Before we talk about green consumer behavior, let’s talk about consumer behavior.
Consumer behavior is defined as the actions, reactions, and choices consumers make in relation to goods or services they are consuming. In other words, it is an individual or collective process of buying goods, using services, and making decisions that impact the industries these goods belong to.
A key concept of consumer behavior is the purchase decision which includes three main components:
- Consumer perception about a good or service
- Individual’s overall lifestyle responsiveness
- Personal financial status.
What is Green Consumer Behavior?
The concept of green consumer behavior has evolved in Western societies but it is still not completely accepted by consumers. Green consumer behavior can be defined as the intentional action of choosing products and services that are more environmentally friendly.
Consumers are generally motivated by social and environmental concerns, in a way, they think they can contribute to solving environmental problems while at the same time preserving natural resources. Also, there are personal benefits to green living such as protection against toxic chemicals, lower energy bills, and an overall sense of well-being.
To help you understand it, let’s check these scenarios which play out in everyday life.
The first scenario is being more conscious of the number of resources we consume. Simply by walking around the house, you can notice a lot of things that require energy. Probably the most obvious is the light switch. If you are like me, you turn off the light switch in your bedroom when heading out.
Not only does this help conserve energy by not wasting it, it also helps save on electricity. The same technique can be applied for many other things as well, such as turning off a computer or TV during long times spent at your desk. You can also use a microwave to heat water instead of boiling it.
The second example is buying products that are safer for the environment. By buying safer products, you protect yourself from harmful chemicals that can cause cancer or birth defects. You also contribute to reducing pollution by not throwing away as much waste.
Every day, an average person throws away about 1,600 pounds of trash which causes a great amount of pollution and contributes to the depletion of natural resources.
The third example comes from new technologies. There are many new technologies that are environmentally friendly, such as hybrid cars or solar panels.
All the above examples are a lot more environmentally friendly and these scenes will give you a great picture of what green consumer behavior is about.
To sum this up, Green consumer behavior is simply a form of pro-environmental behavior. It is a form of consumption that harms the environment as little as possible or even benefits the environment.
How to imbibe green consumer behavior
The past decade has seen a vast increase in the amount of green consumer behavior. It all began with a commitment on the individual, business, and institutional levels to reduce energy consumption. It then spread rapidly among various individuals who have dedicated their time to finding ways to make a change towards being more environmentally friendly.
Most consumers are aware of products that are environmentally friendly but they do not consciously make the decision. Consumers usually purchase what they want regardless of its environmental impact.
Green consumer behavior begins with putting the environment before my personal needs and cravings when it comes to purchasing goods, technologies, and my everyday decisions.
See related post – How Eco-friendly Products help Environment: 11 things you didn’t know
Green consumer behavior influencing factors
Consumer behavior has two main components, the person (individual) and the environment (institution). The origin of green consumer behavior is a social trend that has evolved over time. It remains an important issue as countries try to find ways to clean up contamination and protect their environment.
These factors below play a major role in green consumer behavior
1. Cultural and Religious factors
Cultural and religious factors play a significant role in a consumer society, these factors have also been identified as a part of green consumer behavior, such as attitude towards being green, and using environmentally friendly products or technologies.
A person’s cultural and religious affiliations over time have been shown to influence green consumer behavior. This is because some cultures and religions are more in tune with and preach Green evolution and some do not.
Buddhism includes many principles linked to sustainability. The Dalai Lama has consistently called for strong climate action, reforestation, and preserving ecosystems.
2. Age, gender, and income
There are three factors that play a significant role in green consumer behavior, these factors have also been identified as a part of green consumer behavior, such as attitude towards being green, and using environmentally friendly products or technologies.
Young consumers are highly affected by new technologies and new trends. They might be willing to integrate them into their lifestyle without even thinking about the long-term impact. Older consumers tend to be very conservative while spending money.
The gender factor is something that has not been thoroughly researched as far as green consumer behavior is concerned. Some studies have shown that women tend to be more environmentally friendly than men.
3. Psychographic Factors
Psychographic Factors are those that refer to personality and the situational factors of the individual, these include personality characteristics, lifestyle, social class, habits, behaviors, and interests.
4. Environmental attitudes
Consumer behavior is affected by the general public’s environmental attitudes and social concerns. People who have a high level of environmental concern are more likely to make choices that promote a healthy environment. Those who are concerned about the environment care about things like recycling and usage rates of water, gasoline, and electricity.
Being in an environment such as this would influence positive green consumer behavior within that environment
Green consumer behavior refers to the perceptions that consumers have of products, practices, and companies. People are exposed to their beliefs in different ways. For example, people are not only exposed through advertising in magazines or television advertisements.
When it comes to perception, the media has a big role to play.
Media refers to all forms of communication that influence us to do things. They can be public media like news or newspapers, as well as more private media like television shows or movies. Media messages play a vital role in telling us what to do and they usually have some sort of persuasive feature that makes people more likely to follow through on the message cause-effect.
The media can be used to show off and educate people on the need for green products and also correct wrong mindsets about green products such as environmentally friendly products that are only used by environmentalists.
The adage “People don’t buy things they don’t know about”, hides the fact that people do make purchasing decisions based on many factors other than the products themselves. This can allude to the important role that media, companies, and organizations play in green consumer behavior.
The lack of understanding of green products and green products consumption has been daunting
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3 thoughts on “What is Green Consumer Behavior?”
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