying green if we are not using the products in an eco-friendly manner.
Going green is based on behavior. If we want to be buy eco-friendly products we must learn green behaviors. If we look at this issue from a business perspective, marketers of green products should focus on adding value for consumers and providing them with the needed knowledge of how to use the product. Buying green products and using them properly is how we will help save our planet. Green consumerism is on the rise and more consumers feel they have a personal responsibility to do their part to help the earth.
We are encompassed by the words green, eco-friendly, and sustainable, but do we really know what it fully means to be eco-friendly and go green? Going green are steps we can take to replace environmentally harmful behaviors with behaviors that are friendly. These new behaviors can be simple or complex based on small or large scale atmospheres. Smaller scale behaviors can be done at home by an individual or a few others, while large scale operations can be done by corporations trying to become more sustainable overall.
Going green is centered around three words: reduce, reuse, and recycle. There are many ways to put these words into action and become more eco-friendly. One person can make a difference by following those three words in their everyday lives. One can reduce the amount of plastic bag usage by bringing their own bags when shopping. Reusable bottles can be used for water, juice, ect instead of drinking bottled beverages. And a person can take part in a recycling program at home so items can have the chance to be made into something else instead of going to the landfill.
Corporations can take their part in helping the environment by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Companies can find ways to make their packaging more eco-friendly by reducing ink and print content or the use of plastics. Amazon did this with their “frustration free” packaging by reducing content on their boxes and just having words on their packaging. They can also take their waste products from production and find ways to reuse them in other aspects of their business. PepsiCo’s UK Walkers brand potato chips did this by using the starch from their unused potato peels. Companies can also sprinkle eco-friendliness in their offices by initializing a recycling program and getting employees involved.
Every little bit of time we take to do things to be more eco-friendly helps our planet. So what does it mean to go green? Anything that will help the earth is an act of going green. Whether its done by an individual or a corporation, we can all take out part in protecting our planet.
It is that time of year where the flowers, heart shaped chocolate boxes, and cards flow to the ones we love. Valentine’s day used to be known for its red and pink colors, but this year we can incorporate green into the lovely holiday. What does green have to do with Valentine’s Day you ask? Well there are ways to not only show our love to our significant others but to the planet as well.
Here are 10 ways to go green this Valentine’s Day:
1. Cards can be hand made from recycled or tree free paper
2. E-cards can be sent
3. Buy chocolates and/or flowers that are organic
4. Make a donation to an environmental organization on behalf of the person
5. Jewelry can be purchased from jewelers who are certified in sourcing precious metals and gemstones in an ecologically and socially responsible manner
6. Gift certificates for holistic therapies (massage, health spa, ect.) make great gifts
7. Have dinner at a restaurant specializing in organic or locally grown food
8. If dining in, prepare a meal using organic or locally grown ingredients
9. If purchasing perfumes or fragrances, buy the ones that are natural instead of synthetic
10. Going green involves imagination. Use your imagination and come up with some do it yourself gifts for your loved ones and have fun with it
Happy Valentine’s Day!!