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Earth Day has a long way to go before it convinces consumers to put their money where their mouth is and pay more for eco-friendly green products, a new study shows. Though nearly half of people surveyed (46 percent) said they were more inclined to buy a product if it is eco-friendly, the majority (59 percent) said they were unwilling to pay more money for that product of service. Green products may be good at generating lip service, but they’re not so good at opening wallets.
The bottom line is that the higher costs of eco-friendly products turn off consumers from "being green," according to a survey of more than 1,000 adults sponsored by RetailMeNot.com, an online coupon site.
Though nearly three-quarters of people surveyed feel that they are aware of the positive and/or adverse environmental effects of products they purchase every day, more than 43 percent reported that they don't think about the impact of those products on the environment when they actually make purchases.
It appears that there's something more than price sensitivity at work when it comes to the acceptance of eco-friendly products. Though 40 percent of respondents said they buy green products when they are readily available and there is no big cost difference versus their nongreen equivalents, a majority (51 percent) reported that they buy whatever products suit their needs at the time, "green" or not.
And more than a third of respondents said that it makes no difference to them if a product is eco-friendly.
The acceptance of eco-friendly products hasn't yet reached a tipping point, the survey indicates. Just 25 percent of respondents said they always take steps to "green" their home or lifestyle by recycling, driving energy-efficient vehicles, weatherizing their homes and using eco-friendly products, while 15 percent of respondents said they never do. The majority of respondents (60 percent) fall are indifferent, sometimes proactively taking steps to green their home or lifestyle and sometimes not.