The fact you are here reading these words means you already have some understanding of the importance of being a green consumer in this day and age.
A Real Green consumer, consumes the bare minimum
Here is a point that comes up in many conversations about sustainability and earth-friendly behavior. It says that the most eco friendly way of living is consuming (buying) the least products possible.
It’s the truth, if you consumption is close to zero than also your environmental impact.
But how many people do you know who can spend thier life like that? I know I can’t.
Here is my green consumer definition: buy what you need, but make it as eco friendly as possible.
Who Are The Green Consumers?
There are quite a few types of green consumers out there.
But I divide them into a rough 3 groups:
#1 The radical green consumer
The first group describes the most radical green consumer who will absolutely never buy anything with a plastic wrapping, will always try to fix the old product before buying or borrowing from a friend. If he/she does decide to buy, they will make serious research before to find out which materials the product is made from, where it was made, by who and so on.
#2 The reasonable green consumer
The second group describes a green consumer who is aware that his decision making process while buying a new product, has an effect on the environment.
He will look for eco friendly green alternatives but will not go crazy finding them. If he comes to the conclusion that he can’t find a product the is both eco friendly and both efficient – He will buy the ‘not earth friendly product.
#3 The preferring green consumer
Third groups of green consumers are more of the type that will walk around the supermarket tossing products into their shopping cart, and in case they see a package that looks ‘greener’ they might choose her over the others.
This green consumer is aware of the environmental situation and is doing the bare minimum he can to help.
How Many Green Consumers Are There?
As the definition for green consumers is quite broad, it’s hard to say how many people define them self as green consumers. But you can definitely see an uprise in green alternatives for everyday products that once never existed. According to this article about green consumers statistics
The Benefits Of Being A Green Consumer Are Plenty
Here are, what I found to be, the benefits of green consumerism to the environment:
- The public consumes fewer products made from contaminating materials
–> The environment (Water sources & soils) is cleaner.
- The public consumes fewer products produced in a non-eco-friendly procedure
–> Less CO2 gases and other gases are released into the environment.
And here are, in my opinion, the benefits of green consumerism to the individual consumer:
- When you buy the green alternatives it usually also means you are buying the healthier option for you and your family. Because if it doesn’t include plastics or chemicals or if it’s simply natural – it’s almost in all cases – healthier.
- You leave a better world for your kids. Or at least you are doing the best you can. Every bag of plastic you leave at the store is one less bag of plastic manufactured in the factory.
The Downsides Of Being A Green Consumer
Like any other lifestyle choice, also being a green consumer has its downsides.
The biggest one must be that you become very aware of your consumption. If it’s the free non-compostable towel you get at restaurants or the eco-friendly product you ordered and came completely over rapped. You just start seeing the unnecessary plastics everywhere.
Another one must be that green alternatives usually cost more. It makes sense because they are “niche” products with a lower market. And because manufacturers know green consumers will be usually wheeling to pay more.
Does eco friendly products really make a difference?
This brings me back to the first paragraph of people saying our environmental problems are not due to the small consumer but due to the big industries.
And until the big industries will not change there is no point in being a green consumer.
I agree and disagree with this statement.
It’s true that the big industries and companies are responsible for most of the environmental damage.
But who are they doing it for?
The small consumer at the end of the line.
And this is where the importance of eco friendly products comes in. If more people insist on buying products that are made from biodegradable materials in an environmental procedure – The big guys will have to change accordingly.
If no one will buy fuel engine cars anymore – they will stop making them.
That how the market works.