January 26, 2009

Consumer Behavior

There’s a gap between consumer attitudes and behavior; so people don’t always act on environmental and social concerns. What’s the reason for the difference between what people say they are willing to do, and what they choose to do or purchase?

A recent report from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (200 of the world’s largest companies) cites the three most significant barriers to behavior change as lack of understanding, selfishness, and high “up-front” costs. That last one is certainly relevant until we get out of this recession.

However, another excuse is the tendency of consumers to act only if they see their peers acting as well. So all of us need to jump onto the green bandwagon—taking big steps, as well as smaller ones. It’s time to say “I will if you will.” Maybe the glass is half-full.