Some Consumers Green in Action, Others in Theory

by | May 30, 2008

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While 46 percent of U.S. adults say they neither think nor act Green, the two percent of the population who are self-described Green Advocates are among the most tech-savvy consumers, according to Mediamark Research & Intelligence’s Survey of the American Consumer.

The six consumer segments produced by MRI highlight different attitudes toward the environment and actions taken to support it. Consumers are categorized from both ends of the spectrum: those who are not Green-conscious at all, and those who make preserving the environment a major factor in their lives.

The “Greenest” of the green segments is composed of Green Advocates. These are the most ecology-minded people: they recycle, drive hybrid cars, buy organic foods and actively preserve the environment. And although they comprise just two percent of the American population, they are the activist vanguard for the Green movement.

They are opinion leaders who research and read product reviews before buying new technology. And they are 65% more likely to give technology product advice about what they’ve learned to others.

Green Advocates are also 41 percent more likely to completely agree that technology helps make their life more organized; 36 percent more likely to be fascinated by new technologies; and 30 percent more likely to completely agree that computers are a good source of entertainment. They are also 24 percent more likely than the average U.S. adult to prefer to use the Internet when booking travel and 23 percent more likely to be comfortable conducting day-to-day banking online.

Description of Green Segments

  • Un-Green: These consumers place little value on preserving the environment and they put convenience and price before pro-environmental factors. They don’t buy organic food, don’t recycle and have no involvement in environmental groups.
  • Green at the Supermarket: Members of this segment are Green, but not always because of the environment. They often “buy green” and eat organic foods, most likely because of health concerns – not necessarily out of concern for the environment.
  • Green in Theory: Members of this segment are Green by self-description, but not in practice. They say it’s important to protect the environment and to be in tune with nature, but their choice in products doesn’t necessarily back this up. They are not involved in environmental groups or causes.
  • Green but Only If: Green Shoppers think green and often act green, but their allegiance to Green causes has limits. They have positive views on protecting the environment and act on them, but they are not willing to give up convenience or pay more for environmentally safe products.
  • Green at Their Best: Green at Their Best members think green, shop green, and live green. They are true believers in environmental causes, consistently recycling and buying environmentally friendly products, even when those products are less convenient or cost more than similar items.
  • Green Advocates: Green Advocates are the greenest of the Green. Nature and the environment are of paramount importance to this segment, whose members firmly believe their actions have an impact on the world. Not only do they recycle, environmental impact is an overriding factor in all their purchase decisions. And they actively support environmental causes.

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