American Consumers Like Shopping Green, Survey Finds

The Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker revealed that 71 percent of Americans consider the environment when they shop, and nearly half of them seek out environmental information about the products they buy. The results of the survey are indicative of more than a trend: green shopping may soon become a way of life for many American consumers.


Cone’s survey revealed a lot more than shopping behaviors. For instance, when it comes to resources and education, a vast majority of participants, 85%, said that they would like for companies to educate them on how to properly use and dispose of products.

More than 60% of respondents understand the environmental terms companies use in their advertising, but most of them still believe that expressions like green or environmentally friendly mean that a product has a positive or neutral impact on the environment. Only 22% were able to correctly identify these terms as meaning the product has a lighter impact than other similar products or less than it used to (2%). Consumer misunderstanding of the term “green” has remained flat at around 60% since 2008.

In terms of clarity of environmental messages, many respondents (69%) say it’s okay if a company is not environmentally perfect as long as it is honest. And for companies still not grasping how serious this issue really is, 78% respondents said that they will boycott a product if they discover an environmental claim to be misleading.

Interestingly, when it comes to finding information about green products, only 26% say to perform an online search. The majority, 45% say they are most likely to use on-pack resources for information about how to properly use and dispose of environmental products.

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