Green Business: Why We Don’t Buy Green and Why We Should

Green marketing is just marketing.

I am fascinated by what activates each of us to make meaningful lasting change in our lives.

And by the shopping choices we make to support those changes.

If green marketing can play a role in helping Americans make buying choices that are healthier for themselves, their families and the planet, I’m all in.

So, how’re we doing?

A new Ipsos survey on green shopping shows, no surprise, that people don’t buy things that cost more and might not work as well.


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

So then what’s behind these results? Writ old-school, let’s start with the customers’ objections:

7 Reasons Why We Don’t Shop Green

1. Cost: They cost more up-front

2. Perceived Effectiveness: They think green products don’t work as well

3. Fear of Change: Don’t want to try something new

4. Status: Attachment to a certain brand or product feature (scrubbing bubbles! mountain fresh scent!)

5. Short-term mindset/Small-view perspective: “What happens in my home/yard stays in my home. My actions don’t impact others or the environment.”

6. Irrational defiance: “I know that fast food is bad for me but it is my right to buy it when I want it.”

7. Absence of urgency: “There’s plenty of water coming out of my tap so there really isn’t a need to conserve.”

8. Impatience: “I want the bathroom spotless in 5 minutes.”


4 Reasons Why We Should Shop Green

1. Personal health and safety

2. Belief in a better tomorrow

3. Concern for our neighbors, near and far

4. Positive feedback from longer-term gratification


I believe that our dominant American culture values short-term quick results over better long-term outcomes.

I also believe we can change this conversation for the greener.

What are your reasons for shopping green, or not?


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