fickle american consumers- or the myth that people don’t want to spend money on the environment

There is an article that keeps getting printed under one title or another. Here is the latest version of it:

“As Consumers Cut Spending, ‘Green’ Products Lose Allure”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/business/energy-environment/22green.html

The argument is that while consumers say they want to help the environment, they won’t pay even a fractional amount more to do so. This line of rhetoric seems to be cultivating fear- a sense of despair at the near impossibility of getting people to spend money on green at all.

Please- let’s not make big brand’s marketing sob stories into tales of societal despair. Let the bastards suffer.

The fact of the matter is that consumers can’t tell what the frick the difference is between a brand name’s green label and their regular label. It’s like buying toothpaste with extra whitening and tartar protection- extra features. And frankly, the consumer is right. Who cares about green cleaner when there are much bigger fish to fry. Green cleaner won’t save the world- maybe practical american shoppers are waiting for real solutions.
The article points out that brands like 7th generation have suffered less in the recession. I would guess this is because people are more willing to trust the “correctness” of a new market entrant like 7th generation that was green from the beginning more than a brand label like Clorox that’s been greenwashed.

I’m willing to bet on the american citizen, that when it comes to the big solutions, they’ll be willing to spend a little.

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