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Buying green, feeling blue
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Buying green, feeling blue

24 February, 2020

Green consumerism is on the rise and for many people provides that guilt-free feeling of knowing that a purchase has limited impact on the planet. But did you really need that 5th pair of organic, recycled and biodegradable shoes?

As pressure increases on our planet’s limited resources, better understanding of the motivations behind buying habits is essential to changing them. A recent study examined financial and environmental purchasing habits and their effects on the personal wellbeing of almost 1,000 young people in the US. Pro-environmental buying habits were split into two categories: buying “green” products (e.g. made from recycled materials) and buying less, regardless of green credentials.

Those with pronounced materialistic values were most likely to plump for choosing to buy “green” products, however this did not lead to positive effects on wellbeing. Those with fewer materialistic values were more likely to buy less, rather than buy green, which was linked with more positive effects on wellbeing and lower stress.

The study itself focuses on the psychological benefits of different “green” behaviours, and the coverage of this study tends to latch on to the concept that buying less (not green) is the key to happiness.

This certainly seems to make sense if those green products are not, strictly speaking, things that the people buying them actually need. But given we all need some stuff sometimes there’s still a place for genuinely green consumer products to fill that gap – and we believe there are also some game changing green products that have a place in everyone’s futures.

Watch out next week as we report back on the inevitable wave of brands doing interesting – and somewhat sustainable – stunts to promote Black Friday …

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