According to this article in Ad Age, American consumers seem to be suffering from a bit of “green fatigue”. In the past 52 weeks, sales of bottled water ROSE 4% after a steady decline. The purchase of in-home water filtration devices declined in the last quarter. Consumers complained about the noisy compostable SunChips bags until Frito Lay finally decided to do away with them. Clorox Green Works only saw an increase in sales after reducing the prices of its products 17%. On the other end of the spectrum traditionally green companies such as Method, Seventh Generation, and Mrs. Myers are seeing a slight bump in sales.
The rest of the article deals with the marketing aspect, but it got me to thinking. When I’m in the store, what keep me from buying the “green” product. There are a few things. First and foremost, cost is very important. The next few months are going to be really tight around here and I can’t afford to spend $5 more for less product. I’m sure that I’m no different than many other Americans. What seems like just a few bucks adds up and effects my bottom line.
Another issue that I’ve had is when I have bought green cleaning products, they didn’t always work. For instance, the Seventh Generation dish tabs that I bought a few months ago. I had to run my dishwasher 2 and 3 times because they did not dissolve and still were not getting my dishes clean. I still have 2 boxes of them sitting under my sink. It’s a bit more efficient to use the regular cleaners if they’re going to get the job done right the first time. That means less water, less electricity, and just as important less of my time.
Finally, I get confused when I go to the store. How do I know which products are truly green and which ones are just hopping on the bandwagon. I don’t know what chemicals to look for or what is considered toxic. I kind of just have to take their word for it. Which, I don’t really trust doing.
So, in a nutshell I want products that are not overpriced, clean just as well as the other products, and that I can be sure are environmentally safe. That doesn’t really sound like I want too much does it?
In the meantime, I’ve taken to just using less. Washing dishes when I absolutely have to wash them. Full loads of laundry with about half the amount of detergent. Few products to get things clean. That just seems to be the better thing to do at the moment. I buy green when I can, but I think a bit of “reducing” can go a long way, too.
Are you suffering from green fatigue? What are your difficulties when trying to buy green products?