Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shopping Still Costs The Earth

Date:
October 31, 2006
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
There is still no such thing as a truly green consumer despite the increase in the range of green and "ethical" products available, according to new Leeds-led research into the choices and trade-offs made by shoppers.

There is still no such thing as a truly green consumer despite the increase in the range of green and ‘ethical’ products available, according to new Leeds-led research into the choices and trade-offs made by shoppers.

Related Articles


The team found we are still tempted by bargains, with price most commonly traded off against a product’s environmental performance. Also, shoppers find it easy to apply ethical values to more everyday purchases like food or clothing but struggle to reconcile the competing issues of brand, energy efficiency and desire to shop locally for more major items such as dishwashers.

Earth and environment senior lecturer Dr William Young and colleagues from the Sheffield and Robert Gordon Universities carried out interviews, focus groups and a workshop to explore the decisions made by shoppers when buying everything from washing machines to light bulbs.

Three types of consumer were identified in the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded research. The majority of people interviewed were selectors and acted as ethical consumers in one aspect of their lives. As a selector they might be an avid fan of recycling or have a green electricity tariff but they see no contradiction in limiting these values to one area of their lifestyle.

Translators were green in several aspects of their lives but not in others. They want to do the ‘right thing’ and will make sacrifices if they can see a clear rationale for change. The researchers found people in this group might move on to become ‘greener’. The most conscientious consumers were exceptors, whose personal philosophy about consumption, social justice, and sustainability is a priority in almost all areas of their lives.

The researchers found people in this group might move on to become ‘greener’. The most conscientious consumers were exceptors, whose personal philosophy about consumption, social justice, and sustainability is a priority in almost all areas of their lives.

Dr Young said: “Green consumers begin product purchasing decisions with a set of values that they convert into ideal green criteria for their purchase. They’ll do a lot of research before buying something.

“Earlier work has shown that only one in three consumers have this underlying set of ethical values so the Government will need more carrot and more stick to push the drive for energy efficiency and recycling to the wider population.”

He concedes even the ‘greenest’ of consumers have a ‘blind spot’, and the most common weakness was for small electronic products such as MP3 players or items associated with a hobby: “In one case we interviewed a quite radical green activist and his blind spot was his top-of-the-range motorbike. He went touring on it at weekends with a club.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leeds. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "Shopping Still Costs The Earth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030120355.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2006, October 31). Shopping Still Costs The Earth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030120355.htm
University of Leeds. "Shopping Still Costs The Earth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030120355.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins